01 Jun To be Silent is to be Complicit
Over the weekend, my husband and I watched the peaceful protests over the murder of George Floyd through the streets of downtown Houston from our high-rise balcony’s vantage point over the route. It was peaceful throughout Friday afternoon, and encouraging to see our community organizers, police, and civic leaders in solidarity. But as evening descended on Friday, the tone changed. The composition of the crowd changed. Violent detractors not committed to combating racism, but rather to destroying property and creating havoc skated and skateboarded through the streets. Yet, we were encouraged as we watched the corralling of those distractors on Saturday evening.
You haven’t seen Houston, the nation’s 4th largest city and the home of George Floyd on the news. You haven’t seen images of our downtown businesses being looted, trash in the streets, fires set, or clashes with the police. Why? Our police chief @ArtAcevedo on Twitter addressed the unity of the people of Houston and clarified the difference between protestors and disruptors quite clearly. The relationship between Black, Brown, and Blue is different here. In that video, you’ll see why.
Still, it is important to speak out. I am angry. I am sickened. I am reminded of the time my own son, at the age of 14, was stopped by police because he was walking in a shopping center carrying a golf club; one he had just purchased at the sporting goods store he was exiting. One with the receipt still taped to the handle. Those officers asked why he was “carrying a weapon” and found it hard to believe that he was on the golf team at a Christian high school. We were fortunate. My son made it home, safe and sound.
I add my voice to the thousands of others who are angry, sickened, disgusted and disturbed by the murder of George Floyd and the hundreds of other Black men and women, named and nameless, who have died at the hands of racist cops.
I add my voice to those who are sickened by the images we continue to see of so-called “peace” officers using excessive force against people of color who choose to exercise their first amendment rights and a POTUS who threatens to call out the dogs.
I add my voice to those who are disgusted when loaded-gun-toting white men and women march on and into state capitals, cheered by that same POTUS.
I add my voice to those who echo the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.”
I thank my white friends and colleagues who stand in solidarity; who state they know they cannot feel exactly what I feel but want to do their part. We recognize those of you who desire to be allies. Speak to your Black friends and colleagues. Black or White, we are all in different places in our personal journeys on the path to antiracism.
To be silent is to be complicit.