I'm out of words. I never thought that would be possible, but here I am without words. None.
I've run out.
Conversation after conversation after conversation ... we all keep talking about race issues and how things aren't quite right. We watch videos that prove things are REALLY not right, and then we talk about it some more. We talk and we talk and we use all of the words.
I use words to explain to one of my children that there is a police officer outside of her school because a bad man did bad things to some kids. I use more words to tell her I don't think anything like that would ever happen here, but those words are lies. I have no way of knowing when or where the next terrible thing will happen.
The words I don't say are the really hard ones. I don't tell her that statistically she's safer because of the color of her skin. I don't tell her that the reason that police officer is at her school is because the bad man did bad things to white kids. If the same thing had happened at an inner city school and most of the victims had been black? Honestly, I don't know that schools all around the nation would have ramped up security. I don't tell her that part because I have no idea how to explain it all.
I don't know how to explain to her that she is just about at the age when it's all going to become noticeable. She is going to start to see that her black friends are not treated the same way that she is. It's not open for debate or even something that should be questioned -- it's a fact. Her black friends will face discrimination. Right now there is a parent somewhere leading a life that will make kids think different is reason enough to hate.
I can do everything in my power to teach my kids that there is never a reason to hate, but my message isn't as loud as the other one. All of my words can fight and kick and scream, but they're still just words. Lots and lots of words.
And now I have to explain to my kid that sometimes black people aren't safe at church. Even with all of that talking we've all been doing, nothing has changed in decades. It's not safe to be black in America.
There are no words for how very wrong things are right now.
I'm tired of talking about it.
I want to fix it.
I don't know how.
And I feel absolutely awful for the people who have to live it.