soon to be driving

I’m sad, not because I can imagine my son as Daunte Wright or Adam Toledo, but because I can’t.

Last night, I gave my white soon to be driving son a quick rundown of what he would need to know if he were pulled over while being Black.

Hands on steering wheel immediately.
Ask before reaching for identification or registration.
Comply with everything the officer says.

Except my son will never have to worry about any of this because he is white.

The fact that my family does not live with this fear is the way life should be.
The fact that Black families do live with this fear is an outrage.

Nobody should be killed by an officer while on a traffic stop, or with their hands in the air, or asleep in their bed, or after being apprehended.

This should not happen.

America has a problem and it must be solved.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops give us a task in their Pastoral Letter against Racism titled, Open Wide Our Hearts, but first they outline the sins of racism America faces.

“Despite the great blessings of liberty that this country offers, we must admit the plain truth that for many of our fellow citizens, who have done nothing wrong, interactions with the police are often fraught with fear and even danger.”

Among other suggestions, the Bishops point us towards scripture.

You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do justice and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

We are asked to do justice and walk humbly with our God. The Bishops tell us that doing justice “requires an honest acknowledgment of our failures and the restoring of right relationships between us.”

We must admit we have a problem and then willingly act to be a part of the solution.

Our BIPOC neighbors need us. God asks this of us. All we must do is say Yes.

I think the difference between me and some people is that I’m content to do my little bit. Sometimes people think they have to do big things in order to make change. But if each one would light a candle, we’d have a tremendous light.

Servant of God Thea Bowman

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