After the smoke clears and our cities have swept up the broken glass, after we’ve heard all the inspiring speeches, what’s next?
Do we go back to our lives and just forget about the murders of unarmed black men, thinking they won’t happen again? Do we look for ways to justify our inaction? Do those of us who aren’t daily targets of racism just shrug it off as someone else’s problem?
We can’t go back to “business as usual.” This disease called “prejudice” is literally killing people. It’s tearing our nation apart. It demands as much attention as the COVID-19 pandemic. If only the answers were as easy to articulate!
There’s been no shortage of proposed solutions, from the obvious (love one other) to the ridiculous (inciting riots or arresting peaceful protesters). There are things we can do immediately, but for the most part, they require public policy changes.
What can we do as individuals who don’t happen to be President, a governor, a member of Congress, or a police chief? This is the tough part, and in the long run the one that counts the most. We must change our attitudes toward each other and challenge our deepest, most cherished beliefs about who we are.
What we are is children of God, not the stereotypes you see on the nightly news. Every one of us is unique and entitled to respect as individuals. That is the ultimate diversity. Until we can embrace that we will never be the people we were born to be. In the words of Harry Bosch, “Everybody counts, or nobody counts.”