One year ago

One year ago the excellent literary journal Gravel published The Shooting Star and the Fatal Funnel, a flash fiction piece that housed some thoughts on race and police.

Putting aside politics (best left to others), I think of a dear friend who, after another black man was shot by a peace officer, said "if they kill me don’t let the media make me a thug."

It haunts.

I thought what we always think: that'll never happen. My friend is smart and caring and law-abiding. Works a good job, lives in a good community. But some of those qualities were true of blue bullet recipients. All of them in at least one.

So his fear is reasonable. And there’s nothing reasonable about that.

There’s a lot of fear out there today. Blacks are scared of cops. Cops are scared of blacks. Whites are scared of blacks. Some whites are scared of blacks, browns of many forms, and pinks. Other whites are scared of those whites.

So long as we lack understanding for one another, or at least basic tolerance, these fears will spray more blood under streetlight and none will know peace.