i can't sit idle while watching innocent black men die

This evening, after a great weekend of family camping, I decided to catch up on the news. I watched an innocent, non threatening, black man get executed by police officers. The first video was of his wife filming the encounter. Not only is it disturbing that this black woman felt she needed to film the police encounter as evidence, but that she was genuinely scared that her husband, completely innocent and unarmed would be murdered. He was.

The second video was from the dash-cam, where you clearly see Keith Scott doing exactly as is asked; exiting the car and backing up. (Keep in mind his wife is telling him not to get out of the car- presumably scared he will be murdered by the police). You can see all videos here, for you to make your own assessment of the evidence. But all of the footage points to the execution of an innocent black man.

Now, I am not a court of law, nor an attorney, but I do not see any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the victim. And since this all came out there is also potential evidence of a planted gun. If you watch the video, it seems as though the officer does throw the gun to the ground. We do not know if it was the victim’s gun, but regardless, we know there was unlawful handling of evidence. Here is a screen grab that shows the time stamps. It’s like one of those kid games “find the difference” between the two pictures.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-23_at_3_33_48_PM Screen_Shot_2016-09-23_at_3_33_54_PM

When I watch this, or any of these videos, my heart crumbles. The injustice I feel in my heart today is no different than the sense of injustice I felt when I learned of slavery and the proceeding injustices that the black community has had to fight through for the entirety of American history. But today is not a history lesson, it is real, it is current, and I continue to do what almost all of the white privilege community tend to do- absolutely nothing.

I can’t feel the pain of the HUNDREDS of women out there who have watched their husbands and sons be executed by the forces we fund to protect us, or the fear they feel every time their loved one leaves the house. My privileged life has lead me to fear things like cancer, weird diseases, the super bug- all things that happen as a matter of bad luck. All these things are equally unfair, death sucsk. But the root cause of the threats to the black community aren’t results of nature or natural existence, they are things that can be fixed with smart policies and big hearts.

I live in an America where clean water, access to food and health care are just a given. Me and my friends often joke about our #firstworldproblems, like hating our boss, shitty relationships, annoying coworkers, annoying kids, etc. But the black community doesn’t know this America. They don’t have the privilege of #firstworldproblems like the white communities. Instead their America is much more like Iraq, Syria, or any other third world country plagued with violence, gangs and drugs. They don’t have access to good quality education, food nor health care. And they don’t know who to trust because the government officials sworn to protect them are the ones that take their lives without consequence.

Here is the reality, blacks deserve the America that a majority of whites deserve. They are fucking Americans, and their labor (including slave labor) is responsible for building the infrastructure and history that makes America great. Their lives matter as much as any other life within our bounds, and yes, all lives matter, but black lives need to matter more right now because we have a crisis that is impacting their lives more than others.

America was built on the principle that equality and justice is vital to the Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If you believe in America, and you believe in the Constitution, you should be fighting to spread that equality to everyone, especially those that need it most. When we have a community suffering from systemic racism, socio-economic divisions and disadvantages in all matters of care, we should take note and recognize that we have a crisis. This crisis is bigger than Zika, bigger than ISIS, and vital to the core of our moral fabric as a society. And we must find a solution.

So here’s my question, as I sit in tears mourning the life of another black man mowed down by the police- what can I do to help? How can I make this better? How can I make the lives of the black community better? What could I, as an individual white woman, do? Because at this point, I am ready to dedicate my life to just that. I cannot, will not, just sit here and watch a generation of black men dying by the hands of police, or even each other. This must end, and it will only end when women and men, just like me (white) finally decide to take a stand. But my question to the world is, what does that “stand” look like? How do we progress forward? What steps are needed to start improving black lives?

Maybe the first step is protecting this country from spiraling backward and allowing Donald Trump to become our next President? But that isn’t enough. That isn’t going to fix the problems we currently have, that will only protect us from new issues. So If anyone has a suggestion of how one white girl can help save the lives of the black community, please let me know, because I can no longer sit idle and witness the injustice.

brangelina breaks our hearts, kind of, and then we discuss how to vote in a world where facts don’t matter

Last week Laurie was dying from the Scottish Plague and this week Crimson is dying from pink eye, but that doesn’t stop us from the much needed therapy session about the devastating news that Brangelina are now just Brad and Angie. We then move on to Crimson’s attempt to objectively evaluate candidates in a world that facts no longer matter. We discuss how we define human character and how the candidates stack up against the traits we look for when we are getting to know someone and trying to find the core of their being. Then Crimson sells out for an old but relevant mini-series Hatfield & McCoy’s. Through the mini-series we see the hate that war breeds, and the consequence of a divided nation.

crimson talks weiner which leads to a conversation about infidelity

Crimson recommends everyone watch Weiner, the documentary about Anthony Weiner’s attempt to re-enter politics. It’s a captivating experience that really immerses you into the absolute disaster that is his life. Which leads us to Esther Perel’s Ted Talk on infidelity, where she walks us through the realities of infidelity and how we need to reshape the way we think about something that is almost inevitable in today’s world. Laurie and Crimson “intellectualize” about the concepts of monogamy, infidelity and the gray space that is sexuality, love and companionship. Laurie also gives us some insight into John Gottman’s theory of the four horsemen that represent the end of a relationship.

conversation series: the benefits of social science and the importance of the american judiciary

Laurie and Crimson have a conversation with Dr. Michael Fix, mostly to discuss the implications of an 8 person SCOTUS, but we end up discussing the value of social science research. Of course, we have to discuss the recent RBG controversy, and the realities of how ideology plays a role in the judicial system. Dr. Fix breaks down the differences between our court systems from the local to federal level and how they all work together and are equally important to our democracy. Basically, you get a college course on the judicial system, without having to pay for the credit hour. As Donald Trump would say, what do you have to lose? Unless we convince you into a social science graduate degree, then you could lose a lot of cash, but have a fulfilling existence.

the realities of the alt-right, foreign voter intervention and Beyonce

Laurie catches us up on the highlight of her week- being a bitch. Crimson discusses pushing herself to be more vulnerable and the lessons learned in the process. We then move to the alt-right, a fringe of the Republican party that is currently very influential in the Trump campaign with Steve Bannon, an alt-right enthusiast, now running the show. Laurie briefly gives us the download on the news that the FBI just announced that voter information was hacked in a couple of states and we contemplate the implications or solutions of a foreign actor impacting our national elections. We also get off topic because Crimson drinks too much wine, and end of debating the validity of Eric Snowden’s contributions to our conversations about privacy in America. Then we end how everything should end, with a discussion of how Beyonce is a goddess, but yet, I can’t really listen to her music.

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