When Jose was 11 years old, he called 911 on a pay phone three separate times. It was a stupid prank done by a little boy and his friend who really didn’t know the implications of making a false emergency call.
A police officer arrived to the pay phone, pointed his gun at Jose and his friend, screamed at to them to get on their knees, and to place their faces on the ground. The officer handcuffed both of them, and they drove to the juvenile detention center. All to incite fear. He did this to an innocent little boy and his friend.
Would anything have happened if they were white living in a nicer neighborhood? Maybe just a little slap on the wrist?
And god forbid, what would have happened if they were black?
Just like any profession, there are excellent police officers in our community and our country doing so much good, but there are also evil ones. Plain and simple, racism is rampant. Racists live among all of us. Racism is tearing us apart, and it needs to stop.
Amidst the horror and tragedy of the murder of George Floyd, Jose and I were talking last night about racism in our country. I acknowledge that I’m white and was born with white privilege. I fear for my husband who is Mexican and so handsomely brown. I hate to hear the stories of customers who whisper nasty comments to him and his crew on a job site. I hate to hear how my husband is still fearful of being pulled over by the police. No one should have to live in fear.
Jose admitted that while he would be fearful of getting pulled over, he would be even more fearful if a black man was in the car with him. The darker your skin, the more targeted you become.
Tears flooded my eyes this morning as I saw footage of continued protesting in Minneapolis. NO ONE should have to demand respect and the right to live. It makes me sick.
What is it going to take for people to understand? For people to understand that black lives matter? That they too deserve to breathe no matter the color of their skin?
Our hearts go out to all of those who have tragically lost loved ones due to racism, and to those who continue to fight racism each and every day.
I can promise you that we’re raising a fighter in Luisa. We’re teaching her to stand up and speak out for what’s right—no matter what.