I had planned on sharing some of my favorite images from the past few months around a theme of be still. I had edited the photos. Gathered my thoughts. I had every intention of sharing them this week. Then our week was shattered by the wrongful death of George Floyd and the chain of events that have followed.
While I am a white, privileged male and cannot fully understand nor comprehend the years of issues and challenges that have led to the events that are occurring in our city, I am still mourning. I am still shattered by the events. I have spent the last 30 years of my life in and around this city. I went to church for 10+ years just blocks from the scene of this horrific crime. I lived with my sister just miles away (she still lives there). I have ridden through these streets for 30+ years. I have tutored kids from this community (FWIW – I think I learned more from them than they did from me) . I have friends, family and coworkers that have shared with me they have gone to bed in fear and with the smell of smoke and teargas in their homes. Even though I write all of that, I still can’t fully understand what it is like to live in fear the way African Americans and minorities live in this country.
I had to go see things first hand. I don’t want to play into the hype and contribute to the drama that seems to be being built in our media an digital, social networks. Reading and listening to things paint a certain picture and I wanted to see it for myself. What I found was in fact shocking. It gave me even more empathy for what folks in that community are going through. It gave me hope as thousands were volunteering & cleaning up. I saw church and community leaders out in the streets. It helped me understand and see with my own eyes what years of injustice, fear and anger can lead too. It also helped me see hope rising from the ashes, something I would not have seen had I simply listened to the media and hype machines.
And with that, I am simply going to share a few images that moved me. I have a lot more but I think they are going to simply stay with me as a memory and a reminder.
And with that, here’s my parting shot. Shattered. I hope you all are well and safe.