“Why are they killing the Black people?”
Over the past weeks, I had felt Mom becoming more and more distant. Her eyes were glassy and conversations often didn’t make sense. This was lucid.
“I… I don’t know, Mom. We live in a racist society. I don’t know why they’re killing them.”
“They didn’t do anything wrong. Why are they killing them?”
I could hear CNN, or maybe MSNBC, blasting in the background. I heard Mom start to cry. “I just don’t understand.”
“Mom, why don’t you turn the tv off. Would you like to go for a walk and talk?”
“I need to be alone. I don’t understand.”
How is it that I’m having this conversation with my Mom, 78, with advanced Alzheimer’s, about the insanity of what is happening in our country right now? How do I answer the question that she’s asked? Why are we killing Black people? What do we have to do to stop the killing? To stop the hatred, the rage, the prejudice, the racism, behind the killing?
I cried for the rest of the day. I’m not shocked by what is happening. We are a racist society, in which many people (me included) benefit from that racism, and I’m tired of it. We have got to dismantle the systems that allow this to continue.
My friend Michelle put together this list of resources, Racial Justice, A List of Resources for White People Who Are Not on Twitter 24 Hours a Day. I’m donating, I’m writing, I’m speaking out. I have no delusions that it’s enough.