If I’m calling you friend, it means we’ve been through a lot of life together. You’ve probably watched me move across the country a couple times. I’ve welcomed your babies into the world. We’ve binge-watched shows together and gossiped a bit.
Now, you are silent.
I notice that you don’t acknowledge. You don’t linger in conversations. You don’t stand in the shadow of a “like” or a “sad face.” I notice that you are absent from conversations that need your voice.
I understand where you might be. I was there myself once, though it’s always been easier for me to believe that institutionalized racism exists in our country. It might be harder for you to accept this. Maybe your life was more cloistered, more protected, more privileged. I’m not blaming you for that. We didn’t choose to be here now, in this moment of history, the color that we are, the gender that we are with the developmental experiences we’ve had.
But here we are. And here is where we need to be.
I remember Trayvon Martin.
And then Michael Brown. Ferguson. He is when I started paying attention. I started listening. I started hearing.
Then Eric Garner. Tamir Rice. Eric Harris. Walter Scott. Jonathan Ferrell. Sandra Bland. Samuel DuBose. Freddie Gray.
Then I went to Baltimore for myself.
You were mostly silent.
You still are.
Alton Sterling. Phil Castile. Charles Kinsey. Dallas police officers. Baton Rouge police officers.
Your voice crying for justice is missing. Your silence is deafening. Your inattention is obvious.
Even if all you can muster right now is a nod of acknowledgement.
Even if all you can do is ask a genuine question.
Love justice, friend.
Love it so much that you stand up.
Love it so deeply that you demand it for all human kind.
Love it so passionately that you speak.
Justice needs you now.