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Day 40 (Bry): Sometimes Almost Counts

The news is good for over sensationalizing terror.

Everything on the news is worse than it seems…until it’s not. Today (2:30 pm) I was driving down 95th and got stuck behind a train. I was the first car at the intersection, but in the furthest lane (unable to make a right turn). Instead of looking through my phone while stopped like I normally do, I opted to be alert. Be aware of my surroundings and simply be present. Essentially, I was being obedient to God.

As I’m looking around, I saw a man on my left that was suspicious to me. I don’t know if it was my intuition or if I profiled this man, but either way, I knew. He started off walking slowly and as his strides began to get larger I knew what was about to happen next.

The man pulled out a gun and increased the speed of his walk towards a bus stop. I couldn’t sit there I couldn’t watch what inevitably would be next. Stuck behind the train I looked both ways and HIT IT making a right turn across two stalled lanes and putting us speeding the wrong way down a one-way street. Darrellyn finally found the strength in her body to turn around away from the scene we left and called the police. After driving however far we stopped to process. But there’s no processing that.

There was a black boy sitting at the bus stop in the direction of the potential gunman’s walk. We assume he was the intended target. When we made that turn the gunman ran away and into an alley. Had we not moved the scene would’ve been so very different.

This moment showed me so much and I’m still trying to unpack it all. Number one, when it’s your time, it’s your time. Whoever the man was after today, was not at their time and was truly covered by the blood of Christ. Had the train not been there, had we not seen the man, had we not moved, things would have been so different.

BUT it was preordained that those steps take place for the situation to play out the way it did. When it was done, Darrellyn and I were both saddened by our initial reactions. Darrellyn lives nearby and was numb to it. She saw the gun, but because this has become the every day, was desensitized.

I, on the other hand, felt bad because I profiled a man based on his race, location, and physical characteristics. I was RIGHT, but that’s not always right. It’s the innocents that LOOK like what I saw that pay and it’s not fair to them.

Being conflicted in thought from fighting for peace and racial equality and still having my own prejudices, scratches only the surface of my layers as a human being. It creates layers too.

Police officers patrol these communities’ day in and day out. It’s their job, NOT to become desensitized by the violence, but it’s also their job not to profile. The sad and complicated part to this is, they can’t really afford NOT to.

When placed in a heightened sense of fear or urgency eventually people break. I got out of the situation that I found myself in, but that was once. Imagine if I had to do that eight hours a day, five days a week.

I fight the police because they kill brothers and sisters, but the complicated layer of the situation is I get it. I understand the WHY behind some of the things that happen. Life has also shown me time and time again that knowing why doesn’t solve the problem, and doesn’t always help you heal a wound. It’s deeper than that.

Finally, I don’t know where to put my efforts. I march, I write, I speak, I protest, I fight for basic human rights for myself and other black people, but my black people are killing my black people. I feel like a case of the chicken and the egg wondering what needs to come first. They don’t treat us like human beings; we don’t treat us like human beings.

The news is good for over-sensationalizing terror. Everything on the news is worse than it seems…until it’s not.

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