It was a tough week for our nation, so as a result this will not my typical kind of post. I made the mistake of watching the Philando video on Friday and, essentially, watched a man die. Then, in some sort of dark moment, I searched for the Alton Sterling video and watched it. In essence, I watched another man die.
It wrecked me. It continues to wreck me.
I do not want to start a big debate about who was right or wrong. I realize both men had guns - one with a permit, one for personal protection. I am a person who feels putting a gun in any non-hunting situation usually brings about bad things, but if it is within the parameters of the law, well, who am I to say.
At the same time, both of these men were shot multiple times at point blank range - one with a child in the car. That one was for a broken taillight.
The day after the second shooting, an armed forces verteran sniper starts picking off cops. An unspeakable tragedy spurred by two other unspeakable tragedies.
Again, I don't want to get into who was right or who was wrong. I also don't want to get into a Black or Blue Lives Matter. They both matter.
Part of the reason it wrecked me so badly was that we are still fighting about skin color in 2016. Next year will mark 50 years since my father was killed by a gang of black thugs in a bar near the Selby Dale neighborhood of St. Paul. This bar was literally less than 5 miles from where Philando was shot and less than a mile from the school he taught at. Granted it was an extremely racially tense time in our country's history, but I'm seeing the same kinds of things transpiring again, and I hate it.
I don't say this to garner sympathy or pity, but rather to point out that after 50 years, it's clear we still have a long way to go.
The hard question is what do we do now? Frankly, I don't know. I do know I will continue to try and see our humanness before our color or sexual orientation. I will continue to pray that our country can use these events to pull together and not build walls because of them. And I will continue to treat everyone with the respect I expect from them, including police officers.
Because I don't like being wrecked by the things I saw.