Following is a guest blog post from a close friend, originally shared via Facebook. Powerful, important words from deep within. Please read, and share if you feel so moved. My thanks to Kim for offering her personal perspective.
Tears With No Refuge by Kim Brown Montenegro
I have struggled to put words to my emotions around the shootings in South Carolina.
I am a Methodist Pastor, a woman of color, family roots in the South, my heart has been broken. It is broken by the destruction.
My stomach churns and I can’t quite find my equilibrium. Nothing quite sits right. After this shooting, I was in the sanctuary with my four-year-old daughter who was innocently playing. My mind started to run with scenarios about how I would escape with her if someone were to come in and start shooting.
I was reminded, Rev. Clementa Pinckney and the nine others at “Mother” Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church were not shot because they were Christians, they were shot and killed because they were Black. It was a planned and orchestrated assassination on Black people.
I write this, to you, White people. I beg of you to listen to me. Please stop debating the merits of this unarmed Black person being shot or another unarmed Black person being shot.
And for the love of God, please stop killing People of Color because:
They went to the store at night (Travon Martin)
They called they police to stop a robbery (Duane Brown)
They are waiting in their car for their children (Manuel Loggins Jr.)
They Have Asperger’s (Stephon Watts)
They are Intoxicated (Johnnie Kamahi Warren)
They are selling cigarettes on a corner (Eric Garner)
They are holding a toy gun that is sold in the store in which you are shopping (John Crawford III)
They are walking in a dark stairwell (Akai Gurley)
They are playing outside (Tamir Rice)
They are driving an unregistered car (Walter Scott)
They are Attending a Bible Study (The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, The Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Depayne Middleton Doctor, The Rev. Daniel Simmons, Myra Thompson)
No one should be killed for doing any of these things. The residual pains of these events affect our whole nation. This is the difficult conversation about privilege that we continually want to disengaging from in this country.
My question to you is: how has privilege affected your life? Have you examined yours? Have you used your power and privilege as a tool to help others?
It is difficult work, but it is essential to us living up to our pursuit of liberty, and justice for all.