Sunday, June 7, 2020

A Long Overdue Post

Hello, dear reader. It has now been nearly two years since my last post, so please accept my now standard apology for the very long lapse. Since I last posted, a few big things have happened in my life, not least of which is that I'm now married. But as much as I'd love to write all about my lovely wife in this overdue post, I'd like to write about something that's even more overdue.

For 11 days now, this country has been rocked from coast to coast, on account of the latest wrongful death of a Black American, George Floyd. I hesitate to use "death" in the singular, because there is some regular cadence to news like this in America. In fact, this country had not even finished processing the deaths of Amaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor before the profoundly disturbing video footage of George Floyd's arrest, choking, and death flooded the airwaves. What a horrific scene.

While my wife and I are both immigrants in America, we differ in that she didn't grow up in this country, while I (largely) did. Even before the latest news, I've frequently found myself talking to her and frankly struggling to gather some semblance of an answer to questions like:
  • Why are so many encounters with law enforcement in America lethal?
  • Why is there such a quick escalation to the use of (lethal) force?
  • Why are Black Americans disproportionately affected?
Throughout all these questions, a terrifying thought emerged. As the more recent immigrant, my wife was viewing the issues of racial injustice taken to the extreme through a "fresher" lens, but what about me? In my adult life in this country, I witness racial tension in one form or another every day. But did I see injustice? Or did I just assume that it's a part of life, and carry on about my business? Had I become numb? Did I turn a blind eye? Am I a part of the problem?