I know this is just my point of view and/or opinion. I'll put that right up front.
I know there is white privilege. I know I experience this as a white, blonde female. I know that I have fears of my own. After being attacked by 2 Hispanic men in front of my apartment in 2010, my anxiety has sky rocketed to extreme proportions. I know that incident doesn't make all Hispanic men bad or evil.
But I'm still scared.
I'm also sad of being so scared.
I'm sad that when a group of Hispanic men walk in my store, my first thought is to flee. This is before they have even spoken to me. This has happened more than once.
I don't want to be that judgemental of a person who hasn't even spoken to me yet.
When I go to an event, and the general population of that event is largely Hispanic, I don't want to feel uncomfortable or like I need to leave immediately.
My body physically reacts to these situations. Sadly, I now grab my purse a little tighter. I walk a little further away. I get closer to my husband for protection.
Before the attack, I had dated a Hispanic man. It was all good until, one night, I ended up at a Cuban bar at 1am with him and a group of people and had no idea this is where we were going. Back then, I was unquestioning and naive. Now, I need to have all of the answers before going anywhere.
I hate that I feel this way!
On Thursday, I was walking and looked down and saw an ant scurrying on it's way. I thought, "I could step on that! But I won't. That would be taking another life!" So, I didn't. We both went along our way.
Thursday is the day we all started learning about the deaths of 2 black men at the hands of police officers. Then, as the night went on, there was the deaths of 5 police officers at the hands of one black man in Dallas, TX.
A friend posted this poem on Facebook yesterday about fear by Nikki Giovanni.
I think of the police men and how they feel about taking another life. Is the sadness and regret as bad as the Tin Man's? They didn't go to work that day and say, "I'm going to take another human's life!"
I feel sadness for all of the families that lost their fathers/sons/brothers/uncles/husbands.
These men, all of them, the black men and the police officers who lost their lives this week were all humans with souls. Fear was in control.
I don't want fear to control me anymore. I want to be able to live my life and be happy. I want to love and trust everyone. Two Hispanic men took that ability away from me. When I travel, I now have to be drugged with anxiety medication to do a lot of things.
We are traveling to Dallas, TX soon, and I don't want to be heavily medicated the whole time we are there due to my fears and all that has happened in the past couple days.
I have friends and family of all races. I don't want to wake up and find out something happened to any of them because of someone's fear.