We have to do better than this.

I am sitting at my kitchen table and I am crying because I can’t even begin to understand what is happening in our country right now. People killing cops because they’re angry. Cops killing people because they’re angry? scared? because they can? People killing each other in the streets and in nightclubs and in cars and on trains and in alleys and in broad daylight for reasons or for no reason, out of hate and fear and inequality and injustice. More than 2,000 people shot in my city so far this year – SO FAR THIS YEAR.

For a long time, I didn’t think I wanted kids because I worried about the state of this world. I wondered whether it was fair to gift a small, defenseless person with a planet as profoundly screwed as ours. Back then, my fears were mostly about overpopulation, about the planet running out of resources, about the environment my child would grow up in being that much worse than the one I experienced.

Now that I have a child, it’s like – how can I even care about that stuff when a three year old was shot close to my work in the last few weeks? When a man was killed by a cop during a routine traffic stop? When a woman was killed by a stray bullet in our neighborhood while sitting in her car talking on her phone? And if I have those fears as a middle-class white woman with a white partner and white son – how much worse must it be for my friends who don’t have the inherent privilege that comes with being born white in America? For my friends who fear every day for the safety of their black husbands and black sons? For my friends who practice other religions, or come from other countries where the hateful expressions of a few color the perceptions of the many?

I’m sitting here at my kitchen table crying because it’s all too much, and I feel too small to do anything that means anything beyond loving my son and raising him to be a good man. There has to be more than this. We have to do better than this.

If you’re feeling like me right now, with your heart in your hands, here are a few places to start:

  • This Twitter thread has a long list of things that you can do RIGHT NOW to learn about police practices in your city, and to start reaching out to people who can do things to change them.
  • Campaign Zero articulates specific policies and agendas that can move us forward as communities and as a country
  • Find your Senator. Call them. Write them an email. Write them a letter. Tell them how you feel and what you want to see changed.
  • Find your Representative. Call them.
  • Find your state legislator. Call them as well.
  • Hold the ones you love closer tonight.
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