This photo feels different today.
It’s part of a series we did in Minneapolis in 2020 after George Floyd was killed by police. We asked the community, “What do you want to say?”
This woman simply replied, “Am I next?”
So here we are. Two years after #GeorgeFloyd. One week after #Buffalo. The morning after #Texas.
I read a statistic the other day that 75% of Black Americans worry that they, or someone they love, will be a victim of racial violence.
My wife and my teacher friends talk about lockdown drills and how to prepare the students for safety without creating a pervasive sense of fear and danger.
I watched our son run lighting and video for a concert venue last week and more than once during the show, scanned the room and wondered what my exit strategy would be…just in case.
I think of the high levels of anxiety and uncertainty in our youth today and wonder what part of that is attached to an ongoing sense of vulnerability.
Today, I mourn the loss of lives. But I also mourn the loss of safety. The loss of connection. The loss of sanctuary. And the loss of the collective will to change.
We’ve seen this before. And what have we done?
A memory of a social studies class from my youth tugs at me. The teacher was explaining the historical practice of ritual sacrifice…to appease angry gods…to solidify power and station in life…to ensure future prosperity.
I remember my younger mind thinking, “that’s unreasonable and horrific and foreign.” But today I think, “Here it is. It’s all around us.”
What kind of world do we want to live in? What is the price we are willing to pay?