I put off my 2.23 mile run last Friday for as long as possible. It didn't feel right. I didn't feel right. My legs and my heart were heavy. My social feeds had been an outpouring of grief and solidarity and of collective outrage turned action. We mourn for Ahmaud Aubrey and are heartbroken for his family, not just because his light was snuffed out and not because he was a one-of-us runner, but because we know his death was needless and avoidable and we failed to protect him.
This was a week of confronting once again this grotesque reality of America that is ignorance and privilege and entitlement weaponized. An America of fear and hate and intolerance. An America that spits in the face of the Life, Liberty, and Justice ideals it claims to hold so sacred.
This is an America where white males feel entitled to—and have the privilege to—hunt down and detain and murder a man in the streets because he is black. Where armed lynch mobs act with impunity cloaked in a contrived, counterfeit patriotic duty to protect a fictional America from “others”.
As a white male, I am especially complicit in this. I am part of the problem and the perpetuation of this endless barrage of hate and fear and death. I don’t confront and condemn these injustices when I see them; instead retreating into my bubble of like-minded friends and looking on bewildered as atrocities pile up around us. But the cost of inaction is too high and I can no longer afford it.
So, this is an open invitation to anyone, but especially to other white males: if you’ve read this far and you disagree with or don’t understand the outrage, or you feel any amount sympathy with Ahmaud’s killers, let’s talk. I want to hear your questions and thoughts and I want a chance to tell you mine. I want a chance to tell you why the men who murdered Ahmaud represent the absolute worst of us and are the antithesis of any version of America that makes sense to me. And I want your help in reaching others and showing them a path forward that isn’t paved with fear and intolerance and more avoidable deaths.
Until then, Liberty and Justice... especially for Ahmaud.