black lives matter

I was in no way prepared for the images I saw on television this weekend.

The death of George Floyd while in police custody was a terrible reminder of the racial inequality that exists in this country.

I’m a 61 year old white man. I have lived a life of privilege. I cannot relate to what it is like to be a black person in America. I just can’t. But I can try to understand.

I interviewed Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller on the show. He’s a 69 year old African American. He’s seen a lot and lived a lot. He told me that in the last few weeks, someone has called him the “n” word. That’s how said it on TV.  It had to do with some of his positions on Coronavirus and keeping the county safe.  It’s because of his opinions that someone called him the “n” word.

We all know what it means. Is there a more horrible word? I think not.

Today, a young African American man was in my home. A service call. On his way out, we talked about all this. He said that sometimes people just “get tired and have to do something.” His words, “get tired” stuck with me.

I think we are there. Tired. When I asked Commissioner Miller what he thought of people of all races participating in these protests, he said he thinks it’s a sign that we have seen enough of racism in this country.

He also used the word… “tired.”

I took a late afternoon walk on Bayshore Boulevard.  I saw several police cars.  Then, I saw protestors. Peaceful protestors. They were walking the street shouting their messages, “Black Lives Matter” and  “I Can’t Breathe.”

It was a mix of all races. They were young. They were involved. They were tired.

But are we, are all of us “tired enough?” Now, that’s what we have to ask ourselves. Every time there is a school shooting, we ask why again? Are we tired enough? Now, another person has died needlessly while living as a black person in America. Are we tired enough of that, too?

I can’t keep reporting this news. I just can’t. I’m broken over this. I’m tired of it. I’m tired enough.

We have to fix this. We can’t continue down this path. Tired enough. Maybe it will lead to better days. It has to…

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