Writing about what I have been reading and encountering in the media.
|Dear Sandra Bland,
I hear your sister, your family attorney, and some others interviewed on TV speaking carefully, with excellent reasoning, on your behalf. I hear the voices of the Texas people in the town where you arrived as a stranger claiming you were “mental,” using pot, and that you killed yourself. Some are saying a suicide could be the result of a drug reaction due to lack of a prescription drug. The talk goes on. Since your death, concern about what happened to you has been constant in the media. The video of your arrest is played over and over. Any resistance that I had to hurting over your pain is long gone.
Today, I remember being stopped a few months ago by a state police officer. When I asked why I was being stopped. The answer he gave was “a white SUV drove by me speeding. I thought it might have been you.” That did not sound reasonable to me. It frightened me. He looked at my license and insurance verification and let me go. The fear stayed with me. That fear is reaching out to your fear, identifying, changing my heart rate and respiration, and longing to give you back your heart beat, your respiration, and I can’t.
I can’t help you. I can’t protect you. I can’t protect your family, your friends. I can’t protect the people who were prepared to welcome you to your new job. I can’t protect your community. I know the difference between my stop and your stop is very small. I wish the outcome was equally small. This is a futile wish. I am lost in futility wishing to help you.
I hope there are many all over our nation feeling what I am feeling about you and those many, many others deep in the sadness of mistreatment and death related to injustice. I hope people all over joining their voices to speak up on your behalf will soon be heard and heeded.
I pray for peace to fill your soul. I pray the love being expressed for you by so many is filling your ears. They are playing “Strange Fruit” on your behalf. I hope you can hear as your voice is amplified and the effort to create justice is strengthened. Thank you for the gifts you gave.
With deepest respect,