June 11, 2020 | By neighborhoodev

I will Never Understand

8 minutes 46 seconds. Handcuffed, begging, pleading, calling out to his deceased mother. A life was taken, for what? I watched the video in its entirety, crying, the names of the young men and women I work with racing through my mind. How long until we have to march for their justice? How long until we have to say their name? I will never understand.

I will never understand how it feels to be black in this country. I will never understand the fear of seeing a cop car behind me while I drive. I will never understand the feeling of having to look over my shoulder while I’m running because I might be hunted. I will never understand how it feels to be labeled before I even walk in for an interview. I will never understand my options or access to resources being limited because of the color of my skin. I will never understand.

But I’m here. I’m with you. I’m hurt. I’m angry. I’m ready to listen. I’m ready to learn. My skin tone will not keep me content with the way things have been. I will not hide behind my privilege any longer but use it to tear down the system that oppresses people of color. I will continue to be in the community building relationships, and loving my neighbor. I will use my voice to lift high those who have been pushed down. I will never understand, but I will stand with you.

-TJ Keeter