Systematic racism DOES exist, and it takes it's toll on society by unraveling families. I have witnessed it first hand. Many of my family members and friends have experienced it. If you doubt that it exists, watch the video of the devastated young man who is sobbing over the loss of his father. You can already see the impact that it will have on his life. Now remember his face the next time that you decide to make a joke about how the black father is absent from black families. Too many Black men are extricated from families by police violence.
My grandfather served in the United States Army in World War II. He landed at Normandy Beach and was in the Battle of the Bulge, comforting the wounded and holding the hands of the dying as Assistant Chaplain, and yes fighting with other soldiers. He traveled all over Europe with relative freedom outside the spheres of American influence. When the war was over in the European theater, he came back home to an unfriendly, life-threatening reception. On the train ride back to Monroe, Louisiana, he and other Black soldiers had to go to the back of the train once they crossed the Mason-Dixon line. He was met at the train station by his mother. She told him to stay on the train and keep going. A lynch mob which included local police officers had already beaten and hanged a black serviceman, still in uniform, who returned to Monroe. Telling him to go was her way of protecting my Papa. No hero's welcome. No reunion with his family. Traumatized by the dangerous, segregated environment, it would be almost 15 years before he saw a member of his family again, and it is only because he returned to Monroe for a funeral. It is a Fact that as a result of systematic racism, black families continue to be split apart by police violence or the threat of it, unjust incarcerations, and unequal treatment.
My family is filled with military servicemen and law enforcement officers who have served and continue to sacrifice for their communities and this country. They are also black, latino, and white. I fear for their safety too. I know that not all police officers are bad, but I am certain that not enough is being done to protect the "good" ones from the toxic social effects of those who do dishonor the badge? When will this stop? My tears are uncontrollable. My heart is broken. I hold my children close and pray for guidance in doing my part to help improve this state of affairs.