So this is kind of why I write for young people

(After McKinney and hearing too many people say “Not everything is about race” as if somehow that would make it okay…)

Let’s say it’s not about race. If you take race completely out of the picture I think the evidence is clear–that particular officer brandishing a gun at nearly-naked teens is not fit for his duty; he has now resigned and that’s a good outcome.

Soooo even though I do think the event had something to do with racism, if I were wrong about that part my feeling would be essentially the same. If Dajerria Becton were some blonde white girl pushed to the ground in her bikini, I would still be horrified.

The job of the police officer is difficult, and not everyone is suited for the duty of protecting and serving. Sadly, this man in the video–he’s not behaving as one of those who match strength and compassion with calmness and integrity; for I have known such men and such women. Or if he ever was like them, he lost his way.

I can empathize with this person who is totally losing his shit in public, and wish privacy for his family and healing for whatever’s gone sideways in his heart.

But my sympathies are ultimately with the young, because even if they behave in unacceptable ways (which I don’t think these kids were, but even if I’m wrong) they are new in the world still. And because they shoulder the burden of our hopes–that the world will remain a living world, that our stories will still be told after we are gone–they deserve our kindness and not our fear. Our love and not our violence. Shelter and not rage.

They deserve better.

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