When Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were shot, I didn't watch the videos.
They are too real, too sad. I don't want to see people hurting, bleeding, dying. But the very fact that I can decide whether to engage with them proves the problem -- my own white privilege.
I can pick and choose when to care about social justice -- when to be upset, when to take action, like it's a cute hobby, and not a matter of life and death. I can live in comfortable denial of reality. But many people in America don't have that luxury -- this is their lived experience everyday. And that is terrible and tragic.
So I watched the videos. And they sucked just as much as I thought they would. But I need to watch those videos, and see the raw grief on Twitter. I need to read friends' impassioned Facebook posts. This is reality, and I need to live in it. You do, too. Nothing is going to change unless white people like me come out of collective denial.
"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." I'd rather not mourn; I'd rather pretend their pain doesn't exist, but there's almost nothing more dehumanizing than ignoring someone's pain.
I don't have anything profound to say about this - or even anything that hasn't been said. All I know is that I absolutely cannot be silent.