A subconscious racial bias, fueled by a lack of empathy and ignited by a 24 hour news cycle is the suicide bomb that has destroyed our society and our sanity. The crippling fear and helplessness I feel this morning as a mother raising children in this world is almost too much to handle, but you ask “Why are you worried? You aren’t black or a law enforcement family. You don’t fall into either of those demographics.” But I do. I am that mother whose child is comforting her as we watch the man in our life die in front of us. I am that wife whose husband won’t come home from his police shift tonight. The fact is, we are global citizens of this world. There is no we vs. they, us vs. them. We are all one human heart and we beat together and bleed together and die together. I am constantly dumbfounded as I see how the diversity that paints the landscape of this country, and that I value so much, is used as a catalyst for fear. A fear that is manipulated and molded into whatever we want it to be by a 24-hour news cycle and social media access which will spin stories into specific versions that they want each of us to see. Guerrilla-style fear mongering. Constant bombardment of fear and hatred, catered specifically to our own demographic. Fueling a hatred which is then used to justify senseless, irrational actions. I feel paralyzed in the face of a problem so big and so engrained into our culture, but inaction is not an option. There are big cultural shifts that need to take place. There need to be conversations- about stopping the denial that white supremacy is subconsciously in the minds of all people in this country, about equality, acceptance, peace- and several important platforms where these conversations need to happen- in the government, in schools, in churches. But these conversations have to start in our homes. If there is any hope for peace and change, it has to start with us. We have to do better. We have to be conscious of the sources of news that we are allowing to take up our precious mind-space. We have to be raw and vulnerable and honest with our families about what is really happening out there. We have to talk about hate and allow no place for it in our homes. We have to raise our children to be accountable for their actions. We have to love and expect love in return. We have to assume the best in people and not allow fear to define the way we interact with one another. We have to put in the effort and not go on living resolved to the fact that “things will never change”. They will. They have to. If any of us are going to make it in this world, they have to.