To Become a White Ally

Unlike my friend Iris, I have lived pretty recently in a very racially diverse town, Tacoma…and I miss that more than I can say. Now that I live on such a white island, though, she speaks my mind very closely in this post. Please, read on.

Iris Graville

The sun was setting on the August night my husband and I tuned our television to an empty courtroom in Ferguson, Missouri. Along with thousands of other Americans, we awaited the verdict of the grand jury’s review of police officer Darren Wilson’s actions in the death of Michael Brown. Finally, Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch read for several minutes from a statement that acquitted Officer Wilson.

I found the jury’s decision hard to believe, despite McCulloch’s detailed account of the facts it considered.

Then, just three months later, another grand jury acquitted another police officer, this time Daniel Pantaleo, in the death of Eric Garner. I didn’t hear the jury’s verdict that time, but I read the words, and I watched the video of the scene the day that Garner was arrested. This acquittal was even more unbelievable.

I felt grief and anger that neither of these police officers were…

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