For Kaden, Ashton, Adrian…

Dear Brittney,

I am sorry for how long
It took me to really see you,
to see the color of your skin.

No longer can I ignore your hurt a moment longer.

No longer can I shut out of my mind the abuse you and your people endure every day.

No longer can I ignore your pain anymore
Anymore than I can ignore my own.

—–

I am sorry that
I contributed to racism.

I am sorry that
I am only beginning to understand.

I am sorry that
I haven’t been a better friend.

I am sorry that
I didn’t see your hurt and pain.

—–

I am watching.
Watching how you raise your boys with respect and honor.

I am listening.
Listening to you share your hope and joy in spite of the deep deep sorrow you have had to carry since 200 years before you were even born.

I am learning.
Learning how I can be a white ally for justice. How I can use my white privelege to fight for Kaden. Ashton. Adrian.

I will fight for your boys,
in the same manner I fight
for my own son and daughter.

—–

It was no accident, no coincidence, no chance….the way we met
at LA fitness 11 years ago,

My Caden was just a toddler baby.
you were not yet a mom.

You watched baby Caden
in the childcare center
while i worked out in the gym.

You cared for and played with my son.
You shared your giant heart with him.

Later, you became a mom and named your firstborn son Kaden,
forever connecting us.

—–

Brittney, I am honored to know you.

I am in awe of your contagious
cheerfulness and hopeful spirit.

You are a resilient and brave woman
who recently defied illness and death.

This is no accident either.
This is the will of our great God!

We lost track of each other for many years.

We reconnected when I became a single mom

I’m so glad God had these plans for you and me.

—–

I am praying, praying, and praying…

And still there is hate in our world.
still there is predjudice
still there is racism
still there is injustice
sill there is rape, violence, murder.

I am so sorry, my friend
I am so so sorry

I see you hurting and

Now and finally, I raise my voice
to your cause, the cause to worry and fight for your black boys who better behave with respect and perfection at all times or they “may fit the profile”

and still it may cost them their lives…

because of hate
because of fear
because of privilege
because the unjust are not held accountable by our government and justice systems

I am so so so sorry friend

I know that doesn’t make it better

I imagine it may feel like being given a bandaid when you’ve been wounded by hand grenades, bombs, bullets, and knives your entire life.

—–

I hate that the world you and I live in is not the same.

I hate that I have privilege and better justice in my world…

just because
the color of my skin is white.

I hate that you, my friend,
and your boys
do not have the same privilege
as I and my children…

just because
the color of your skin is any shade darker than white.

I hate that
black men and women, girls and boys
are persecuted, villainized, murdered
Incarcerated, enslaved, forgotten—

Just because…
the color of their skin is black.

—–

Hate, fear, and prejudice combined
is a deadly, deadly recipe…

So is indifference,
and I will have no part!

I choose to acknowledge my sin.
I choose to apologize.
i choose to see your pain.
I choose to ask questions and listen.
I choose to have difficult
‘Awkward for me’ conversations.

i am sorry
i am watching
i am listening
i am learning
i am fighting
i am praying
i am raising my voice
for you and your boys

I am taking a stand for all to see
spelled out here in black and white

and still i know
it is not enough
my heart breaks

—–

I love you, dear friend.

I see your fierce mother’s love

A fire that cannot be stomped, crushed, or beaten out by hate.

I see the strength of God in your willpower to overcome injustice and darkness.

I honor you in this sacred time of revolution,
waking up and speaking out for racial injustice and abuse.

I am following your example.

this world may be hurting,
“yet still i rise”

this world may be suffocating
and yet still we rise

this world is abusive and scarring,
infintiely more so for you

and now I rise
for you and your sons…

kaden.
ashton.
adrian.

woman, show me the way

show me the way…

—–

With love,
Ruth Renee

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