The violent deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and five Dallas police officers last week, have forced all of us within the U.S. to reckon with the acute racial tensions, disparities and injustices in our nation. No longer can we assume things are better in this sense, when these atrocities indicate we are far from a state of progress. The fact is that America is still reeling from the narratives of white supremacy and the resulting effects of slavery and segregation, and if we ever hope to effectively experience a mending within our nation between the races, we will have to make legitimate and consistent efforts to allow people of every color to be heard, validated and understood. These are fundamental human needs that are central to healing breaches of trust between racial groups in the U.S. today, and they are essential to the development of safety within the process of reconciliation.
I could say more on this issue, however my brevity is couched in a firm persuasion that the first step towards racial reconciliation is less about words, and more about an ardent willingness to listen to the experiences, injustices and heart cries of all who have carried the burden of petty and unconscionable narratives placed upon them, telling them they are inferior. It is only after we have listened closely, and allowed empathy and vulnerability to consume our hearts, that we will be able to see how we have allowed so many beautiful people of color to suffer for so long in this country, "the land of the free and the home of the brave."
There is indeed no question that bravery will be required for us to face our prejudices and fears, and to by God's grace lovingly face each other and cleave to our common humanity, so that all men, women and children in this great nation can actually say...
"I am free."
Eric Gomez, MS LMFT MHP
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Fulfilled Christian Counseling