Fellow Suburbanites: Join Me Right Now in Doing Something to Help End Police Brutality

Hello and welcome, fellow suburbanite:

I am confident you have seen the horrifying footage of black people losing their lives violently at the hands of police forces across this country. These deaths occur in cities, rural areas, and suburbs. This violence could and does occur anywhere. However, most white communities and neighborhoods do not discuss race much, if at all. We are thus called upon to bring our neighbors’ attention to brutalities and call for justice.

These horrors may seem far away, and in the face of seemingly insurmountable racial divisions it may seem hopeless to change the current order. In these times of entrenchment, the situation may seem so dire and requiring of such monumental social engagement that no one person could make a difference. Resist these feelings. As people with a certain degree of emotional distance from the horrors, it is our responsibility to take on emotional weight and fight for our siblings of color. You, too, can make your voice heard in your community! Suburbs are insulated and often feel separated from social events. Thus, as people with privilege in these communities, it is our job to use every microphone and opportunity to change minds. It may be unrealistic for us to expect suburbs to become places of radical political action. However, we can move in that direction by increasing awareness of rampant police brutality.

(Public photo: credit to https://www.flickr.com/photos/welcometoalville/3270672561)

That is why I am inviting you to join me in writing to local leaders and media outlets to bring attention to this issue and call for justice. Taking on racism in the suburbs may seem overwhelming, but it begins with steps like writing letters to local clergy and faith leaders as well as local newspapers. We must ensure that no one can say they have not heard of the atrocities committed by people sworn to protect. Bringing steadfast words into local newspapers and places of faith is one step toward getting people engaged and aware of the inhumanity of what is happening to our friends of color.

I have compiled a short list of statistics and citations for you to use in your writings. Write to your local metropolitan newspaper. Write to your town paper. Write to your pastor or a clergy member from a church you don’t go to. Engage people. Let them know about the horrific acts and what they can do to bring an end to this racial violence. I, for one, will begin by writing to the Savage Pacer, and make my way on to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

This Mic article is a good resource for statistics:

This Huffington Post article is a great description of a possible solution:

An easy to use database from The Guardian: you can filter by race and state:

Let’s come together to inform our neighbors and bring justice.