Will: Hi friends, this is Will from Tales from the Waystone. This won’t be a normal episode because these are especially abnormal times. We are taking part in the podcast blackout this week, a movement started by the podcast Cult 45. As you are probably aware, we as a society are experiencing upheaval as a result of the ongoing brutality perpetrated by our police forces here in the U.S. Our regularly scheduled episodes should resume next week. As middle-class white people living in a blue state, we were taught that the police were here to protect citizens. It is becoming more and more obvious that the citizens our police force ‘protects’ are people that look like us - at least at first glance. The following is an incomplete list of black people who have been killed by police officers and hate crime in the past eight years alone:

 

Trayvon Martin, Age 17, died 2012.

Tamir Rice, Age 12, died 2014.

Michael Brown, Age 18, died 2014.

Eric Garner, died 2014.

Sandra Bland, Age 28, died 2015.

Freddie Gray, Age 25, died 2015.

Alton Sterling, Age 37, died 2016.

Philando Castile, Age 32, died 2016.

Botham Jean, Age 26, died 2018.

Atatiana Jefferson, Age 28, died 2019.

Ahmoud Arbery, Age 25, died 2020.

Doug Lewis, Age 39, died 2020.

Breonna Taylor, Age 26, died 2020.

George Floyd, Age 46, died 2020.

Phoenix: Will and I are painfully aware that we are among the most privileged in our society, due to nothing other than our skin color. Cards on the table, we’re not without our share of prejudices. We were conflicted on whether or not to participate in the podcast blackout. I admit that if the people lost to this brutality were identified specifically as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, we would have been much more willing to publicly stand up. However, silence in the face of acts of murder is tantamount to endorsement of it.

It shouldn’t have had to take seeing a photo of a little girl being doused with milk to help soothe her face and eyes after the police in Seattle pepper-sprayed her during a protest. SEATTLE of all places - where we tout our liberal values and celebrate social justice. A place where Will and I lived most of our lives and felt at home.
It shouldn’t have had to come down to seeing a facebook post from a friend who is Latino saying that if you’re not sure how to help with your privilege that you just need to start somewhere.

It shouldn’t be because my best friend’s husband is black. It shouldn’t be because our brother in law is latino, or because one of our dearest friends is trans and latina.

We need to speak out because we care about the lives lost, and the people who are afraid to take a walk in their neighborhood without their daughter or their white floofy dog at their side.

We aren’t perfect, but we can be better. 

 

Will: Our neighbors deserve better. To all of those out protesting and mourning, we send our love and solidarity. Black lives matter. Black hopes matter. Black dreams matter. Black futures matter.

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