I took the kid to see the UNCA women's basketball team play tonight. We were having a blast, goofing off and eating ice cream.
At half time, a group of about 25 zealous college students walked onto one side of the stands holding Ferguson-esque protest signs and chanting "hands up, don't shoot". .....
Up until that point, I had not taken notice of how many blacks, whites or other races were in the arena. Up until that point, I was only experiencing one human race, enjoying a game of basketball and some ice cream with the kid. Up until that point, I didn't notice that there were 3 black cops and 4 white ones. Up until that point, I didn't perceive any threats or begin to pigeon hole any attendees.
As I looked around, a black lady cheered, a Hispanic "looking" guy joined the protest. An older white male walked away shaking his head and smiling, a 20 something black male shook his head in disgust, and walked away smiling. I started to get irritated. The chant was annoying.
Don't get me wrong. I'm devastated that a life was lost and that a police officer was in that position. It sucks for everyone. I can only imagine what each person involved; family members, co workers, witnesses etc are going through, and I hope that I never have to experience anything like it.
But, I was there to enjoy the game with like minded people.
And then I felt grateful. Thankful that we live in a place where we are free to make a sign, and sing a chant. To promote what we believe in.
In hindsight, I wish I had walked over and hugged each one of the protestors.