As I was scrolling through all of the wonderful birthday messages I received this past week and really feeling the love a Facebook memory popped up. I momentarily felt that familiar sense of sadness. It was 7 years ago that we experienced this horrifying incident. I have included the original post at the end of this blog for those of you who may have missed it. I asked myself have things gotten better or have they gotten worse? Over one thousand people shared this post. They could not believe that this happened to my husband. I would like to hear from all of you.
How are we doing as a country, a community, as human beings? Are we learning to honor our connection as a universal family? We are not simply one nation under God we are one species, a human family under God, and yet Have we achieved liberty and Justice for all? Every year when I am reminded of this day my heart hurts and I feel a sense of overwhelm and grief. I’ve done something with that pain and I recognize that my reaction this year is decidedly different. This was part of the transformational work that went into writing my book Know Justice Know Peace. I used that pain and anger to give birth to something that might help us begin to address the issues of “othering” in all its ugly forms. Racial profiling is one of the many painful ways that impact our lives and create division and suffering. Let’s work together and put an end to treating anyone created by God as less than. I made an intentional decision to be a part of the solution. You can too.
Read Know Justice Know Peace and take your place in making the world a just, kind, safe, and inclusive place for all of humanity.
Order your copy KNOW JUSTICE KNOW PEACE: A Transformative Journey of Social Justice, Anti-Racism, and Healing through the Power of the Enneagram by Deborah Threadgill Egerton, Ph.D. with Lisi Mohandessi
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Posted by Deborah Threadgill Egerton on Facebook March 18, 2016:
"There are times when things happen that are so painful, bizarre and unnecessary that all you can do for the moment is rant. Please forgive this as it is coming from a very deep emotional place and I have to share this with the world because so many people do not believe that these things happen.
Today my husband went out for his early morning run, something he has done for the 14 years that we have lived in our home. The same route, the same man. You can set your clock by Gene's morning run before he enters the Arena club to complete his workout. This morning that run was interrupted by 2 sheriff's deputies, one from the front and another from the side. Gene was told to stop running. He stopped put his hands out, was then told to get on the ground and they proceeded to handcuff him. They questioned him (on the ground and handcuffed) checked out his info and then let him sit up, eventually removing the handcuffs and letting him go..... He was calm, polite, respectful and cautious and he was able to walk away unharmed. Physically. This elegant and magnificent man had to endure being treated like a criminal for what reason? I'm sorry but I have just had it with this kind of inhumane treatment and I hope no one responds "but he didn't get shot". There is nothing about Gene's appearance that would trigger "this man has just committed a crime" Maybe it was his orange reflective vest that he wears over his UnderArmor running gear.... or perhaps the grey in his hair. No, it wasn't any of those things. It was the color of his skin.
So for all the people who think that this only happens to the people who deserve it, the thugs, murderers, robbers and otherwise criminals think again. If you are part of my fb family you all know this husband, father, grandfather and friend. When I think of the times when he has sat on the ground next to someone who was hurt or needed help when he didn't even HAVE to stop, but he did because as a doctor he is always willing to see what he can do to help. Funny thing. No one going into the arena club came over and asked what's going on here? 14 years in this neighborhood, working out at that club and today he was just another black man on the ground. My heart is broken.
If you think that this will inform someone's perspective on the daily indignities that are so common for us as a people please share. I'm angry and hurting not just because this happened to my husband. We've certainly had our share of demeaning and insulting behaviors come our way in our lifetime because we are a black family. I started a company 19 years ago to do the healing work of diversity and inclusion to be a part of the solution and not just complain about the problem.So now I want all of you who know me to let it be known that this is NOT OK. And become a part of the solution. Give 'see something say something' a whole new meaning."