For many people (especially people who are white, like me, male, like me), it has taken too long to say, vocally, clearly, that the brutality of police in this country towards black people is unacceptable.

It is not a coincidental collection of mistakes, it is the result of a system that knowingly encourages actions that result in the deaths of black men and black women.

It is not “a few bad apples” but rather the oft forgotten spoiling of the whole barrel portion of that saying.

Yes, it is the officer who kneels on a black man’s neck.

Yes, it is the officers who watch as that man begs to be allowed to breathe, officers who do nothing to stop a murder happening before their very eyes.

Yes, it is the police departments who do not immediately charge the killer and the observers.

Yes, it is the highest-ranking authorities who do not punish the departments for allowing murderers to walk free with guns in their hands, ready to perpetuate the cycle of violence again.

And yes, it is the wasted time and energy of the (overwhelmingy white) people who will defend any of the above.

I am no authority in this, but I do have a platform from which to speak, a group of people who can come here and see one more person saying this cannot be allowed to continue. Because…

Black. Lives. Matter.

And our system of policing, of governing, of existing as a society, does not treat black people as if that statement were true.

I am taking steps in my own life to help make sure this changes. In addition, below I’ve provided links to some accounts that represent the kind of videos and essays that helped to grow my (still growing, still mistake-making) understanding of this issue.

Emmanuel Acho - Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

MKBHD - Reflecting on the Color of My Skin

Henny tha Bizness - Being a Black Man in America

Lavar Burton - This is My Story