I want to explain how to stop the riots, looting and protests since no one seems to know and no one else is saying it.
My son from Nigeria and my Russian/Ukrainian daughter from Ukraine thought it was important for me to tell you upfront that I am a rich white American woman using my knowledge of America and white privilege as authority.
My son from South Sudan said that things must change now. My biological American daughter that only dates black men said I was demanding too much change of people too fast.
My biological American son thought that it was a waste of my time since nothing in America ever changes and no one ever gets heard. But as a mom, I cannot sit by and watch all of you on both sides hurt.
A quick look through all recent media proves that what needs to happen is not out there, and moreover, it really seems like people do not know what to do.
So, let me tell you.
People are outraged, devastated and angry.
We do not feel safe and we do not feel as though our safety is a priority.
Minorities are upset this has happened to them all too many times, and whites are outraged that they have tried to stop this from happening and it continues.
Many are saying that the protests need to stop or calm down. The riots are taking away from the death of George Floyd. Force will be used if this continues.
But I can tell you, the protests are not going to end.
Not this time.
The protesters --- the people of the United States --- are saying:
“We no longer accept that this keeps happening, we are promised change, and then another person gets murdered.”
“We do not want to live in a country where this happens all the time and we are expected to shrug our shoulders, turn our backs, and go back to work.”
“We are not safe. Our families are not safe. This is society is not safe for us.”
“We do not want this for our friends, families, neighbors, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, and communities.”
“This is not the world we want to live in or raise families in.”
“We will no longer tolerate this in our society.”
We are not going home.
We are not sitting down.
We are not going to calm down.
On Monday, we are not going home, and we are not going back to work to get on with our lives like nothing happened while we wait for it to happen again.
Not this time.
If you want this to end, here is what has to happen:
That is what people want.
That is what it will take to get people to go home and stop protesting.
That is what we are waiting for.
We want to not only feel safe, but to actually be safe.
Do not waste your time telling people to be peaceful or threatening them with arrests and the National Guard. No one cares and everyone knows that can happen.
The people want change. Give it to them.
Until leaders in every community stand up, speak out, and hand over the change everyone wants, the protests will not end.
When the protesters and people on social media state, “there is no leadership,” they are not saying that no leader is standing up and stopping the people from rioting, looting and controlling the crowds with threats of arrest and the national guard.
They are saying that no leader has stood up and said, “OK. Here is what we are going to do to change things.”
Do not tell us there is no problem, because there is.
Do not tell us not all police are bad, we know that.
Do not tell us "All Lives Matter" because we know that.
Do not tell us that there will always be racism, because that is not the world we want to live in.
Give us the change we are protesting for.
Now since no one realized what would be necessary to end the protests let me suggest what a few of those things are that you should say to your community. Granted, this should differ depending on you and your community and I sincerely hope that you and your team take the time to tailor this to the needs of your people.
Start by saying, “We have heard you; we have seen you; we are also appalled and disgusted. We have listened to your concerns, and we agree, that it is time to change. We also do not want to raise our families in a community that tolerates such atrocities. So effective immediately, . . . ”
Now depending on who you are, a store owner, company CEO, senator, mayor, police chief, governor, senator, congressman, president, or member of the neighborhood watch group, whoever it is that decides to emerge as the leaders we need --- hopefully all of you, what comes next should be personal to your situation and your community but here are some rough ideas, and remember, the idea is that people want to feel safe, and to actually be safe, and to feel as though their safety is a priority:
OK, I get it. This cannot all happen tomorrow and is not possible in all communities. Obviously, this is not a well-thoughtout planned outline, but just what I could roughly brainstorm in a few minutes. I expect my leaders to come up with a plan much better than this, and better suited to their communities. But if I can do this in a few minutes, what could you do in an hour with your team? Afterall, this is the greatest country every created so the safety of our people should be a pretty easy thing to orchestrate.
The world we lived on May 25, 2020 is over. We will not sit quietly by and wait for it to happen again.
We simply want to feel safe, know we are safe, and know our safety is a priority.
Give us the change we are demanding or expect the protests to continue.
We will not go quietly into that good night. We are creating the future for our children and grandchildren and we expect that future to keep them safe as a god given human right.
I eagerly await your proposals and look forward to living peacefully in this new world with you. I am every mom with a black, white, Hispanic, Asian, minority, LGTBQ, child, partner, spouse, grandchild, nephew, niece, cousin, neighbor, or father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate that is losing sleep worrying about them.
P.S. We see you Genesee County Sheriff. We see you Miami-Dade County. Thank you.
Editor's note: Jody Martin is a mom of foster, adopted and biological children of all races and needs. She is educated in developmental sociology, ethics, justice studies, international and national adoptions, foster care, trauma, education, and special needs. She is an advocate of human and civil rights. She owns two businesses in Arizona.