I’m exhausted from the pain. The pain of injustice, the pain of racism, the pain of America’s history toward men and women of color, the pain of violence. I’m exhausted from the pain of ubiquitous silence from those in power and privilege to advocate true reform. I’m exhausted from demanding change. This is a new form of pain.
As a father of two young sons, it pains me to keep having these conversations about the world they live in, the dangers they must navigate, and the system they are part of simply due to the covert and overt criminalization of their skin color. I’m exhausted trying to give them hope when the very people I tell them to go to in time of profound crisis are the very same people I fear could hurt or kill them. I’m exhausted trying to honor the good cops I know while the bad ones continually destroy or disregard countless black and brown lives. I’m exhausted from this pain.
I know that I must do my part to stand with all those brave souls on the peaceful protesting frontlines and not allow widespread American silence to remain racist consent. I know my sons must witness me taking this action so they too will realize that reform starts with us, all of us. I must do better to continually model for my sons the balance it takes to live a free and authentic life within the dangerous boundaries of racism.
I’m hopeful we can all do better, in our mental health field, in our work, with our families and friends. I believe we can all do better and can no longer sit idle while others engage in the battle for the spirit, integrity, and justice of this great nation. I believe in the hope of our humanity and the peace I endeavor to give my patients. I hope for peace. I hope for true reform in America.
May your soul rest in peace George Floyd.
Dr. William James Jones
2016 PhD Clinical Psychology