We can't stay silent: my thoughts on #AltonSterling and why #BlackLivesMatter

I'm a worrier. Whenever Ben leaves the house, I tell him to "be safe" in about nine different ways. I worry about car accidents, drunk drivers on the road, freak accidents, random abduction, but I've never, ever worried that someone would harm either one of us because of the color of our skin. What a privilege. Yesterday, I didn't post anything about ‪#‎altonsterling‬ because after reading about five Facebook posts about his murder and seeing that sweet, sweet smile on his face in the photo of him being circulated, I couldn't get myself to stop crying. He was the father of five, he was a child of God, and you can tell how wonderful he was just by looking into his sweet eyes in that photo. He died for no reason. He was not safe in the world that we live in - the same world that I live in. Our society failed him, and our society fails black people every day by failing to guarantee them the same sense of safety white people have. I can't imagine how afraid I would be if I were a black person living in America today, how afraid I would be every time I got pulled over, and how much more afraid I would be every time Ben got in the car, went to work, got a bite to eat, stood outside of a store or did any other number of normal things that should never cause one to be murdered. I am profoundly sad, but I also know I will do everything I can to raise our daughter in a different world than the one we're living in now. It's up to everyone who is as saddened and outraged as I am now to do everything they can to demand justice, to fight this, to ask for more. Write to your congressperson, stop telling people you don't get "involved" in these kinds of "political" debates (another privilege denied to many), speak up and refuse to be silent until this happens again. ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬

Laura Max Rose