Americans are dying by the hands of terrorists, the mentally unstable, and those who are supposed to protect and serve. 

Every day Americans are hurting. We’re overworked and underpaid. In a country where anyone can legally get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction, where terrorists can terrorize, where mothers warn their children of the very people who are meant to protect. 

We live in a time where one’s right to own said weapon of mass destruction is more important than the safety of us all. Let me say it again: We live in a time where it is more important to politicians, who are supposed to have OUR best interests in mind, that anyone can get their hands on a semi-automatic weapon instead of protecting our children who have been massacred. 

People aren’t just using muskets to fight our oppressor anymore. No, sick, wicked people are gunning down Americans on our own soil. With quick firing guns that can be legally obtained by just about anyone. And instead of implementing safer guidelines we point the finger at an entire group of people who practice a certain religion. I don’t know about you, but my Muslim friends don’t claim these extremists just as Christians don’t claim Timothy McVeigh and Eric Robert Rudolph. 

Today parents across the country are warning their sons and daughters of a threat behind a badge. It breaks my heart when my timeline is littered with graphic still shots and videos of another person of color gunned down by a cop. It equally breaks my heart when an officer loses their life. Is not every life precious? I believe with all of my soul that blue lives matter, just as I believe with all of my soul that black lives matter. 

Lives that are taken at routine traffic stops. Lives that are taken by racist vigilantes who get off scott free. 

There is even a presidential candidate running on a platform built on xenophobia, misogyny, and unapologetic hate. In 2016. 

What do I say to my friends of color when another innocent person is gunned down?  How do I explain to my child that he is considered less of a threat in our society because of the color of his skin? How do I explain to him that some of our friends have targets on their backs?

Even still, I love our country. I love our dedication to freedom and liberty, which is why I’m completely perplexed by our current standing. 

People have asked me why I care. Why do I care about black men when I’m a privileged white woman?  Because I’m an American. Because a threat to one American is a threat to me. Especially when an entire group of people have been marginalized and their deaths are justified. Just like when a gay night club was attacked and I cried rainbow tears. 

Because I’m a mother, and no mother should have to tell their child to be genuinely afraid of those who protect and serve. Especially when we have so many officers who literally give their lives to do so.  

It’s time for us all to realize that our country isn’t currently living up to the standard our Founding Fathers fought for. The voices of a few are screaming over the voices of many. We are governed by the interests of these few rather than what is best for us all. We live in a country who’s politicians value access to guns more than human lives. 

When these people promise liberty through the end of a rifle, is it really liberty?  When people point fingers at entire religion or skin color, is there really freedom?

Who’s blood has to spill for us to unite and shout “ENOUGH!” 

In this time of division we must all mourn together. We must all be livid with grief and demand action, together. Black lives matter. American lives matter. Enough is enough.

Brittany Cole

Not your average Southern Belle, Brittany is a native of Georgia living in South Florida. She attended Auburn University (WAR EAGLE!) where she received her Bachelors in Political Science and has a Masters in International Relations from The University of Oklahoma. Brittany has many passions in life, in addition to being a wife and mom. She loves all kitchen-based activities, traveling, being outdoors, reading, yoga, and dancing. When you cannot otherwise find her, check the local farmers market – she’s the one buying obscene amounts of kale and turnips. Britt lives every day by the Maya Angelou quote, “Do the best until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better”. Her mission in life is to raise a family of compassionate and empathetic humans while doing the best she can to make the world a more tolerant, beautiful place.