The following was originally written as a social media post by St. Philip member Win Kurlfink. He posted this YouTube video along with his thoughts on current events including the death of George Floyd, police brutality, racism, and Black Lives Matter protests.
I’m 55 years old and white.
I’ve done a lot of stupid, sometimes illegal, stuff. I'm not proud of any of it. But, I have never ever been harassed by police. I have been treated kindly and issued warnings when I could have been ticketed. I have no memory of any incident when the officer was less than civil — except once a young officer was extremely rude to me after I failed to signal a right turn. He let me go anyway.
I’ve never feared police. It has always been easy for me to remain respectful.
I’m a decent man, but no better than any other ordinary man. I’m certain of this. If I didn’t know better I might think this is how all encounters with police resolve. I might have a conversation with my children instructing them to seek the help of a trustworthy police officer if ever they are in trouble. You might think I’m too old to have children young enough for this conversation, but you’d have made an inaccurate assumption.
I do know better. How many black and brown people my age have that sort of story — that sort of life history of their encounters with law enforcement? Every one of my black and brown friends and colleagues — each an ordinary decent and loving person like me — will describe life on a very different planet when asked about their experiences with police.
I’ve heard about the conversation ordinary, decent black and brown parents are obligated to have with their children. What loving instructions can they offer?
I don't believe there are no good police officers. I never said, "Blue lives don’t matter." Or that some lives should be given greater privilege over all others. What I am saying is that “Black Lives Matter” is the conversation we’re having right now and I ask respectfully that we do not prematurely change the subject. Ninety-nine percent of protesters across the country are equally respectful, and deeply justified in their passionate insistence that we face our fears and cultural insecurities so we may see our way to justice — to truth and reconciliation.