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My husband is black and a cop – why would I take sides?

Kimberly Simmons

I met my husband while we both were working in corrections. These days, it’s hard being a black woman married to a black man who is also blue. It’s hard raising black boys into black men in a society where our men seem to have a target on their backs.

Being black and blue in America right now is difficult and confusing. If I speak out against the injustices in our community, then somehow that means I have no respect for law enforcement. If I speak for the law enforcement community, which I love and have worked in and am still a part of, then somehow I’m not standing against the reckless and repulsive slaughter of my people. But neither is true.

More: My husband’s a cop, and right now I wish he were deployed

It is in fact possible to appreciate law enforcement and understand that not all cops show up on shift with the same agenda while also being emotionally exhausted about these tragic deaths and fearful for the future of my children. My grief for the loss of life in the law enforcement community doesn’t make me any less of a black mother, just like the melanin that I possess doesn’t automatically make me a threat against law enforcement.

I mourn the senseless loss of life in the black community at the hands of law enforcement officials. I mourn the senseless loss of life in the law enforcement community at the hands of angry radicals unaware or unconcerned that more hate and more death are not the answers that we all seek.

I am a black woman who is also blue. I cry for the families who have lost loved ones — both black and blue alike. I pray for my husband, his co-workers and our friends for their safe return home to their families at the end of every shift. I’m angry. I’m nervous. I’m in love. I’m in fear. I bear frustration. I live in happiness. I crave change. I fear death.

I desire the same thing that every other wife and mother of every other color and nationality does: happy and healthy children raised in peace and love. It just so happens that I belong to both communities that are on opposite sides of the same issues right now, and for me, that is heartbreaking. How can I teach my sons to be cautious of the people wearing the same uniform as the hero that tucks them into bed at night? How is it I must pray the same prayer — that my husband returns home alive — whether he’s wearing jeans or Kevlar? How do I live with knowing someone may take his life just because of the color of his skin or the color of his uniform?

More: We can grieve black and blue lives at the same time

Please don’t tell me that my frustrations are unfounded. Don’t tell me that my fears are unfounded. Don’t disrespect or disregard my opinion or my stance simply because I have a loyalty to both of the communities that are being affected. Don’t question that loyalty because I respect both the color of my husband’s skin and the uniform that he dons on a daily basis. Do not, with the same mouth that you scream, “All black people are NOT criminals,” say that all cops are evil.

With tears streaming down my face, I write this. With tears streaming down my face, I pray. With tears streaming down my face, I mourn. With tears streaming down my face, I’m angered and confused, and lost, and emotionally exhausted.

Black lives matter, but blue lives matter too.

More: Alton Sterling’s death changes the conversation for every black family

Originally published on BlogHer.

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