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Enough is Enough

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I have asked myself many times this week, when will enough be enough? How many times do we have to see a black man killed in front of us by a police officer for us to say enough is enough?

It is not enough to not believe the stereotypes, to not tell that racist joke, to be nice to people of color. I can insert many lies I have told myself over the years here. I am guilty myself of thinking that I am doing enough, while black people are suffering everyday. I am ashamed of myself for being complacent for far too long. I can no longer sit on the sidelines and not actively take part in tearing apart a system that does not work for everyone. Society does not work unless it works for everyone in that society.

I tell myself I’m doing the best I can, but am I? I can do better; we all can. I liken it to trimming trees. We need to cut off the dead limbs and the branches that are sucking energy from the healthy part of the tree. To be stronger, grow taller and bear more fruit, the useless parts need to be cleared away.

I would like to say that it is time that we listen to the black people in our lives, but that time has long passed. Yes, we still need to listen, but the time now is for action. We have been told, and we have known for hundreds of years, that this is not working. Recognizing the problem is not enough. Taking steps to solve the problem is a good start, but also not enough. It is time to have conversations with the people we love about what we are doing to make things better every day. It is time to be in the trenches instead of standing aside thinking things will be better when the dust settles. It is time to fight, and to continue fighting, until there is some resolute change.

It is time to do more than just enough.

Deborah Unger lives in Graton.

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