It is incomprehensible that a young man who, from stories of people who knew him well, loved the police could die at their hands. It is the cruelest irony.
My Charles has Down syndrome. My Charles is a stocky, strong thirteen year old. My Charles could be in Ethan's situation, one day. I am terrified at that thought.
We are told to teach our children independence. They want and deserve as much freedom as possible. But, how do you prepare your child for something like this? How do I tell my boy that the good guys, the ones you need to go to if you need help, aren't always good? Which of course, is the way of the world. You can't tell by looking who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. It would certainly make things easier if you could.
But, surely, SURELY our children can trust those whose job it is to protect and serve. Right? RIGHT?!?!
I am sick and sad and angry, so angry. When I put myself in Ethan's mom's shoes for even a second, the grief is overwhelming. Then, I realize that I am in her shoes. We all are. Ethan is our friend, our neighbor, our brother, our child. He is US.
If nothing else, I hope this is a spark.
I want this to be the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
No more back of the bus for Ethan, or Charles or any other individual with intellectual disabilities. It's about damn time that everyone wakes up to the fact, THE FACT, not the idea, but THE FACT that no one is better than anyone else. No race, no religion, no income bracket, no IQ makes you worth more than my son. He is you.