Today I read a very heartbreaking article in the newspaper online about a wonderful, young man,  Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, being shot to death in Raleigh, NC, the most recent place I called home. I worked for almost a year with his older brother, Kristian.

Kouren was twenty years old, as young as my brother is. He had dreams for the future, his brother often told me about how proud he was of his brother, I met the young man, and I could tell he had a light within him that was incomparable to other people I had met. He was going to do something with his life.

My own ignorance led me to believe that the series of shootings throughout my country would never overlap into my life; no one I knew was going to get shot or suffer from the immense amount of racism that is coming to life throughout the US.

The amount of hate for another person that this ignorant, white man had to have for shooting a young man who was simply standing in the street with his friends is something I cannot even begin to fathom. I am wrapped up in my mind this afternoon trying to comprehend why someone would act out such a vicious, violent action.

There was enough hate in this man’s heart to end a kid’s life. This young man will not be able to finish school, get a career, create a family, or even really grow up.

Kristian talked to the news reporter and tears streamed down his face as he comes to the realization that his brother won’t be coming home again.

This family’s heart is broken, an important piece of their puzzle is now lost to hate. What will it take for our country to really realize how hate is tearing us all apart?

My heart is with each family who is having to suffer. My privilege prevents me from having to worry about my own blood brother; however, we are all brothers and sisters and each time someone’s life is ripped from them by a police officer or ignorant neighbor, we should all feel our heart’s breaking for their family.

We are all one human kind, regardless of our skin color or beliefs. We struggle together, we love together, and we are here to lift up each other. As people, we spread energy throughout the communities we live in and the people we interact with. Why should we spend time worrying about what color someone's skin in if they are producing an insane amount of positivity? If someone lights up the room they walk into, who cares if they are a different race than I am? 

Let's stop the shootings now. Let's love each other. 

Published by Nicole Clement