A mother's perspective on the George Floyd protests

Mary Cates is a "go to" person for me. I respect her wisdom, her insight, her history, her compassion, her peace, her ministry, her mission, and her mothering.

The week of June 8th FOX 11 dedicated the 6pm news to "Race Matters." While the idea was not to agree or disagree with all voices, it was to listen.

Mary is a woman I met maybe 16 years ago as she and husband Arthur were adopting an eight year old boy through LA County Department of Children and Family Services. That boy had been on FOX 11's Wednesday's Child segment helping kids in foster care find adoptive families.

We've stayed in touch ever since. We have celebrated her son's birthday at my home. I've done follow up stories at her Baldwin Hills home. I've been to church in Inglewood with her, and from time to time we've exchanged Christmas gifts. But more importantly I've turned to her for chit chat to in-depth conversation. She is wise and comforting and a true gift of guidance and spiritual wisdom.

At the height of the protests and riots I asked Mary Cates to pen a letter on her thoughts, insights, and perspective on this place in time and history after the death of George Floyd, those Minneapolis police officers, the protests, and her family.

To my surprise she ended her letter with #EachLifeMatters.  I asked her to explain that hashtag. Her response "Go forward with #BlackLivesMater but also remember that each life is important. To get our message across this time, others have impacted, and their lives matter too. So many have risked their lives out protesting. Many, thousands upon thousands."


For the past 7 - 10 days I have watched history repeat itself and history in the making. I cry and I pray for George Floyd’s family and all of those who have lost live’s at the hands of rogue cops.  

My thoughts went back to my childhood, growing up in the 60’s, walking through the community and hearing “hey you N***, get out of our neighborhood.” 

Many times I wondered where my oldest son was; was he working, was he peacefully protesting, was he vandalizing or looting as a means of releasing pain and hurt stemming from unjust stops and accusations made by police.  I’m relieved to learn that “The Talk” took root and my son chose to stay away from the violence and to process the events of Minneapolis, MN quietly in his home.

Today, I sat on the edge of the couch stressed and anxiously waiting to hear what we have longed for each time a black life was taken unjustly.  I am grateful the charges have been made, yet concerned the forthcoming trial might not achieve true justice.  I am hopeful, the charges will stick and result in convictions and sentences that fit the crimes.  

This is just the beginning of change. 
To the protester, the young people who are boldly coming forward, keep walking, keep talking peacefully, your voices are being heard and your voices matter.  You get it! 

Take it one step further, utilize the systems that are in place and vote.