Shades of Blue (an open letter to white citizens of the U.S.)

By Nancy Virden (c)2020

Shades of Blue

It’s a large family, the human race. We have siblings of all shapes, heights, and ages from pink to black to brown, and all the shades. To deny any sibling is to deny our family. If we are not blood-related, what is left to motivate loyalty, kindness, mutual respect, and provision for one another? Blood is thicker than water unless we deny the blood. 

We have brothers and sisters in the United States, proud to work together, dressed in shades of blue. They are sworn to protect and serve. With clay feet and mortality, they race to the sounds of sirens, running a marathon of commitment, duty, and justice. These are our siblings who want to change the world for the better one person or family group or city at a time. One day at a time.

Infiltrated among them stand haughty, corrupt, uncivilized god-wannabes dressed in dirty blues whose ideas of justice are control and abuse. We know these poor leaders in blue exist, so why do we watch injustice from afar and accuse the ones at the foot end of justice, saying, “If you don’t want trouble do not do wrong”? Would we say to a child, “Just don’t do wrong” and stand by while someone beats her into shades of blue? Welts, bleeding, shaking – what will bring us to interrupt and say, “stop!” to the force snuffing out her life? Or do we repeat, “if you would only be good’?

It seems we have siblings among us who have always felt our knees on their necks, while we insist there is no need to scream or holler. Nosebleeds and “can’t breathe” turns skin shades of blue. Our favorite white lie is, “Be quiet, be good and you will have nothing to fear.” 

“Why do they (notice the “they”) loot and burn?” we say.  Injustice is capable of living anywhere once we forget we are blood-related. We of privilege prefer quiet anger, the more subtle approach to robbery.  “Let ‘them’ stay out of our way and off our streets” unless, of course, we like a few. We bully from the voting booth to steal hope, health, education, safety, and economic opportunity while spouting “they can get up if only they would.” We enjoy our shades of red, white, and blue.

Shades of blue on our screens distract us as we button our way to denial. Not too interested, rarely listening, we live in bubbles of blue. We claim we do not know what steps to take when in reality we do not want to do anything to stand up for justice and truth. It seems too hard.

Yet we expect the ‘they’ to do it. With gentleness and respect. Quietly. Out of our way.

There are all shades of good among us and all shades of evil.  The irony of silent racism is that we are ok with a lack of justice until, of course, we need it. 

Wail! Weep! Open your eyes to see all the shades of blue until each person and situation is appreciated in truth.

Let us judge within first, then without, not by uniform, color, or power, but by blood alone. We are one family. As of May 2020, we can no longer deny all the shades of blue.

Today’s Helpful Word

James 2: 8-9, 13

Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law… There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

Nancy Virden Seminar, May-2016
Photo Joe Boyle Photography

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.


NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.., Carlo Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved


  • Well written cousin. It is abuse, and one of the things we know most about abuse is that it creates cycles of violence where the abused becomes an abuser.

    People talk a lot about the violence inside communities of color. A lot of what we see is the cycle that keeps going, because we keep defending the initial violence.

    Beat a child, and when they hit another kid at school, beat them some more. I mean, “How many times do I have to hit you before you understand that hitting is wrong?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you much. I know you know this, but abuse in one’s past is not an indication of becoming an abuser. If someone does become an abuser, it is often discovered they were once a victim. Many if not most people who were once abused decide to do better for their kids. However, it is important to note that abuse has to stop before the abused can heal.


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