Before I jump into this blog I would like to bring clarity to the meaning behind, “Black Lives Matter”. That statement is not used to insult others nor is it presenting, “black people’s lives are the only one’s that matter”. Yet it emphasizes that black lives matter too, and their lives should not be looked at as lesser than others. It is a mantra that is encouraging equal treatment and justice.
Last week I wrote about, “Tips to overcome fear“. Without realizing I have to combat a level of fear daily, due to the skin tone I was born in. My heart drops and races if I am pulled over by a cop. I’ve sat in offices being the only brown person and had to have a “clean” look (meaning straightened hair). I have been followed in a store due managers thinking I would steal. My dad, brother, sister, and friends were stopped individually and on different occasions for DWB (driving while black). This tragic moment of George Floyd and many other non-white individuals are highlighted to paint the picture of our everyday lives.
Understand that America was built on a platform rooted in hatred. Stolen land from Native Americans, slavery, segregation, discrimination, oppression, racism etc.the list can go on for years. To “Make America Great AGAIN” is an implication that it was a great country before. Yet, that is not the case from my worldview.
Let’s create a TRUE, great America where people are are not detested for their differences and are respected. Let’s create a place where we are treated equally on all levels (Macro, Meso, Micro). In this place, there would not even be a notion such as “white privileged”, because the lines would be non-existent. We would all have the same treatment.
To ask of this is mind boggling and quite frankly my heart hurts. For I now believe that maybe it is too much of a request. You see, the root of past, present, and hopefully not the future America, is RACISM. Racism is the deep seed, that cultivates in one’s heart and brews until it is manifested as lynches, murders, false police calls, discrimination, you’re not welcomed here vibes. Racist are dressed up not only as cops but lawyers, doctors, therapists, politicians, pastors, school board members and leaders. These are people that are supposed to protect you, yet, I am finding that we have to protect ourselves. That’s frightening and ideally we should be united as one.
My point is to stimulate your mind into thinking, how can we make America, great?
-How do we create a safe place for all humans to interact amongst the environment freely?
-How can we make it so that people of color can safely run in their neighborhood?
-How can we make it so we can sleep peacefully in our homes without cops barging in and killing us?
-How can we make it to where I can walk with a hood on and skittles in my pocket?
-How can we make America a place where I can cash a check without it being reported as fraud?
-How can we make America a place where I don’t fear I will be shot when I am stopped by the police?
-How can we make America a place where people don’t falsely call the police on my brother or sister?
-How can we make America a place where I do not have to teach my children, what to do when the police stops you?
-How can we make it to where there are more people that look like me on TV and in the workplace?
Answer: By dealing with the root of the problem, racism.
If the root is not dealt with, acts of injustice and inequality will continue. The presenting issue can be solved with the knowledge and willingness to break the cycle.
- Identify the issue. Why do you dislike a group of people?
- Seek counseling
- Utilize the techniques and strategies you gain to combat racism.
For the those that endure racism and for individuals that that may not experience it but still use your voice to speak up against wrong–> Please do not allow your heart to harden and grow cold. In the words of the the late Martin Luther King Jr, “darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”. Know that “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the authorities against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” Ephesians 6:12. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” Luke 23:34.
I will not allow my hope to disappear regarding the future for my people. I will rest on the acts of my ancestors, faith in God and believe that change can happen. As we see, there has been some progression but we still have a long way to go. It may not occur in my lifetime but please in the meantime, lets uproot the weed of racism so that one day, America can be great, as it should.
Remember, we are in this journey together.