See us the same, not differently.
These words have been playing like a melody inside my head, over and over again, for the past 8 days. The fact that we are still taking to the streets in protest over racism and human equality for all in 2020, makes me ill – to say the very least. Look how far we haven't come!
I’ve been trying to figure out a diplomatic way to have conversations with others about this subject, but I just can’t. Because the more I try to have an intelligent dialog about what’s happened in our world AGAIN, the sicker I become with the responses. The utter disgust, the hopelessness, the outrage, shock, and sadness I’ve been feeling are just too much to bear. And those feelings are on better days. The worst part is my anger and rage are mounting.
I honestly feel such anguish for the human race because sadly I know deep in the heart of me, that this situation is NEVER going to change. Rather, it will just keep getting worse. In the past, we could have blamed it on lack of education, socialism, and just downright ignorance of people – and now? What the hell can we possibly blame it on now?
The truth of it all is, no matter how much people say that they are not racist, they are just lying to themselves. You may not be out there killing people, making racist slurs to others, passing judgment or even thinking it in your head, but you’ve chosen to sit there and do nothing while witnessing others being oppressed. You may not have fired the gun or held your knee down on someone’s neck for 300 seconds but you haven’t been part of the solution either. Let’s face it, most of us have chosen to stay out of it. And whether you care to believe it or not, that lack of action and conversation surrounding this issue makes you just as guilty as those who have decided to engage in hate crimes against others. It really just comes down to that. It really is just that black and white.
Yet, it baffles me that there are people out there who honestly believe that they are better human beings, more entitled to living a free life, without fear of persecution than the rest. We are all human! Don’t judge others by their color. Don’t stereotype people because of their skin. See us the same, not differently. We are all made in God’s image, so why would you be afraid of those who don’t look like you or come from where you come from? ALL statements that go without saying and yet here we are. Still in the darkness of it all. Still in pain. Still living in fear. Still feeling privileged. Utter nonsense.
Hate leads us to fear. Fear leads us to pain. Pain leads us to suffer. Suffering leads us to cry out for help by any means necessary. Cries lead to madness. Some cannot imagine the chaos that one man’s death has led to. But, that's just it. You may have only heard one man's name over the last week - George Floyd. Yet, there are hundreds of others that you don't know about. Maybe because they weren't recorded. Perhaps because their videos didn't go viral. Look at what you saw. Now, imagine all you don't see. Lighting a town on fire is never the answer, sure. But when Colin Kaepernick took a knee in peaceful protest, no one listened. Instead, he was ridiculed and made to feel unworthy by refusing to be “part of the team”. A voice can be heard in calmness if someone cares to listen. But, when your cries are never recognized, you feel as though there is no other recourse.
But I will say this: If it were my son, my father, my brother, my loved one who was murdered and put to death, for no other reason than simply because you hated the color of our skin, I would be doing a lot more than burning buildings. I’d feel mighty enough to kill you! Call it madness but there is no one out there, who could honestly say that they would do or feel differently. Imagine it was your loved one. Now, imagine it was hundreds of your loved ones. All killed the same way, without reason, apology, or punishment. You would go mad too.
There is so much still left to say, but it all feels silly to say what should very well be common sense.
2020 should be a time where we stop killing and start healing from all this chaos.
If you are racist, seek out love instead. It is something you should have been taught from the very beginning, anyway. Every household breeds one or the other: Love or Hate.
To all those of you out there who are oppressed. To all of you who have lost loved ones at the hands of hate. To those of you who cry in fear.
Nothing I can say will ever take that pain from you. I may never know what it is like to live your lives or walk in your shoes but I will listen, I will teach, I will ignite the conversation and stand with you. Most importantly, I will pray for change with you, because no person is free until we are all free.