Sunday, August 13, 2017
Friday night, a bunch of tiki torch wielding white supremacists in their various polos, khakis, and cargo shorts marched into Lee Square of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Saturday, during non violent counter protests, a man identified as a white supremacist mowed down peaceful demonstrators with his car, killing one woman and injuring over 30 others.
And to think, last week, people were hooping and hollering about this Proctor and Gamble commercial.
I only wrote about the necessity of having this type of messaging last Wednesday. I didn't think we would witness an actual demonstration of the need to have it.
But we did. People were hurt. One person is gone. A city has been marred. And a lot of us, on both sides of the color spectrum are left with questions and emotions.
It all feels so surreal. But not new. As a Black person in what Maya Angelou called "these yet to be United States", we are constantly aware of the "otherness" we feel.
We have to have these "talks" with our children (especially after the ignorant violence and racist rhetoric we all witnessed this past weekend).
We are forced to think about ethnicity more than we want to.
We walk past monuments built to commemorate a past that is synonymous with the ownership of our people.
We are reminded that not too long ago, bad science and over all ignorance sought to prove that we were only 3/5's human, which was enough to allow the constant rape of our girls and women but not enough to recognize the terror and harm and pain antebellum owners would recognize in the eyes of a stolen people.
When there are travel warnings issued for people of color from whole states, when the scum of a past we all prayed was dead and gone can boldly march down the streets and insight violence against those of a different color and creed, we have a real problem that absolutely needs to be dealt with.
These are the bitter fruits of the seeds that supremacy, violence, and hatred have planted long ago. We can no longer ignore the grove of such fruit that has sprung up between us as though it will "just go away". Hate will never just vanish. It must be intentionally combatted at its roots, completely uprooted and destroyed by the children of the oppressed AND the oppressor.
We cannot sit around silent. Our silence makes us complicit in these sins of our forefathers and brothers and sons. We need to call it out, on all sides, people of all colors and cultures.
As disgusted, disillusioned, disappointed, and frustrated as I am, I have hope. Because there are literally hundreds of thousands of people who feel like I do. Those brave counter protestors marching against the stench of racism were only the just the beginning.
It's more than just making a good tweet or insightful post. We must be intentionally active. We must reach out to each other, across the lines of culture, color, and creed. We must stop viewing each other as stereotypes and start seeing one another as individuals, as fellow humans.
I am planning to do whatever I can, speak to whomever I must, work wherever I have to and use whatever platform God has given me to share this message of peace. And I encourage each of you to do the same. We all cannot do everything. But everyone can do something.
For us. For our nation. And for our children.
God bless. Stay Woke. Stay Active. And be safe.