When I first heard the term “Black Lives Matter”, I was offended because I am SUCH a celebrator of all races and cultures that I considered the phrase to be exclusionary. However, as time and crime and injustice has progressed, I have listened more closely and come to understand the intent behind the phrase. All lives matter, yes, but more of us must come to accept that black lives matter…TOO! Black lives, men and women, are just as important as all else (same can be said for Native Americans, as this is another race that is often harassed and undermined). But back to my own primary race, there appears to be an evilness that wants to gain strength in its quest to target and ravish the black community. Our children are targeted in schools AND on the streets, their punishments within educational institutions are greater and stricter (ex: school to prison pipeline and frequency of expulsion), objectivity is subjective, and fairness is not meted out equally (so fairness ain’t fair). This goes beyond our police officers.
If what is happening in current day was new, it would be less egregious. However, it’s not new; it is a continuance of past treatment, only highlighted and more exposed now because of social media and the ease to capture and expose injustices with the use of cell phones. No, not new. The black on black crime rate is newer than the load of crap and injustice that is occurring in current day America. My mind screams why, why, why??!?!? Why are we STILL dealing with an inability to simply see people as people and NOT see color first? Why won’t it stop? When will it stop? What will it take, IN ADDITION to prayer, for it to stop? Yes, I threw prayer in there. I do believe it is necessary to seek God in prayer during these times, as more people did in the past. But, prayer is a portion of the needed movement, the needed resurrection of change. While I constantly hear discussion on areas for change, I still ask how to effect mass change that has to affect the mind and the heart, in order to have an external impact? I don’t know right now but I do know that it will take more than a few months, more than a few politicians on each side of the congressional aisle, more than a few people in power, more than a few preachers, educators, commentators, and grass roots advocates…it will take a lot more than just a few. The cynical, bottom line portion of my personality screams: “Let talks and collaboration begin, but talk only if it will lead to proper action to ensure justice for all, all the time.” To discuss and remain without action need not be the choice that America decides to take, for if we choose to put this issue on the back burner, America will find itself at war within, and Dallas will seem minuscule.
Ending thought: I am aware that my church provided a forum, also known as a safe environment, for black men to have a discussion after last week. We will enfold families into such a discussion in the future. Bishop Jakes’ church held something of a community forum for all to come and speak, listen, be heard. I’ve read of other forums that took place, within and external to houses of worship. All of these are admirable and necessary starting points, and I applaud the leaders who initiated them. I pray the momentum remains as we embark upon nothing short of a rejuvenation of the Civil Rights era. As Professor Danielle Koonce has shared on Facebook, we are in a marathon, not a sprint. Let’s position ourselves accordingly.
#BlackLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter #JusticeforAll
Meanwhile, back in Connieland, guess I’ll continue to think on this myself, on what actions I can take in my quest for change towards a fight to lessen racism and ensure that the scale of equity and justice is a more balanced concept.