As Americans, we know that we are divided on the issues of race and African American interactions with law enforcement. We even know what it takes to become united in relation to these issues but yet we choose to remain divided. Instead of listening to each other, we choose to throw around labels. Our beliefs become so ingrained in such a small amount of time that any rational conversation seems impossible. As a result, with each new incident of another African American dying at the hands of law enforcement only produces another string of #Blacklivesmatter vs. #Bluelivesmatter war of words. We continue to cover the same ground with repeated phrases; rehashing the same problems without offering any solutions. We know we can’t continue in this course of action because eventually we will simply destroy each other in our division. Yet, another day dawns, another African American dies, and the war of words continues. We all have a perspective based on our experience but that should not prevent us from seeking solutions.
I woke up this morning as I have for the past two weeks…tired. I have been getting enough sleep, using my CPAP machine and the whole nine but every day I am tired. But, this morning I began to think about what God calls us to do. I began to replay my life and the events in my life that have brought me to this place. While mediating and thinking through these events in my life, I began to unearth how racism has played such a significant part of my life. There is not one day that I live that racism has not impacted me –for all intense purposes “racism has become a god.” It has the sovereign hold upon America. It is so woven into the fabric of society that many do not even recognize it. Even the well-meaning folks practice racism but remain oblivious to its devices because it is so normal. Folks are guided and led by racism in their entire lives. It fuels them to hate; it forces them to destroy. Racism is their god.
Racism produces intricate, invisible wounds that pillage the beauty of the soul and pimps out hate. It robs me of the ability to identifying joy though I may be in the midst of it. It is an abomination of humanity.
America cannot afford to be a place where racism does not exist. It understands that many of the laws were unjust and built around the concepts of racisms. When such things are in place where do people who bear the blow of racism turn? Well, we have to turn back to the very system that oppressed us in the first place for help. When I have to seek help from the people and systems producing racism, then racism becomes a despicable enterprise that profits off hate.
I am tired. I am tired of saying that Black Lives Matter. I am tired making people feel safe because I am black. I am tired of trying to spare folks feelings because they don’t like the fact that I protest against racism. I am tired of being followed by police. I am tired of being harasses by police. I am tired of being overlooked for jobs. I am tired of being put in jail. I am tired of being accused. I am tired of being told I am wrong because that is not how it should be done. I am tired of feeling unsafe. I am tired of telling my children to be careful around those that should protect and serve.
It gets exhausting trying to convince people of the obvious…If something matters then you would not get angry when others say that it does. When dissent is present for proclaiming something matters that may equate to the fact that you do not think it does.
The thought of black love is something that is symbolically hated. It appears that if you show love and support for black bodies then it is impossible to show love for anything else. Whether we want to believe it or not, (a)merica appears to have this antithetical plan that implies that to love black and white simultaneously teeters on the edge of insanity. This explains why some have an issue with the concept and movement, “Black Lives Matter.” Yes, it would appear that would be self-explanatory and expected but unfortunately some folks humanity stops there.
“Black Lives Matter” is not a statement of dissent but more along the lines of confrontation. We can even declare it to be an augmentation of lives that have been minimize out of sheer fear. “Black Lives Matter” is not a statement of opposition but declaration. It is black people declaring in the midst of devaluing attitudes that we are just as important as anyone else. It becomes problematic in systems that have propped themselves up on the poles of morality seeking appreciation for behaviors that should be afforded to all. So to bring a rebuttal to “Black Lives Matter” with “All Lives Matter” is a metaphorical kick in the ass or spit in the face. It is not theologically correct, religious piety or stark morality it is simply a misguided understanding and concern for black lives. The exploration to control and abuse the black body is not something that is new but has mutated into appropriate liturgical praise –(we must help the those that we are better than so that we can feel good about ourselves.)
When a people group feels like they have lost their collective voice or it has been taken, the consequence that follows should not surprise anyone. You should not feel surprised when black folks are reluctant to see police officers as friends to the community; when a highly sensitized attention is placed upon their well-being in the form of a movement –“Black Lives Matter.”
The problem in the entire presentation is that others have to be reminded that, indeed, “Black Lives Matter.”