Intro: I wrote this piece, although initially titled differently, several months ago. I had been holding on to it because of the sensitive nature of the subject, anticipating some restlessness in thought and some difficulty absorbing the overall content of the blog. Well, my timing is not God’s!!! I had planned to move forward with the post a week or so ago, given all the media coverage and Facebook posts regarding Colin Kaepernick not being picked up by an NFL team. However, for some reason it never moved past this laptop!
Today, as I watched the footage of the rioting in Charlottesville, VA, some feelings resurfaced— disgust, sadness and pure disbelief, associated with the ugliness and ignorance of HATE! It all began to ‘mirror’ almost exactly what I felt when I wrote what I hope you continue to read below. Operating in literary silence was too unsettling to my spirit, so I had to post this. It is my duty, as I have asked God to direct me in sharing my thoughts over this past year of authoring The Cherry Vine. Therefore, I am taking a walk of obedience with, “If My People…”, so hear my heart…..♥♥
Wrote “The Imprint of An Impression” before chaos erupted in Charlotte, NC with the senseless killing of yet another black man in this country. Little did I know that my expression and “take” on impressions would be a different spin, but relevant in that it is alleged that the perception of a black man by certain sectors of society, whether based on race, position or socio-economics, appears to be the root cause of these senseless killings. Although already in the works, this incident near halted me finishing the ‘Impressions’ piece. Thoughts-to-words were suspended in blank literary space, as anger, frustration and sadness took a seat front and center.
As days passed, and I watched over and over again, TV footage of someone making reference that the shooting victim looked like a bad guy, without any background knowledge whatsoever, I knew that timing wasn’t right to write. It wasn’t a good time to pour thoughts into print, as they were so mangled by a multitude of emotions that soiled my spirit. I knew that I couldn’t let the soil become a permanent stain, so I continued to operate in silencing my craft. Amazing how emotions completely take over your ‘being’ at times.
Ending the work week, I reflected on so much. I had so many questions—Questions that resulted in me feeling broken because none of my answers made me feel good. I was in search of solo space to sort through the unresolved results of my inquisitive spirit and to unravel what appeared to be the insensitive mindset of people–some of whom I care deeply about. The questions started and continued, as follows: Why is this not a mission critical issue to fix? Why can’t everyone see that this is really a serious problem—a national problem? Why can’t intelligent human beings see the common thread of these violent acts? Why is this issue minimized by the likes of entertainment news that doesn’t have an impact on our personal lives? Why is it that folk who we converse with about everything under the sun, find a way to avoid this conversation? Why don’t they understand our anger and unwillingness to accept this? Why do so many find comfort in writing dissertations or speaking openly about Colin’s Kaepernick’s choice to kneel in silence? Do they realize that he was only making a statement to garner attention to this national crisis, affecting a culture or society of people who he is connected to? Did anyone assess the root cause as to why he was so passionate before devouring him like a well-cooked meal? Why is defaming his character more newsworthy and important than wanting these killings to stop? How can folk love me, but can’t find any empathy in my emotions or my sadness? Is it pretentious, convenient love or genuine love skewed by deep-rooted impressions of who I am, and the people that check the same Race box that I do? Why do folk make excuses that, no matter what, don’t warrant taking a person’s life? Just because a person has PCP in their possession or in their vehicle, is that justification for having taken their life? A whole lot of folk are guilty of carrying something or substances other than a weapon, but I’ve never heard of that being a reason to perceive someone as a bad person, therefore giving cause to shoot, or even worse, shoot to kill, have you?
So many questions and not a lot of answers and certainly not concrete solutions to how to fix this broken society. I don’t feel that looting and continued violence is a solution or an appropriate form of protest, however I do feel that something has to change! Something has to make this horrible acceptance of modern-day lynching vanish. Why? It simply ain’t right!!! It’s inhumane! These folk are not hunted animals. They are fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, nephews, godsons, uncles and yes they’ve been females, as well…Speaking loudly the name of Sandra Bland.
My soul weeps, as I reflect on the sadness that these family members may be experiencing, the hurt that won’t go away, and the resounding emotional pitfalls that not only accompany losing someone you love, but the reminder over and over again in having to replay it like a scratched 45 vinyl record. These families and friends are eating, sleeping, breathing, and still living this stuff. They’re desperately wanting closure that can only be brought on by God, prayer, and societal change. The change won’t surface until stubborn minds can change their hearts. It won’t occur until they can look at what’s going on, and visualize themselves and/or their families. It won’t happen until they find in the core of their souls that we too are valued and yes, our lives also matter. They mattered during slavery; they mattered during the Civil Rights Movement; they mattered during every social protest or provoked riot that has surfaced for just-cause or otherwise, and they certainly matter now!
So, as some have figuratively crucified Colin Kaepernick, on the contrary, I applaud him! He had the courage to stand alone, essentially standing potentially against a whole nation. He stood by “taking a knee.” He stood in love and for necessary change. He stood for the people who couldn’t because they’re no longer walking this earth to stand in their own mortality. He stood for everyone who has ever been dealt with unjustly. He stood in silence and class. He stood, not because he wanted to make America Great Again, but because he wanted what was so great about America to finally bring justice to a population of people who are also called Americans–‘One nation, under God….’ He doesn’t need to reside in another country because he ‘took a knee’–He needs his country to meet him at a place of equality for ALL of God’s people! It’s time to raise our voices, making our frustrations known and to stand in a civil, effective nature to bring about change. More importantly, it’s time to pray for love and peace to abide in the hearts, minds and the intimate souls of everyone who is given yet another opportunity to breathe the breath of life. We must stand for Right and Repair, not Ruin due to Rooted ignorance.
“If my people, who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. ~2 Chronicles 7:14
Peace & Blessings,