The need to write these words has been coming on for awhile. Too much is happening to hold it in. I am going to speak straight from my heart.
First understand something about me. I don’t condone wrong, whether it comes in the guise of racism, or violence or whatever and regardless of whomever is the perpetrator of such, family, friends, acquaintances and so on. Also I am a people watcher. From as young as I can remember I have been fascinated by people. How they act, what they do, what they say. I read all the time. I read articles and blog posts from all sides of an issue and the comments that are made to them. The things I write here have become obvious to me over the last year or so in the comments and writings of others. ‘Others’ refers to people of every color, nationality and gender as does ‘we’ in the rest of this piece.
We live in an fallen and broken world. It is filled with the schemes and plans of the evil one and humans all too willing to follow him straight into hell.
My heart is breaking right now for our country, for the people who live here. People filled with despair and no hope, people who have a responsibility to protect and serve, people who want whats right and want the deep divisions to be healed.
There are deeply deluded people, mentally ill people, misguided people and people filled with evil in every walk of life and of every race and color. Evil is no respecter of persons. It doesn’t pick and choose by race, country, gender or creed. We are all susceptible to it.
With this being said, I can’t keep silent another moment. I have friend, coworkers and acquaintances from countries all over the world. For many of them I know their hearts. These words are not directed to them.
#BlackLivesMatter, this is directed to you and those who espouse your views.
You have a serious perception problem. A huge one. I understand what you are trying to get across, but you are failing miserably. If you want to capture the hearts and minds of those around you, you have to live and believe your message and change how you are presenting it.
First, STOP the violence. Distance yourselves publicly from anyone who would perpetrate violence in your name. Distance yourselves publicly from those who would pervert your message for their own gain or agenda. Do your best to stop the destruction, burning and looting. Be the voice of reason and calm. You can’t afford not to. As long as you do not speak loud and strong against the violence and those who are doing it, and against those who would pervert your message for their own agendas, the people you are trying to reach are going to reject you and your message and even actively work against you!
Second, even though it may be a ‘tired old cliche’ actions really do speak louder than words. We can’t trust that you really believe that #BlackLivesMatter. It is turned on and off like a faucet. You turn it on any time Law enforcement is involved in the death of a black person, but you can’t be bothered to speak out against black on black violence. Either #BlackLivesMatter or they don’t. You don’t get to pick and choose when they matter. They either matter all the time or not at all. They are inextricably intertwined and can’t be separated. They have to matter in the inner city, when little girls and little boys are killed by stray bullets that go into their homes and kill them. They have to matter when young black males shoot it out in the streets. They have to matter when fathers and mothers, daughters and sons are killed in drive by shootings. They have to matter when young black people die because they are addicted to drugs. They have to matter when the young black women are at the abortion clinic terminating the life of a black infant who doesn’t even have a chance to matter. They have to matter ALL the time! Not just when you can make a story out of it. You are losing the support of your neighbors and friend and all those watching from afar because they don’t believe that Black Lives really do matter to you. I have even been told direct to my face that I don’t need to worry or care about those black folks who live in the inner cities of Chicago, Detroit, Louisiana and other places because they will take care of their own. I see how well that is working and it seems that someone surely does need to worry about it.
Third, we are all the same under the skin. We have the same body parts, our circulatory system works the same, our DNA works the same, we all have a beating heart. We are all humans and we are all connected. You can’t separate your life from my life and the police lives and the military lives and the politician lives and the hispanic lives and the asian lives and the native lives and the white lives. If one life matters, #AllLivesMatter. You will have more people willing to support you and not turning their backs on you if you approach this as a solution we can only achieve by working together rather than beating people over the head that #BlackLivesMatter is more important than #AllLivesMatter. #BlackLivesMatter BECAUSE #AllLivesMatter. You can’t have one without the other. This has to be part of your message. It’s not inconsistent to acknowledge that.
Fourth, it’s going to take all of us working together to forge new relationships and understandings and to solve the issues that are plaguing us today. We have to set aside biases and hatred and all the other prejudices that keep us from coming together to solve these issues. Working together mighty things can be accomplished. This is made very clear in the story of the Tower of Babel from the Bible. Even God himself said so.
Genesis 11:1-9New International Version (NIV)
The Tower of Babel
11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
Fifth, stop letting the media be your mouthpiece. They will come and they will report, but call them out when they misreport, don’t let them spin your message. They are out for dollars and if stirring up trouble will help that, then that’s what they will do. The media thrives when there is strife. Normal, everyday nice life is boring and doesn’t sell. So it’s in their best interest to foster violence and strife.
Sixth, stop with the race-baiting garbage and childish antics. We are all adults here. We don’t need ‘safe spaces’ to be protected from ideas and speech that is different from ours. We don’t need to bash people over the head about things they had no control over, such as being born white or black or hispanic or whatever. Is there disparity in life and the workplace and so on? sure there is, that’s reality. The world has been largely a patriarchy since time began. The fact that God designed it that way sort of comes into play here. There is disparity for women, minorities etc. Not just here in the U.S. Go to any other country and see if they don’t favor their own countrymen and women for jobs and such. Go to a whole lot of other countries and see that woman don’t even have the same basic rights that women in American have. Go to Asia and see the total disparity between men and women to the point that girl babies are aborted and killed in early infancy at a horrible rate even today in favor of boys. If you don’t like what someone else is saying or talking about, don’t listen. You aren’t any more special than anyone else and you have the same freedom of speech and such that the rest of us do.
Seventh, stop taking every little handout from the Government. The more you are dependent on them, the more they own you. The more they run your lives and determine your future. They are using you to further their political agenda. A free phone isn’t worth selling your soul for. Work together, support each other. Learn how to do things, plant a garden for food, work with the boys and girls clubs to help your children, GET INVOLVED.
Eighth, stop acting like black people have been the only victims of slavery. Stop accusing white people of changing history to suit their purposes while willfully hiding and refusing to accept the fact that the slave trade to Britain and America could not have happened without black tribes and groups of people being willing to round up and sell their own people and because of that bear some responsibility for what happened. Every person group in the world has been a victim of slavery at one time or another and in some countries still are. You cannot deny and hide this history and the history of Black folks owning slaves right here in America and being part of the problem and expect that anyone is going to be willing to agree with your view of this. Refusing to acknowledge any history that proves other groups were slaves (even though it was called by another name) right here in America only serves to divide further and drive people away. It IS true what they say. There is nothing new under the sun. It’s all happened before in one way, shape or form.
Ninth, when deaths happen involving law enforcement, wait for ALL the facts to come in and be willing to accept that what you see and hear in the beginning isn’t going to be the whole story. There are always multiple sides to every story, the victims side, the offenders side, the evidence side and the truth is somewhere in the middle of all that. Remember that the media is only going to tell you what will sell the story. In the meantime STOP trying to convince the world that a victim who was a career criminal and has an arrest record as long as your arm, was a law abiding, upstanding citizen who was a pillar of the community. We know better! It comes out in a matter of hours. Be honest about who they were. This will not change the facts. It will not change the ultimate outcome. Not being honest only gives the rest of the people another reason to believe that #BlackLivesMatter is a just another group with an agenda that condones and perpetrates violence and distorts facts to get their own way.
and finally Ten! There are thousands upon thousands of people who want to resolve the issues, who want to stop the violence, all of it. Who want to come together as one country, one people, who can work side by side, who can live side by side and do life together. Who can work together to keep our neighborhoods safe and keep our children safe. Who want to feel safe in a world of people who look different but are the same underneath. Who want to live in a world of ‘Wondrous variety’. Not only in the color of our skin but in the richness of our differences.
You are driving them away. You are losing your audience, because you can’t see the forest for the trees. Change is only going to come if we work together. I don’t believe that any of us want an all out war, but that is where we are headed, if change doesn’t happen and happen soon.