Black Lives Matter June 04 2020, 1 Comment
It took me a while to join the conversation. Definitely not for lack of caring, because I’ve been feeling so much. I’ve just been sitting with all those intense feelings and wondering what I can possibly contribute with my limited experience and knowledge. What can I possibly say that hasn’t been said a million times before? And yet, here we are. Again. STILL.
So I decided to listen. Really listen. To black voices. And at first I got upset at the anger that was directed at some of my kind, loving and well-meaning white friends. I thought I’d better remain quiet because it seems I can’t possibly say the “right” thing anyway.
So I continued to listen, and watch and learn. And feel. And it’s been incredibly uncomfortable.
I thought I already knew a lot about the topic, but boy did I have more to lean. Still do.
This morning, I don’t care about saying the “right” thing. I HAVE to say something. And if it feels anything less than loving & supportive to my black brothers & sisters, just know that I’m speaking from the heart, and please educate me. No matter how it comes out. Your rage is 100% justified. Communication is insignificant when what we need is JUSTICE.
I also listened to white voices, and although the great majority of my community is heart-centered, inclusive and ready to keep fighting for justice, I stumbled upon a few threads where “all lives matter” and “what about black on black crime?” were thrown in the mix. And I felt the anger boil up in me. Of course all lives matter. But the system we live in has denied this simple, basic truth to a large part of its population.
How can they not get it??? I guess it’s easy for some people to turn the other way and go on about their lives when something horrific is happening to “someone else”…
But how about empathy? Isn’t it one of the main traits that differentiates us from the other species on this planet? Our capacity to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes even if just for one moment and catch a tiny glimpse of what their pain might feel like?
What if YOUR sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers were being murdered every day? Had been for centuries. And even worse: oftentimes at the hands of the very people who were sworn to protect them. Wouldn’t you hope your fellow humans would rise up and stand with you to battle this evil?
I know I will never understand what it’s like to be black, and I won’t ever pretend to.
I know I am privileged simply because of the skin I was born with. And if one of my white friends has even the smallest “but…” pop up in their mind reading this, I ask you: have you ever feared for your LIFE when pulled over or accosted by a police officer?
I already know the answer. And this is only one of hundreds of questions I could ask you to confirm this reality.
If you don’t believe in white privilege, all I can say to you is educate yourself. Or remain part of the problem. And yes, it WILL feel uncomfortable. But it won’t kill you…
While I was doing some listening in the last several days, I also contacted a bunch of elected officials, and signed all the petitions I could. And wondered with frustration, how many more times do I have to do this…? The only answer is: as many times as are needed to see REAL CHANGE. Period.
To my black friends: I see you. I hear you. I love you. I stand with you. And I stand with all your friends and family. And their friends and family. And theirs…
BLACK LIVES MATTER.