I’ll be honest, When I first saw the news about George Floyd, I didn’t feel much. “Oh, another one…” I thought and shook my head. Not because I didn’t care, not because I’m insensitive, but I had just read about a black man being harassed by a white girl in the park for no reason, Ahmaud Arbury had just died by two white men for no reason, and justice clearly wasn’t being served. I’ve watched for years as America got comfier and comfier on its couches and settled for less — part of why we elected a reality show host as president. And all that was happening seemed OK with this country — just another day… Sometimes, when it feels like the world doesn’t care, I turn off my heart to keep my head above water. Right or wrong, it’s the truth. But that truth is part of the problem. Turning our heads won’t change anything and while I couldn’t possibly do that if George Floyd was in front of me — I basically did that when I passively accepted that George Floyd had been murdered.
I’ll be honest, When I first heard about looting and rioting, I said that’s not okay. And to be clear, I still don’t condone looting or rioting. But I read more, felt more and came across the perspective that lives are more important than property and I thought, hell YES they are. Then it hit me immediately — hundreds of millions of lives have been affected and devastated by racism for a long time and NO ONE has stopped it. How many people have tried to protest peacefully and been ignored? How many people have lost their jobs or lives for peacefully standing up? Sometimes things have to get loud to be heard but that’s only because the ears refused to hear beforehand. And I agree that if it took looting to get us upset, then we’re upset about the WRONG thing.
I’ll be honest, When I first saw this graphic, I said that’s not okay. And I still don’t condone burning buildings down. But I realized it’s depicting the systems and structures that govern us, the ones who built a nation on the backs of racism, who gorge us on cheap food and then bankrupt us when we try to get better. It’s the same government that demonizes immigration but won’t lift a finger to create laws for it. The one who allows colleges to put millions in debt over outdated information while ramping up their sports program. The one who doesn’t give a shit about us unless we have something it wants.
It’s time to burn it DOWN. It’s time to clear the chessboard and start over. It’s time for America to decide who it does and does not want to be. Right now, it’s saying that racism isn’t welcome here and my heart sings for joy. But will it last? Will we remember a few weeks from now? Will we care as much? I don’t know…
But what I do know is that while I have many opinions, the ONLY THING I need to do right now is sit back and LISTEN. Listen to the stories. Listen to the pain. Listen to the “otherness” of men and women who’ve lived and experienced a life completely different than my own and learn everything I can. To educate and better myself. To guide others in doing the same. To accurately address the pointless rebuttals and to speak for those who can’t.
The truth is, I don’t know enough about racism. I grew up watching my father endure it here and there, even experienced it a bit myself, but nothing compared to what black men and women deal with every day. To me, their skin color was always so beautiful, their hair so unique, their muscle tone and athleticism enviable, so I didn’t realize all they deal with on a daily basis.
But I’m learning. And I want to thank everyone who’s been speaking out, sharing thought-provoking information and showing me how much I have to grow.
I’ve always had a huge heart for the mistreated, I’m capable of getting violent in the name of someone else way faster than my own, but I know there’s more I can be doing. And this is my promise to do just that. ♥️🙏🏽