First, I have to start off with a confession. When things “calm down” with police brutality, I get lost in my own little world. Now I say “calm down” with quotations because it’d be naïve to think that even if there aren’t any social media posts and articles out there about recent events, it doesn’t mean that it’s not currently happening. Not every incident is brought to the light. Many families are out there suffering with no protests being held on their behalf. God only knows the full extent of the damage caused by racism.
These recent events woke me back up, with a constant conviction and weight that I couldn’t shake. My heart cried out, “Lord, seriously, what part can I play in ending this?!” I never saw myself out there holding picket signs, nor do I see myself making speeches out there for the world to see. I do not want to run for political office, and Lord knows I’m not built to become a police officer so there is at least one more of us on the force. So, what can I do? I can’t continue in my little bubble while this crap is going on SOLELY because of the color of our skin.
The only thing I could think to do is blog about it. But that doesn’t seem to help anything. At first, and several times afterward, I rejected the idea. As time went on, that’s still all I could think to do and all I felt fit to do, at least in this season of my life. With that said, I will do what I do best – encourage through my writing.
The focus of my platform is to encourage people not to act purely out of emotion. Too many times we don’t think things through before we act, and this leads to a life full of regrets. Yes, we are angry, hurt and frustrated. This is the fuel that should drive us to fight this consistently (preaching to myself here). However, the way we express these emotions play a huge part in our effectiveness when it comes to making real change. For example, looting is not the answer. To steal and vandalize only gives racists more “justification” as to why they believe that we are not worthy of equal treatment.
We don’t fight for ourselves by portraying a side of ourselves that we can’t be proud of; that’s counterproductive. Sometimes the best way to deal with this intense surge of emotion is to find a way to calm down and think. Strategy is the key. We have to plan our fight out. There are ways to share how beautiful our race is without being racist ourselves. There are ways to plant seeds of knowledge without being confrontational. If we're not careful of our tone, we might trigger the other person to be defensive and make it hard for them to receive the truth.
Some of us have callings similar to Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. And I’m encouraging you to start letting that out, in whatever way you’re led. Some of us have to focus on teaching our children (not just biological but every child possible) about the world we live in, so we can strengthen them emotionally and mentally. Some of us are called to make bold moves and risk unjust consequences. Some of us are called to lovingly and peacefully teach other races that we are just as smart, beautiful and worthy as they are. Some must do it in the classroom, some at church, some in the White House, some as a police officer, some through our art and there are so many other avenues and ways to destroy racism. We all have a part to play. Mine for now is writing. It may always only be writing, or it may change in the future. I must be open to however God wants to use me to fight alongside my brothers and sisters.
I’m encouraging you to first believe that you can make a difference, simply because it’s true. Second, I encourage you to allow yourself to be fueled by your hurt but take a beat to strategize how you will fight racism. Think about your natural talents and strengths. Start there to make a difference.
We need each other to survive. Please fight for me as I fight for you.