I am genuinely not sure where to begin. I have never chosen to get involved with politics on social media, but I don’t feel like we are dealing with a political issue. The unrest and the divide of our country directly relates to all eight values of what this blog is based upon, and it’d be ignorant of me to not address the current events. I am not concerned with my own image, or my “brand,” because I do believe there is a morally correct choice here – and it is not to sit back and remain silent. To be silent right now is to be complicit with the issues at hand. I am sorry if you disagree, and if such a statement turns you away from this blog entirely, then I’m not sure you’re living by these eight values anyway.
First and foremost, I cannot even begin to act like I have understood or will ever understand what it is like to be an African-American in America. I personally have been absolutely moved by the protest and unrest of the previous handful of days, and it’s time for me to listen and to seek understanding. Yet, before jumping on Twitter or hurrying up to type a new post, I’ve tried to educate myself on the right ways to go about sharing my thoughts.
I think all perspectives (I don’t think the use of the word “sides” is appropriate) understand that there’s an issue of police brutality in America. That is clear. I also think all perspectives understand that there are underlying systematic issues and predispositions that contribute to the relationship between the police and the community. But, just acknowledging that these issues exist is no longer enough.
I’m not in a position to say that I have a solution, but I can suggest to all people that it is time to seek more. It is not time to be argumentative and share our opinions first. It is time to ask questions with the intent of listening and understanding. Yesterday, I reached out to some friends of mine to seek conversation:
My eyes were opened through all of those conversations. I encourage you to do the same. I cannot relate to the anxieties of seeing a police officer in my community. I have never been told by my father to put my hands out of the car window if I get pulled over. I have never watched a viral video of someone that looks like me getting unfairly abused by a government official. Those are fears and struggles that I have never felt, and I owe it to my brothers and sisters that have expressed these emotions to try to do what I can do make change possible. We owe it to our children and our future generations to come. This feeling that we all have cannot continue.
That’s all we can do in our worlds as individuals. We have to be real with each other. We have to be open to each others’ experiences. We have to feel discomfort before we feel growth. We have to listen.
I can control my dialogue in what may be an uncomfortable conversation for someone else. I can hold other people accountable for racist remarks or backhanded comments. The list goes on and on. I don’t have the capacity to embark upon a nationwide social justice crusade, but I do have the capacity to make a small difference here and there when I can. We all have that capacity. Our small victories will lead to bigger ones.
That’s really all I have to offer. I want people to know that I will do what I can to help, and appreciate any education I can receive. I spend a lot of my time on here sharing my perspectives with you, but it’s time for you to share your perspectives with me. That is how we continue to grow.
I will leave you with some links to some recent impactful media:
There is a good world out there and it needs good people. Let’s continue to move forward together.
Trust God. Pray for peace. Keep the faith. Engage with family. Educate yourself. Sacrifice your pride. Stay true to your character. Be disciplined enough to listen first.
RiP George Floyd.
George Floyd Memorial Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd