Black people wake up and no matter what trauma we experience as a community, we have to go into work with our heads up and get the job done. It doesn’t matter who says Democrats are pimping the Black vote. It doesn’t matter who’s saying Republicans are the better choice. Neither is meeting the needs of the Black community in totality, hence, #wiiftbp. Mainly because we are not demanding it and we are not showing up in schools, in town halls, in PTA meetings, and definitely not during elections for a vast majority.
People want to credit President Trump for Prison reform. My Lt. Governor in Illinois has spent her life, long before politics, working on Juvenile Justice, Prison Reform, Peace Circles, driving around communities praying with gang bangers who are on the corners selling drugs, and sharing the Gospel. She was at Fenger high school after Derrion Albert was murdered, for a mural unveiling in his honor. I know because I was right there by her side to bring change. Our walk together with the Lord has called us to this work.
With all that, we still wake up with trauma. We have to watch our men gunned down by those whom we gave birth. We have to watch our men gunned down by those whom we pay to protect us. The Gospel should compel all Christians to stand for social injustice, racial injustices and inequities amongst all communities. The Gospel is more than a moment of redemption, it is a life lived by that redemption. We cannot abandon the poor, we cannot reject the orphan, no matter how they arrive in our country, we cannot store up riches only for the wealthy only.
In Chicago, Black and Brown peoples have been criminally charged for marijuana possession. Our city council, our governor, our mayor, our leaders, let White people come in and invest and make millions in days with their major funders and donors while rejecting applications for Black minority business owners. That is not equity. That is not equality; that is it diversity. That is not inclusion. That is the continual nullification of Black and Brown lives. It is systemic racism. What we were punished for White people make laws to benefit from daily. That is racism.
As I watched First Lady Melania Trump speak last night via Fox News live stream, I had to turn off the comments. The vile names hurled at Michele Obama, ugly, monkey, low-life, and classless, were appalling. It was a reinforcement that Melania’s speech did not measure up to the realities of racism by White America. It was clear that her eloquence is not lived out by those who were listening.
Jacob Blake, whatever his background, whatever his record, whatever his issue, did not deserve seven bullets in his back. He did not deserve to be murdered in front of his children. Breonna Taylor did not deserve to be murdered in her home and left to bleed out, Tamir Rice did not deserve to die being shot by a police officer who did a drive-by, Oscar Grant did not deserve to be shot in his back while face down, in handcuffs being compliant, with a police officer’s knee on his back, Fernando Castille did not deserve to be murdered in front of his girlfriend with a child in his car while doing what and officer asked him to do, Freddie Gray did not deserve to be fatally wounded in a police van which ultimately became his coffin. Ariane McCree did not deserve to shot while handcuffed. William Green did not deserve to be shot while handcuffed in a police car. I can go on for centuries of Black plight at the hands and guns of law enforcement.
The Black Lives Matter Organization missed a pivotal moment to separate itself from anarchy. After the last looting campaign took place in Chicago, instead of speaking against the looting, they aligned with them. It’s disgusting and deplorable. Looting is not reparations, stealing is not reparations, vandalizing is not reparations. To align with such tactics is counter productive and will reap no benefits. Black Lives Matter without an organizational link. But, if the organization aligns itself with manipulated youth and political opportunist, we will not find a resolution or a resolve that will bring civility. I am not saying be quiet, I am not saying don’t protest, I am not saying don’t stay informed. I am saying get in “good trouble”.
We are a nation in peril. America is a nation that kills unarmed Black men at an alarming rate. America is a nation takes white supremacist like Dylan Roof to Burger King. America is a nation that gives 17 year-olds like Kyle Rittenhouse the power to carry and assault rifle and show up at protest as an agitator just to shoot someone.
Maybe I am optimistic. Maybe I am blind due to my military background and my love for my country. It’s hard to love family who don’t love you back. I will continue with hope and be the change that I desire to see for the land I love but the land the keeps killing me.