Just in case you needed help too-
Just this morning.... One of my Caucasian friends asked me, "Can you tell me what else I can do to be part of the solution so this never happens again?' She had already posted her outrage at the recent murder of #AhmaudArbery. I told her that's significant. Trust, I get that it is not all...YET it is significant. My friend may never completely grasp the depth of why her single post is significant, yet, here are some of the observations that I shared with her, mostly as reminders because we've chatted it out before. I get her overwhelming sensation to desire to do more, but stay steady friend is my response. Your simple voice, your stand is significant. It is sustainable, it is repeatable, it is principle. Perchance others in my community may have this same question. You are welcome to lean in to my perspective on why lending your voice to the dialogue matters. And of course, should you feel that someone in your community may desire to know, it's already shareable.
IT IS MORE THAN A POST. While it may not change the entire world, it is a valuable signaling to your world on where you stand regarding such issues. You see, I am clear. That son killed Ahmaud because of the influence within his immediate world. His father was right there in on the action front and center. Never in a million years would Zo have condoned me grabbing a shotgun, jumping in a vehicle and going to call myself questioning somebody who I "thought" was a criminal. NEVER. Those types of behaviors don't even cross my mind because she and Greg Sr. shaped my world. In influencing my world, they impact the entire world because it influences how I show up in society. When you post, you signal to your world. You see who normally likes every thing you share but all of a sudden, they are real quiet. You may look up and discover, honey you are no longer a friend. Impact your world regardless.
TAKING THIS SIMPLE STAND EMPOWERS YOU TO TAKE YOUR NEXT STAND. Take a stand in your social media platforms. Take a stand around your dinner table with off the record discussions. Take a stand in the backyard cook-offs. Keep taking your stand, impacting your circle, your community of influence...when we each do our part to impact our world, eventually-we impact the whole world.
IT SIGNALS TO PEOPLE OF COLOR IN YOUR WORLD THAT YOU CARE. While it may not directly be your experience, you will not discredit that for them it is a sad, horrifying, tragic experience. You care about our experience. In school yards, we teach children to speak up. "Do not stand around and watch a fight,," we say. "Go get help, tell somebody." We watch them watching us try to fight. We watch them look away.
IT REVEALS THE POSTURE OF YOUR HEART. Many people of color have watched colleagues, college class mates, hometown friends, vehemently with LOUD verbiage push back against the necessary message #BLACKLIVESMATTER with the empty, rhetoric #ALLLIVESMATTER. We have long known that the true sentiment was not really that all lives mattered, it was simply to silence the message regarding Black lives. Think about it....if ALL really meant ALL...how could they be silent EVERY SINGLE TIME? With ALL of the lives, ALL of the hashtags, ALL of the injustices, we notice those who have NEVER- not as a human, not as a mother who loves a child, not as a Christian...not a single time ever expressed any type of compassion for our plight. Moreover, historically, that ALL never included us. That same all in "liberty and justice for all" was in place when some of the most inhumane treatment of Black people in this country took place. The ALL did not include us then and sadly, it still does not include us
IT REVEALS THE INTENTIONS OF THEIR HEART. Those same people will LOUDLY speak up regarding taking a knee, the BLACKLIVESMATTER chant, a puppy getting mistreated, a tree being cut down, so we are absolutely clear that they know how to speak-
LASTLY, YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN. I will just leave that with no explanation.
PS> People of color, the same applies to us. Silence is not acceptable. Your platform may be different, but refuse to not do your part until it is your heart-and that is too late. We speak because this is us. To my friend's credit, having civil conversation about topics like this has consistently been a treasured part of our friendship. We choose to work to understand the biases, prejudices, stereotypical beliefs, and other dynamics that have been detrimental to our race relations....- Do you have someone with whom you may do the same? xoxo G