Today, I was tagged in a post by a good friend who’s life is a reflection of positive transformation– in spite of grim circumstances. In his video, he spoke of his distaste for the recurring murders-men who look just like him. He also posed a poignant question, which I’ll get to later. Our community has lost countless boys and men, all of which have been callously gunned down by those who vowed to protect and serve them, not point and shoot!
His sentiments penetrated my screen–the hairs on my arms rose and the beat of my heart skipped a beat. It brought tears to my eyes and an indescribable sadness for: my Father, significant other, cousins, friends, and the males in my community; those hated by some law enforcement and vigilantes, solely because of color of their skin.
Until this video, I failed to realize the deeply rooted pain I had in my heart for my community. Yes, Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, John Crawford, III, and Mike Brown all frustrated and saddened me. These young lives forced me to give deeper thought to if I were to receive that call for the men in my life-devastation would be an understatement. My heart immediately sank into my chest and gave me a great sense of urgency to phone each and every one of them to express how much I loved them!
The above photo unequivocally describes how I feel and posted a little earlier before watching my friends video…great minds. I have his and the men in my life back.
Toward the end of his video he posed the question, “what to we do stop this in our community?” He expressed feeling helpless, when in fact he’d made the initial step required in seeking a viable solution. It’s my belief that a first step in the right direction is to have effective and transparent conversations with our boys. The conversations should consist of powerful how to’s–how to properly interact with the police when approached, how to vote officials in office who are for equality for all and implement the positive change our communities require, and how to command the respect of those who hate you by fighting with your mind.
Furthmore, it’s time our brothers in a place of influence begin to transparently share their stories of reform from the streets; incidents they’ve had with the police where they were treated unjustly; and ways they’ve effectively evoked change the right way. We’ve got to be candid in our fight and do it with intellect not fist or behaviors that mirror what those who have wronged us have exercised. We are not in a position to fight their fight nor have our ancestors prepared us for such. We are equipped with the tools needed to conquer injustice. It starts with out entire community banding together; whether it be suburbs or inner city.
So, I say to my friend, you do know how to evoke change; you just did. It starts at home with a ripple effect. I dedicate this first ripple to you. I’m confident the countless men and women you tagged in your powerful will add their ripples too. Let’s begin with having conversations– transparent testimonies!
Where 2 or more are gathered…