The past couple months have been rough…well the past 6 months have been challenging…well, the past…it seems like there is no end to the challenges.
Challenges are there to grow us and when we don’t pay attention, it will repeat itself in one form or the other until we get the lesson. The world – the earth and our fellow humans are begging for growth and change. The thing is also, that change and growth can feel painful. That’s how it’s always been; but I believe in us. God gave us everything we need to grow and change.
I’ve blogged about a lot of things here over the years, and I’m grateful to all who thought my sharing was worthy of a following. Moving forward, this blog will be my place for personal expression. I am a consummately curious person and so who knows what topics will pass here. It’s all good if you feel you need to leave, but I hope you’ll stay so we can converse, share ideas and learn from each other.
Which brings me to this post.
As citizens of the United States (or any country), politics has to be removed from the category of “four-letter words”. Politics is something that affects us ALL and is part of our daily lives whether we are comfortable talking about it or not. I grew up in Trinidad and in many other places around the world, talking about what’s happening in the political arena is acceptable dinner conversation. But in the US, it’s bad manners. Can we grow up already? I mean, why do we not want to talk about something that affects all aspects of our lives? (Hint: We such at Emotional Literacy and are great and avoiding pain.)
While politics is one painful conversation, it seems #BlackLivesMatter is another.
I don’t know how someone saying “please give me the same chance at living and making a life, as everyone else,” has become a politically painful conversation.
Well, I do know, because so many of us have unresolved pain and we are not emotionally literate enough to deal with it or even seek help for it. Brene Brown’s social research shows that it is easier to off-put our hurt on others (make other’s hurt too) than it is to work through our own pain.
Also, the US has never done any racial reckoning – unlike countries like South Africa and Rwanda. If you look at the reconciliation work done in Rwanda, an integral part of that was people being allowed to tell their story to the masses without retribution and with the knowledge that they were heard. Taking personal defense downplays the person telling their experience. Bishop Tutu lays it out nicely in his book “The Book Of Forgiving”.
If you think reconciling work is not for the US, think again. President L. B. Johnson, when signing the Civil Rights Act in 1964 said, “This Civil Rights Act is a challenge to all of us to go to work in our communities and our states, in our homes and in our hearts, to eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in our beloved country.” Yet here we are AGAIN in 2020. We haven’t done enough work on the “hearts” part.
Which brings me to the #AllLivesMatter folks who are silent on things that affect all lives such as:
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection broke the law by misusing money meant for medical care and food for those in immigration detention – https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-06-11/gao-report-cbp-misused-emergency-funds-meant-for-immigrant-care-on-dog-food-and-dirt-bikes;
and the fact that we can always find money for fighter jets but the United States Postal Service, the only way military service personal can receive mail, has been floundering for 14+ years and not the option to fix it is to slow down service (which already slowed due to COVID-19 – https://fortune.com/2020/07/24/usps-mail-delivery-postmaster-general-louis-dejoy-us-postal-service/.
And then there’s COVID-19. I don’t have the energy to get into this one because Black lives are also on the line and have been through the history of the United States. If I can be killed without repercussion while running away (not lunging at the police with a knife as seen in this video; btw the accomplice was taken into custody alive and well), then I have a bigger problem than COVID-19.
So as Kendi said, we can no longer be “not racist” we have to be proactively “anti-racist”.
To that end, here is my contribution to help move us forward to being anti-racist. I am learning and doing the work on me, I hope you will too: antiracist.enjoyingbeing.me.