It saddens me that this is my next post. But it is a story that must be shared today.
May 31ST, 2020.
Over the past few days, I have watched the nation unfold due to the social unjust that we, as black people, deal with daily. This latest insurgence, is due to the lynching of George Floyd in Minnesota on May 25th, 2020. And I say lynching because that’s what it was. A modern day PUBLIC, BRUTILE, MURDER, due to RACISM, aka lynching. You know I’m going to try and speak as freely and as truthfully as I can here. Honestly, I’ve been wrapped up in my own little world just due to a lot of big changes in my life recently so when I heard about the murder of George Floyd via Twitter, I did not want to watch the videos, I did not want to comment, I shared a post or 2, but I was just withdrawn from it all. My first thought was “Dang, Again?” Ahmaud Arbery was still fresh on my mind, Breonna Taylor barely got any media coverage, before we had yet ANOTHER MURDER due to the crime of being black in America. I was detached, I was numb. I did not want to think about it.
Seeing the protests, the rage, the looting, the fires on social media, yes, I stopped, I watched, I shook my head, I continued to scroll. If that is you, that is OKAY. As a black person, I’m not saying POC, as a BLACK person, it is ok to feel numb. It is okay to not want to always engage, cause damn we just tired, okay. We just want to live, who WANTS to deal with racism everyday? Who wants to fight for BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS every damn day? IT’s tiring, it’s exhausting, it’s FRUSTRATING. But it’s a fight we must fight. As a BLICKITY BLACK BLACK BLACK WOMAN in America, I must fight.
My first dealing of racism, I can never forget, this is the story I will tell my children’s children, is when I was 11 or 12 years old at Whitehouse Elementary in Jacksonville, Florida. I don’t even think I’ve told my immediate family, but here it goes. I was in 5th grade, we had just moved to the area from Miramar, Florida, which was like night and day to me as a child. South Florida is a melting pot of cultures, races, ethnicities. You have your Spanish, Haitians, blacks, whites, Caribbean’s, Africans you had a little bit of everything all on the same block. Moving to the West side of Jacksonville Florida, living off of a little ol’ street called Normandy blvd, let me tell you what you will find there, WHITE PEOPLE. That’s it. That’s just facts. That was back in 2006/2007, I don’t know if much has changed, but I’ll tell you that the west side of Jacksonville is the least developed side of the whole city, so I’ll just leave it at that. I was one of 3 black girls in the class, I don’t remember if there where any black boys, probably not, but I do know I was quick to make friends with the other 2 black girls. Anyways. I used to always wear this black jacket that had the letters “BCBG” written in silver rhinestones on the front to school everyday. I was an awkward, timid, young black girl, and I guess I just didn’t like to show my arms. I don’t remember the reason, I just wore it everyday, mind you this is Florida, so I know it wasn’t cold everyday. I was just awkward. Still am lol. Anyways, I remember one day I wore this jacket, and one of my white classmates, her name was Teresa, I can’t ever forget. She was average height, freckles adorned her white pasty face, and she had this medium length brown curly hair. Mind you, this wasn’t the first day of school or anything, so this girl has been my classmate for a few months, along with the twenty some other white people in the class who probably thought the same way she did back then, and probably still do to this day. She pointed at my jacket and said with a smile “What does BCBG stand for? Black chick, burnt girl?” I don’t remember the other people’s reactions around me, I don’t remember my reaction, but I’m sure I didn’t say anything, I probably just walked away. Awkward, timid, black girl, remember? Emphasis on the timid, my God I was a shy child, so I know I didn’t have any slick rebuttal for her. Anyways, that was my first taste of racism, and little did I know it wouldn’t be my last. From being pulled over by police and being asked to step out of my car, to the fear of officers daily when they even just ride past me. It’s something I, WE, deal with everyday. I shared that story to say, I don’t want to live my life in fear. I don’t want to raise my kids in a system that is stacked against us. I don’t want that. But that is our reality. Pastor Tim of Elevate life church in Jacksonville, Florida gave the most PERFECT biblical context for our current climate today this morning via his live service. I urge whoever is reading this, black, white, whoever you are, to check it out if you can go back and watch May 31st, 2020’s message or even just open up your bible and read Acts Chapter 6-7 and see that we’ve dealt with racial discrimination even in those times, but how they reacted was different. They listened, they recognized the unfairness, they reconstructed the discriminatory system, and they put people in power to CHANGE the system. THIS is what we must do.
I UNDERSTAND WE ARE ANGRY. Teresa’s comment almost 15 years ago STICKS WITH ME TO THIS DAY. I AM ANGRY, I AM SAD, I AM HURT. Yes, protest, yes, express your emotions, your grievances, but we must find a different vehicle. I don’t have the answer, but I know where to start. Jesus Christ. The REAL TRUE WORD OF GOD. And I say TRUE Word because some people are not interpreting the TRUTH. The True Word of God. Imagine, if our leaders of this nation, the racists of this nation, really got to know the Man who transcended ethnic groups, who healed the sick, the poor, the wealthy, the green, the blue, the black, the white. He brought people together from all walks of life. IMAGINE. This is not one person’s fight, this is not a day’s battle, this is transformation that will take long to fix, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.