I feel stuck. Paralyzed. Emotionless almost. Hopeful. Hopeful that my friends of different backgrounds don’t make generalizations about my race. Whether it is walking in the grocery store, or working out at the gym I feel uncomfortable as a black person. I get the stare. The stare of fear, the unknown, and repentance from other people as I walk past them. Everyday this feeling grows. What do you say? I just smile and pray they at least think to smile back. All of this because of dividing occurrences in our world.
Every time my Apple Watch vibrates with another USA Today update, I cringe on what negative news is going to pop up.
“Police officers shot”, “Over 50 dead and numbers rising in France”, “Police shot unarmed black male” “Opposing protesters get violent”
Question we can ALL agree on is What’s next?, When is this going to stop? Who is going to stop it? How do we stop it? Until we know what “IT” is, we will continue to see history repeat patterns over and over again.
It has felt like society demands individuals to take a side. Some see these sides as Pro-Black and Pro-White, Anti-White and Racist, and in many cases Republican or Democrat. I am stuck. Stuck in the middle of the idea that there should not be any sides at all. In actuality, sides are the assumption that everyone in that groups thinks and wishes the same ideas. Generalizations are killing every effort to unify. We all need to come together and fight against the developing norm that all white people think the same and all black people behave the same.
As I looked down at my watch to see that yet another group of officers have been killed by an African-American terrorist (yes- terrorist: one who instills terror, no matter the race, religion, or ethnicity), my heart grows heavy. I think about the officer who stood outside my Orlando, FL door for 12 hours following the Pulse Nightclub attack. I think of the officers who saved numerous of lives the night before, no matter what their orientation, race, or circumstance was. I also think about the frustration of civilians in cities like Baton Rouge, Ferguson, and countless of other predominantly minority neighborhoods who have faced police harassment and unfair treatment for decades. While both of these examples are a reality, the solution is NEVER death for anyone.
So what is the solution?
I think there are many steps to the solution. The formula is simple. It is simple only if society as a whole can do the steps together, in unity, with love, and forgiveness. Up until this point in eternity, these pillars seem to be so hard that even death is a better option.
We have to unite.
While putting our differences aside sounds great, it is an obstacle in uniting with each other. I’ve heard many people say “I don’t see color”. Have you ever heard someone whisper “the black guy”? Yes I have too. It is okay to chuckle a little bit because when you think about why, you realize it is ridiculous. By whispering or avoiding, you are insinuating that there is something wrong with that man being black. You can use this example in many contexts. A gay/lesbian person may be announced in a whisper or not even stated at all. When this situation arises, it is out of the thought that there is something wrong with that person’s orientation. In contrast, there are inappropriate ways to describe someone by their differences. Some people display this by tone, circumstance, or racial comedies.
What’s going to make America great again? Embracing our differences. Furthermore, appreciating our differences. It starts with everyone taking pride of who they are, their heritage, and appreciating that they are different. I am so proud to be black. When someone describes me, I want them to feel comfortable describing me as the black female while absorbing other personal qualities I may have. By recognizing that we are all different, we can then move on to appreciate each other’s walks in life. We will soon realize that our differences will uncover our ability to connect ideas, creative solutions, and inventions that can solve countless worldly problems we face today.
“Hate, it is caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one”
– Maya Angelou
My heart is heavy for all of the victims of hate. Victims of police brutality, hate crimes against police, for being in a night club, and, unfortunately, the list goes on. Hate solves nothing but love, love can cure everything.
There is not much to write about love. It is simple. Appreciate someone for who they are! Love them with all your heart. Love their differences. Love their struggles because you never know when you’re going to need someone to love yours.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling”– 1 Peter 4:8-9
…Without grumbling…leads me to
“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon”
– Nelson Mandela
My family and I alone have dealt with our share of racial encounters. I have received a KKK note in high school. My father grew up in Los Angeles, CA where he faced prejudice actions everyday. He also attended a college where he was one of the only black players on the roster, let alone a quarterback (you have to be “intelligent” to play QB). He did not feel very welcome there to say the least. Both of my brothers have been pulled over in our very own neighborhood and were bothered with the question “what are you doing around here?”. My mother experienced public school during the desegregation era in Denver, CO. These instances illustrate speckles of what my family has gone through.
Sadly, every family has a story. A family may have a story on how a person of color negatively affected them in some way or another.
We cannot make any progress until we unlock the chains of fear with the key of forgiveness. I forgive the student who threw the note at me in high school. I forgive the honors teacher who thought I needed help finding the right classroom. I pray the man who was wearing a Trump shirt forgives me for my immediate judgments about his life and who he was.
“We cannot make any progress until we unlock the chains of fear with the key of forgiveness” – Sable Lee
So what is the reality of everyone in society reading my effort to stop the racial divide that is amongst us? I don’t know. I will continue to pray that love shines and bursts to the forefront of our thoughts and actions as we strive to bounce back from these horrific tragedies.
As we continue to face civil disparities…
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears”– Nelson Mandela
Sable A Lee