I wanted desperately to keep my blog upbeat, to post things that I was learning in Bible study or quiet time with God, to talk about my fitness journey, to talk about food I eat or make for my family, about my family in general but I cannot just sit back and not use my voice.
I have written this same post over and over trying to convey what I want to say. The recent events, well the events that have been going on for far too long, reminded me of a time when I didn't believe that Black Lives Matter. See, I come from one of those families that give you the blinding rose colored glasses and spoon feed you the same simple minded lies that were given to them. I am not knocking my family. As a collective whole, we have made huge strides from when I was a little girl but I believe that those blinders and lies are the reason white America doesn't understand. Someone has to take their glasses off for them.
I remember a time that my glasses were really removed. I can remember arguing with my mother about my black boyfriend, which was forbidden until I was 17 years old. She just couldn't understand why I was attracted to black guys, to dark guys, to guys who listened to rap music and to "thugs". I can remember sitting on our kitchen counter and telling her how ashamed I was to be white, that I hated being white and that God was punishing me because He had made me white. How can you not feel shame as a white person? How can you be proud of the past and the things we did to other HUMAN beings? I know a couple of things are going to be said "That was a long time ago", "I didn't personally do it", "our family didn't own slaves" and "you've been around black people too long" but look at it different. You go to church and you are moved to tears by the what Jesus went through when he was crucified. It sickens you the way Jesus was treated and how they beat him to no end but you want to not talk about slavery. You don't want to about how people bought and sold HUMANS! You don't want to talk about how they were torn from their families, children ripped from their lives forever, how they were good enough to cook food, take care of the kids, the homes, the fields and the business of white people but not good enough for medical care, to eat properly, for decent housing or even decent treatment. Want to get a real wake up call, go watch 12 Years A Slave and then let you mind wonder about all the things your history book will never tell you...ponder that one for a minute. No, you didn't personally do it but when you harbor those same ignorant beliefs, when you choose certain words as part of your vocabulary, when you hold your purse a little tighter, when you tell your daughters to stay away from black guys, when you tell your sons that they can't be with a black woman, when you look at your inner circle and it's a sea of white faces, when you live that same close minded life, you are doing it personally. Your family didn't own slaves? Good for you, neither did mine but it doesn't change the fact that others did and our families sat back and did nothing. I speak for all of us who have roots down here in the South. I've been around black people too long, yes, I'll take that one too,
I've been around black people long enough to know better. See, when I was growing up, my best friend and I would go to the corner store and we would get followed all over the store but when I came alone, it never happened. When I am with my husband, we get pulled over for things like, I was just running your license plate, you have a license plate light out, you looked like you were speeding. Always get out of the car, always searched and in the past 3 years, my husband has had his car searched by the drug dog only to have nothing found and each time it has been a white cop who then told him have a nice day. We still want to know what he was pulled over for to begin with. I can never apologize to black people enough for the crap that they endure on a daily basis and that I've witnessed first hand. I've seen people passed over for jobs because they have an ethnic sounding name and listened to white people complain about how we get a day to celebrate Martin Luther King Day but not President's Day. They still don't get it.
Black people, especially black males, have been systematically murdered since their shackled feet first hit the land of the good ole U.S.A. We went from slavery to segregation, we went from segregation to sweeping it under the rug and as much as people complain about social media, about cameras everywhere, racism cannot be hidden any longer. We can't hide it or sweep it under the rug. So why do I say black lives matter, when you let it hit closer to home, you really start to get it.
I watched my husband yesterday. I have never seen him so angry, so upset and why? Because he is tired of turning on the news and seeing faces like his gunned down, he is tired of seeing faces like his treated less than. When I think about my husband, I don't know what I would do if he was ever murdered and especially by those who took an oath to protect ALL citizens. I'm not anti-cop, I'm anti-justice and this is an injustice. Want me to take it a step further? When I got married I became an instant grandmother to his grandchildren. I have 3 black grandsons. Right now they are 1 month old, 9 months and 6 years old. To think at some point in life that they will face some of the same stupid crap that my husband, my brother-in-laws, my nephews, my cousins, my uncles face makes me sick.
I want to protect them at all costs because they are innocent but they were born black. Black lives matter because my mother-in-law doesn't want to bury anymore people she loves. She has seen so much in her 77 years here on earth, much for the better but in the end, she still faces the same challenges she did when she was 7 at age 77.
I think about the men, the boys, the women, the girls who have been MURDERED because of their skin color! I'm sickened and while I can never understand fully what it is like to be black in America, I will take the stand, I will stand in the gap. There are more of us white folks than ever before. Let us know how we can help because we are at a loss but we will stand with you and for you. We will rally, we will cry and we will shout until it changes.