Tag Archives: black life

and though I knew I had done nothing wrong

Another sunrise and I wake, blessed to see it by the grace of God. I take my shower, put on my suit, and prepare to head out yet again into a world of uncertainty. I kiss my wife goodbye, pull her close, and whisper in her ear I’m the luckiest man alive to have been blessed with a wife as smart and beautiful as you. She laughs and replies, and don’t you ever forget it. Just then, my two children appear out of nowhere, shouting, daddy, daddy, we love you as they wrap my legs in two mini bear hugs. I kiss each of them and tell them daddy loves you too and head out the door; the sun is shining, there’s not a cloud in the sky, and as I drove, I couldn’t help but smile, thinking of all the wonderful blessings God has bestowed on me. My health, education, job, home, friends, and, most of all, my beautiful family. By all accounts, it was a perfect day.

Then the sound of the siren pierced the peaceful morning silence, and the red lights flashed in my mirror, and though I knew I had done nothing wrong, my hands started to tremble. I did like my mother had told me since I was old enough to understand. I turned off the radio, rolled down the window, put my license on the dashboard and my hands on the steering wheel.

The officer walked over to my car, his hand by his side on his gun, and though I knew I had done nothing wrong, I couldn’t escape the frightful thought that maybe just maybe today was my turn to be George Floyd, Eric Garner, or Jacob Blake.

Sir, would you mind stepping out of the vehicle.

Why officer, what did I do?

He looked directly at me, but I could tell he didn’t see me. Not for who I am anyway. He didn’t see a hardworking, educated, family man. A man who had never so much as gotten a ticket for jaywalking, all he saw was the color of my skin.

Sir, I’m not going to ask you again. Please step out of the vehicle.

I love you, daddy. All I could think of was my two beautiful children, and though I knew I had done nothing wrong, I very slowly removed my hand from the steering wheel to open the door.

Once I had exited the vehicle, the officer instructed me to move toward the car’s front and place my hands on the hood.

And you better not forget it. All I could think was my wife’s beautiful smile, and though I knew I had done nothing wrong, I did as he asked.

Do you mind if we search your car?

Why? I asked.

You fit the description of a man who just robbed a convenience store.

I thought that most people who rob convenience stores don’t do so with $500 suits on, but before I could protest, my mother’s voice was in my head. Son, please don’t give them even the slightest reason to shoot you. I’m too old to have to bury you, and though I knew I had done nothing wrong, I said not a problem, sir.

After a quick search, the officer matter of factly said, sorry for the trouble, you’re not who we are looking for, and without so much as another word, turned and walked back to his car. I stood there for a minute, still shaking, and attempted to regain my composure, and though I knew I had done nothing wrong, I also knew it didn’t matter because I am a black man living in America.

When Will Enough Be Enough? When Will America Realize Black Lives Matter

Revelation 6:10 English Standard Version

10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

This is not a call for vengeance but a call for justice.

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain

When will enough be enough? When will those who disregard black lives, who despise unity, who weaponize the Lord’s teachings to further their hatred of all things not like them be held accountable for their wicked ways? 

Ahmoud Arbery Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland

How many people of color must be sacrificed before those who counter Black Lives Matter with All Lives Matter acknowledge Black Lives are a part of all lives, yet for 400 years, this country has never valued them as such.

Sean Reed, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner

How many more black mothers and fathers must weep in agony and bury their sons or daughters simply because of their skin color.

Oscar Grant Michael Brown

How many more times must a father or mother of color have to sit their sons and daughters down and warn them of the inherent dangers they face every day just by walking out the door simply because of their skin.

Walter Scott, Freddie Gray

When will America come to grips that systematic racism and the brutalization and murder of people of color is real and not something new? That it is not something to be danced around. That it is not a black problem, it is an American problem, and it won’t be solved by the protest of people of color alone, but by the realization by those who have never had to worry about it that they must acknowledge it, look it directly in the eye, stand up and declare

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH BLACK LIVES MATTER

Like the giant oak tree…

Our lives have always mattered.
Our voices will never be silenced.
Our beauty is undeniable.
Our intellect is unsurpassed.
From our land, humanity was born.
From Kings and Queens, we descended.
Our freedom you did take
But
Our minds always have been free.
Our hearts always have been free.
Our souls always have been free.
And because you could not capture them.
We have soared
Our contributions undeniable, too numerous to dismiss
Our history is not just our history.
Our history is American history.
Like the giant oak tree, we are rooted in the very fabric of this country.
Without us, it would not exist.
As James Brown exclaimed
Say it loud
We are BLACK, and we are PROUD!

I love my country – The African American voice

I defended my country, the country I love, in WWII, but I was denied service at the lunch counter when I came home.
I defended my country, the country I love, in the Vietnam war, but when I came home, they turned the fire hoses on me when I dared to vote.
I defended my country, the country I love, in the Iraq war, but when I came home, the police still stopped and frisked me for no reason.
I am a person of color, and I joined the military, and I am a veteran today because I love my country.
Yes, I love America, but America has not treated me fairly. America has enslaved me, segregated me, denied me the right to vote, denied me equality in housing, wealth opportunities, and education. It has jailed me at in-proportioned numbers. Slowly I have seen things change, gotten better. But these changes did not happen by themselves. I had to stand up to the country I love and demand that it lives up to the promise that it was founded on – All men are created equal. I did not stand up to America because I hate it. I did not kneel in solidarity because I disrespect it. I did it because I love my country, and make no mistake; it is as my country as much as anyone’s because despite the obstacles I had to and continue to endure, I continue to create breath taking masterpieces, inspire others in literature, art and music. Produce life-saving breakthroughs in science and medicine. I continue to achieve great things every day, and with each step, I take forward, I leave an indelible fingerprint on the very fabric of a country. So no matter how hard some may try, I will not be silenced; I will continue to shine a light on social injustice. Continue to demand that America live up to her promise. After all, dissent is the highest form of patriotism, and I love my country.

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The Black Lives Matter Debate

I have grown tired of the endless back and forth. I have grown tired of having to defend my right to shine a spotlight on the killing of Men of Color without also having to prove I’m not anti-police. I have grown tired of specific segments of society telling me to stay quiet, not protest, not interrupt their day-to-day activities, turn the other cheek, and move forward. Yet here I am again today watching the news, and there it is predictable as can be, individuals like Sean Hannity and Rudy Giuliani using the tragic events of Dallas to denounce Black Lives Matter. I am again going through my social media feed and seeing an increase in the number of individuals posting the hashtag All Lives Matter. While all lives matter, we need to be honest and real about why the hashtag All Lives Matter became a counter-response to Black Lives Matter.
First, by saying Black Lives Matter, you do not state that other lives matter less or don’t matter at all. It never was. Black Lives Matter calls attention to an inherent problem, and that is the senseless killing of Men of Color by those charged with protecting the public. Now let me be clear because there are those out there who would jump on that statement and call me anti-police, which could not be further from the truth. To be a police officer, to know each day you risk your life so society can be a safer place takes a special person. However, there are always bad apples in any group, and even if it’s only 1% of the nation’s police force, the spotlight must shine on that 1% until that 1% is stripped of their power. Those who blame the senseless killing of five police officers on Black Lives Matter either don’t get it or don’t want to get it. They are the real race-baiters. No person of color who says Black Lives Matter wants to see any officer of the law killed. Communities of color did not celebrate the death of five good men; we mourned it. As we grieve, however, we cannot let individuals like Sean Hannity and Rudy Giuliani take a tragic event like Dallas and, through the power of the media, attempt to silence our voices against police brutality. It is not about getting over it and moving forward. It’s about this country no longer pretending that there are not very real issues that need to be addressed. It’s about people no longer using the lame excuse that you are anti-police by calling for the end of police brutality. It’s about finally having a brutally honest conversation about race relations in this country. Understanding that while All Lives Matter countering Black Lives Matter with All Lives Matter is like bursting into a cancer fundraiser and saying, hey, Heart disease is a problem too, you know. It’s true, but it is missing the point.

The Ferguson decision disappointing but predictable

I’m mad this morning.
Mad because yet again, our justice system has turned a blind eye and refused to afford the African-American community even the opportunity to see justice served. Remember, this was not a trial. This was not a case where guilt needed to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This was a Grand Jury proceeding, and to bring an indictment in a Grand Jury proceeding, one does not have to find guilt, only the probability that a crime was committed, that the accused person did it, and that he/she should be tried in a court of law. Yet despite what appears clear to most – that there was the probability that a young unarmed man was gunned down without cause – this Grand Jury found otherwise. I have said it before, and I’ll repeat it; I have the utmost respect for the men and women who protect and serve us as members of police departments around the country every day. But when an individual who is trusted with the power and authority of a police officer commits a crime, there can be no debate; it is our moral and legal responsibility to hold that officer to the same standards of accountability, if not higher, as the standards we hold any ordinary citizen too for their actions.
Once again, Mad because the narrative this morning as FOX NEWS displayed across their screen is ANARCHY IN AMERICA – CHAOS IN FERGUSON. Make no mistake about it, FOX, there is anger and sadness, but it is not only in Ferguson but also nation-wide, yet we did not wake this morning to America in flames. Instead, we awake as a country this morning mostly to the resigned acceptance that this decision, while disappointing was predictable. Let’s be clear here the reaction in Ferguson was unfortunate and uncalled for. It will not bring back Michael Brown. It will not bring justice to his family, nor will it be a catalyst for much-needed changes in the inherently flawed American justice system. But it is simple physics; you can only keep a lid on a boiling pot for so long before it finally blows. You can not continue to tell people repeatedly for hundreds of years that your life and the lives of your loved ones are not as valuable as that of the next person simply because of the color of your skin.
Mad because while I have seen countless videos on YouTube of young white men interacting with police, refusing to show identification or state their name because they have constitutional rights. Young black men across America everyday live with the reality that a simple choice could cost them their lives, a choice that wouldn’t have such an outcome if they were born a different color. An illegal turn, the wrong choice of clothes, walking in the wrong neighborhood, being seen with too many friends of color in one place.
Mad because this country still has to deal with the ignorance of racism. If you think it doesn’t, if you believe Ferguson isn’t about race, read an article on any website today about Ferguson, then skim through the comments section at the bottom. After that read, come back and let me know if you think racism is dead.
One of the main reasons America is great is its diversity and how that diversity has come together in one place to achieve great things. One of the main reasons America is flawed is the fundamental ignorance of those who refuse to acknowledge that fact.
I’m mad this morning, and in reality, it’s because I’m sad.