The movie character Rocky Balboa said It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.
You have hit us hard.
Shackled us in the chains of bondage
Lynched us under cover of night
Brutalized us for the color of our skin
Beat us when we demanded to be treated as equals
Oppressed us economically
Marginalized us socially
Devalued our lives
But we keep moving forward.
Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. We are a unique people; our indomitable spirit keeps us moving forward in the face of all things done against us. It is a spirit that not only keeps us moving forward; it has protected and strengthened us. It is a spirit that screams WE ARE BLACK EXCELLENCE!
The echo of gunshots filled the air.
And the young man’s lifeless body fell to the ground.
The cries of I can’t breathe filled the air.
And the young man’s lifeless body fell to the ground.
The howls of disbelief filled the courtroom.
And the defendant walked free once more.
The sound of silence filled the halls of the city, state, and nation’s capitals.
And those in power did nothing yet again.
For centuries, our lives have been devalued by those who see only the color of our skin.
Have we not helped build this nation?
Have we not fought for this nation?
Have we not shown time after time our love for this nation?
Have we not been every bit the American that you believe yourself to be?
Because of your hatred, your racism we must scream for the world to hear that Black Lives Matter because, for 400 years, you have demonstrated that to you it doesn’t. It isn’t a logical mentality, but it is true.
“A smile or a tear has no nationality; joy and sorrow speak alike to all nations, and they, above all the confusion of tongues, proclaim the brotherhood of man. – Frederick Douglass.”
On September 10th, the Kansas City Chiefs prepared to defend their NFL title against the Houston Texans. Before the game, the players in a sign of unity decided on their own to stand together and lock arms in support of Black Lives Matter. It was a moving tribute and one that you would expect would be universally applauded by a so-called enlightened society. Yet as the cameras rolled a nation heard boos emanating from the crowd.
Sad yes, unexpected no. There remains a segment of America that does not or wants to relate to the tears shed when a person of color’s life is needlessly taken, or the sorrow when yet another incomprehensible acquittal is met with indifference. To that segment of America, the tears and sorrow are not theirs and as such have little importance.
It is only when the tears and sorrow turn to anger do they see it but make no mistake they do not see the reason for the anger, they see only how it impacts them. Their level of comfort interrupted by those they label as troublemakers’ anarchist.
“The white man’s happiness cannot be purchased by the black man’s misery.” – Frederick Douglass.
Those who booed the moment of unity are a relic of America’s past. A time when segregation was the rule of the day. When the desire to learn about other races, cultures and religions was deemed unnecessary. When the pain of one group was looked at as their pain and not America’s pain. In 2020 the Coalition of the Righteous, a group of all races and nationalities coming together to rebuke this thinking is starting to change this mindset. However, this mindset still simmers beneath the American surface and is stoked by President Trump. His agenda is one of fear, hate, and racism. Designed to keep Americans divided. To ensure that they fear and hate each other to such a degree that they will never look to understand each other. To never appreciate the pain and sorrow one group feels when faced with racial and social injustice.
“the prejudices people feel about each other disappear when they get to know each other.” – Captain Kirk, Start Trek
On September 10th they booed a show of unity, they are the past and one day the future of America will boo them for their booing.
“Any state, any entity, any ideology that fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete” – Rod Sterling
President Trump has repeatedly claimed that those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement want to strip America of its heritage, wants to abolish police. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that the Black Lives Matter movement is the new American revolution and it is being fought not by just people of color but by a coalition of different races and nationalities. A coalition that looks a lot like America of the 21st century. A coalition who reject the hatred and racism of the old guard, who have tired of America’s racial and society inequalities and who demand change.
As with any revolution the goal is not to continue the status quo but to defeat it and replace it with a better system. The American heritage that those on the wrong side of the revolution fight to maintain includes displaying the confederate battle flag, protecting statues honoring confederate “heroes”, maintaining the names of military bases named after traitors who fired upon and declared war on America.
The police system that they cling to has an unfortunate history, despite the many decent officers who risk their lives every day, of unfairly of targeting and punishing people of color many times with deadly consequences.
It would be foolish to believe that the hearts and minds of those who wish to continue the status quo can be changed as racism and hatred is imbedded in their soul. It would be equally foolish to believe that a culture and systems that have been developed and nurtured by those same individuals for centuries can be changed from with-in.
To achieve real change, it is necessary to eliminate the so-called heritage that celebrates America’s racist past. To educate all Americans of not just the many achievements people of color have contributed to this country’s history but the truth about the oppression that America has perpetrated on people of color for over four hundred years and the advantage of white privilege it has produced.
To achieve real progress the current police and justice systems must be stripped down to the studs, and that does not mean eliminating it as some would have you believe, before it can be build back up with meaningful reform that ensures that it treats all people equitably. That is not an attack on police in general, it is a long overdue call for reform that ensures the end of racial profiling and makes their jobs safer
As Frederick Douglass said: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” After 400 years it is obvious America’s treatment of people of color is beyond repair it is time to eliminated that heritage and build a new one from scratch.
The revolution has begun and while some may cling to Donald Trump and his agenda of hatred and racism, they are about to find themselves on the wrong side of history
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, my education, my job, my home, my 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 I had been told by my mother 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 jay walking. 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 front of the car 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 to myself 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 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.
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain
Ahmoud Arbery Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland
Sean Reed, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner
Oscar Grant Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray
This has to stop.
This is not a black problem this is an American problem and make no mistake this upcoming election is not about policy, economics or even Covid. This election is about race in America.
This election is about a segment of society who believe for America to be great it needs to return to the days of Jim Crow and segregation. When the KKK rode freely through the night. When Blacks “knew” their place.
I’m so sad, so angry, so tired of this shit.
I’m an American, my people helped built this country, this country’s wealth was achieved through the blood of my ancestors. I should not have to tremble in fear when I see flashing lights in my rear view mirror. My brother and sisters should not have to warn their children about the inherent dangers they face because they are black. My people should not have to grieve another black man or woman shot dead by police.
This has got to stop!!
Vote out the hate
Vote in the hope
👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 to NBA players decision to boycott games and the league decision to reschedule all of today’s game in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake.
The disgusting Laura Ingraham once told her audience on FOX, likely to their glee, that LeBron James should shut up and dribble. Well today the players told America NO we are not just going to move on from yet another incident of perceived misconduct by police against a black man, another incident where Black Lives Don’t Matter. Today we are raising our voices by not dribbling.
While the morally repugnant President who has hijacked our country with his hate, tweets in all caps law and order, ignoring the anger so many feel because of the continued threat of living while black in this country. We are screaming America this is unacceptable! We will no longer stand for it. We will not simply whisper it so you feel comfortable we will scream it to make you uncomfortable and if you choose to continue to ignore us you will see just how comfortable we can make you.
As Thomas Jefferson said:
What country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? let them take arms. the remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. what signify a few lives lost in a century or two? the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.
I love the Matrix, part one that is, and while parts two and three didn’t quite measure up there are still some great moments in them. One of them is Morpheus’ speech to Zion. I always thought that speech could be used today for so many things and with race relations still playing such a prominent role in America today, with a President who fans the flames of racism, preaches hate and division and with a wink and a nod gives approvals to white supremacists. I wondered how could Morpheus’ speech be re-imagined to address this. I think I did a pretty good job.