Tag Archives: racism

We Keep Moving Forward

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!

Why We Say Black Lives Matter

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.

Hate Will Destroy Us All

COVID-19 is ravaging the nation, with close to 200,000 lives lost and countless more impacted by its long-term after-effects.

Unemployment is devastating individuals economically, with close to 30 million Americans relying on unemployment benefits.

Hunger is overwhelming families, with food security affecting over 37 million U.S. households.

Homelessness impacts our most vulnerable, with 1.5 million students classified by the U.S. Department of Education as homeless because of unstable living situations. 

Now more than ever, we should be banning together under the banner of brotherhood, elevating the things that bind us together, cherishing our values, helping others, and holding each one close. 

Sadly, in these turbulent times, our current leadership chooses to ramp up the message of hate, devaluing the lives of people of color, setting a tone of callousness and division. A tone that will never allow us to band together to nurture this nation back to health. 

As our country slowly dies in front of their eyes, those who embrace racism have just one thought, hate. It is all that has ever mattered to them since they raided our land, tore us from our families, herded us together like cattle, and sold us as slaves. And their hatred only grows as our demands to live our lives in equality and dignity grows. As Mr. Spock would say, it does not make sense to expect sense from such a mentality is not logical.

That which is truly ours can never be broken

The chains of bondage could not break us.
The whips could not break us.
The burning crosses could not break us.
The dogs and fire hoses could not break us.
The knee on our necks could not break us.
From the moment you saw us, you have tried to break us.
Why?
Maybe it’s because the moment you saw us, you knew we didn’t walk, we didn’t run, we soared. You knew we would never get caught in the rain because we soared high above the clouds, and there was nothing we couldn’t accomplish.
Did you fear that?
Did you think your hatred and violence would make you better than us?
Did you think we would go away?
Have you not seen that we are a people of extraordinary character?
Have you not recognized that after centuries of trying to break us, we are only getting stronger?
Have you not realized that our hearts, minds, and souls, that which is truly ours, can never be taken from us, can never be broken?
Do you not see
We are Black and We are beautiful.

HOW DARE YOU!

How dare you believe that you can question our patriotism when we kneel to bring light to the killing of our people. When we have fought, bled, and given our life in EVERY war this nation has seen. Only to return home and be treated as a second class citizen.
How dare you suppose that you can tell us it’s not Black Lives that Matter; it’s that All Lives Matter when you have shown a disregard for our lives for over four hundred years.
How dare you assume that you can tell us how I should protest when yet another person of color has been struck down. At the same time, you dress up in paramilitary outfits with automatic weapons and storm state capitols to protest a lockdown designed to slow the spread of a deadly virus so that you can get a haircut or go to Starbucks.
How dare you think you can infer we are anarchists when you applaud a 17-year-old boy with an automatic weapon roaming the streets and call white nationalists very fine people.
How dare you presume you can say anything when for over 400 years, you have benefited from our oppression
You cannot begin to know the extent of our sorrow, pain, and anger due to the systematic racism you have cultivated for four hundred years.
How dare you!

Listen To It America – Look At It America

“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe, please, please.”
“Don’t kill me.”
“Mama, Mama… I’m through!”
George Floyd’s words before his life was taken from him by an officer casually kneeling on his neck.
Listen America as he begs for his life as the officer casually kneeled on his neck.
Listen America as he cries out for his Mama as the officer casually kneeled on his neck.
Look America at his last minutes as the officer casually kneeled on his neck.
Look America at the callous attitude, as the officer casually knelled on his neck.
Take note America of the silence emanating from the White House about the officer casually kneeling on his neck.
America, you hear it, you see it, yet some of you don’t possess the compassion to care about it.
Where is your soul?
Did you even have a soul?
America, your fear, hatred, and disregard for our lives are well documented, and we are not asking that the hate that lives in the hearts of some of you magically disappear. But make no mistake, America, the time is coming, and you will:
Respect us.
Treat us as equals.
Stop killing us.
Be held accountable for your actions.
Because America we are not going anywhere. This is OUR country, just as much as you imagine it to belong to you alone.
“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe, pleased, please.”
“Don’t kill me.”
“Mama, Mama… I’m through!”
Listen to it, America.
Look at it, America.

DO NOT BE COWERED INTO SILENCE

The lust for power, greed, and corruption has been an intrinsic characteristic of human behavior since seemingly the beginning of our time. There has been the need for certain groups to believe they are superior to other groups. America is no different, and while most of us make the conscious decision not to embrace these traits, there is a vocal segment among us who do. This segment is not only vocal in their belief that they are above the law and are superior to the rest of us, especially people of color, but they also endeavor to silence us.

What we as a people must remember is that it is our moral responsibility to foster an atmosphere that strengthen society at large. To point out corruption where it exists and build transparent and accountable systems of governance to ensure that the vulnerable are not taken advantage of.

One would imagine for society as enlighten as we imagine ourselves to be that this would be an easy task, but alas, it is not. As individuals in power persuade, using fear and ignorance, a specific subset of society. That play on their imagined fear that anyone who doesn’t look or think like them is a threat and only they can protect them. They use their group association to convince even those who believe themselves to be free of this type of thinking that any criticism against the bad seeds among them is a criticism on them as a group.

They have an aura of charisma about them that enables them to manipulate some in the media into spreading their message of prejudice and fears so that when confronted with the truth, many will dismiss the evidence believing it to be an implausible degree of corruption with by an individual they have been conditioned to respect.

It is fair to question the motive of the individuals who promote this narrative. It is apparent when one examines their talking points more closely that they are not concerned with society’s good but rather merely in increasing their power, wealth and promoting their agenda of racism and hate.

We must not allow their noise to cower us into silence.

We must remain vigilant and continue to point out with the loudest voice their hate, racism, and corruption at every turn and demand justice.

If we do not, if we allow ourselves to be cowered into, we doom society.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote as much:

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand-fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations not logical.

Good Morning America

Good Morning America it’s us your sons and daughters of color, we know today will be no different than any day the last four hundred years, but we still like to believe maybe it will. 

Since that day four hundred plus years ago when you came to our homeland and stole us, stripped us of our names, religion, and culture you have done everything in your power to deny us even the smallest sip from the tree of equality. To reject who and what we are to you.

You have

Shackled us in chains,
beat us,
raped our women,
separated our families,
hunted us down and hung us from trees, in front of your burning crosses,
denied us access to equal educational opportunity,
intimidated us from having our voice heard at the voting booth
created two separate and unequal justice systems to disproportionately incarcerate us.

You have steadfastly refused to acknowledge the indisputable fact that we are now and have always been an essential part of what makes this country great. 

You reject the notion that we are just much a part of the fabric of America as you ever were.

We should be furious at you, yet we remain drawn to you.  We should seek retribution, yet all we ask is that you see us, not the color of our skin, but us. That you treat as equals.

Why you may ask?  After everything you have put you through? It’s because we still love you.  After all you are our country. You may not know it, but you are.  And as James Baldwin said, “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” 

One day hopefully our criticism will awaken your soul and when we wake up and tell you Good Morning, you will smile back and say Good Morning sons and daughters of America.  I cannot express how sorry I am for how I have treated you.  But know this, I am proud of the amazing resiliency you have shown and thank you for being a part of the soul of our country. America would never have reached the heights we have without you or your vast array of contributions.

WHY DO THEY HATE US? WHY DO THEY FEAR US?

We have bled with you in war.
We have raised your children.
We have a love for this country despite centuries of oppression.
Yet you still hate and fear us.
Why?
Is it because you fail to accept the sins of your past?
Is it because you refuse to confront the racial and social injustices you have subjected us to 400 plus years?
Is it because rather than understand who we are as a people, you choose to live in the dark and fear imagined dangers?
Is it because you are amazed that after all we have been through, we are still standing, still rising, still every bit of the American fabric you believe yourself to have exclusive rights to. Or is it merely because you fear that if given the opportunity, we would treat you as you have treated us? It doesn’t matter because look around you; your hatred is being rebuked, your ignorance is being laughed at, your time is coming to an end. We Are The Coalition Of The Righteous and our time is now.

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.