I recently listened to the co-founders of Black Lives Matter interviewed on NPR. I was just driving around town while listening, and I understand there is some controversy. Some people suggest that not only do black lives matter, but all lives matter.
Of course, all lives matter, but aren’t at least some non-black folks appalled at our current state of affairs? The insidious profiling that goes on in far too many American communities needs to stop. If I were the mother of a young black man, I’d be terrified. Our society is sick…very, very ill.
I read about the grim statistics for blacks when it comes to poverty, lack of educational opportunities, police-on-black brutality, black-on-black murder rates, incarceration rates, in-store security targeting blacks, banking inequality when it comes to blacks, landlord racism when it comes to blacks, and on and on … and on.
My head spins with anger and frustration at what I’m reading and watching these days. I vividly remember television news in the 60s recording the history of all the civil rights activities going on. And this is how far we’ve progressed in over 50 years? Shame on us.
Shame on us as a nation. Shame on us as Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, Pagans, and whatevers. Shame on us as teachers, administrators, directors, business owners, CEOs, managers, doctors, lawyers, artists, entertainers, musicians, mothers, fathers, grandparents, civil servants, elected officials, and all the rest.
We have not done enough. We have failed. To have all these years pass and so much racism, mistrust, and hatred still seeping through our societal veins is just plain wrong. It needs to end.
So start with yourself. Person by person. One by one. Untie whatever shackles of your own you wear and let them go. The next time you pass someone who is a different color, say hello. Give her a smile. Tell him you like his shirt. Make eye contact. Let souls embrace.
The morning after the church shooting in South Carolina I had to take a long drive to visit my elderly parents. Everything on the radio dealt with the unspeakable shootings. I felt heartbroken…so very heartbroken for our society. I just wanted to reach out and say to someone…”I’m so very, very sorry. What can we do? What can we do?”
I stopped to fill up with gas and as I walked back to my car I saw two young black women get out of theirs. I walked up to them and said, “I need a hug.” They did not hesitate.
Yes. Black lives matter, especially black lives. Given the history of our country and the ills of our current society, black lives matter very, very much.
Please be kind. Please be gentle with one another. Please respect each other. Please teach each other. Please share with each other. Please lift up each other. Please cherish the finite time you have on this planet and teach your children to live it with grace and peace and love.