One quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., has become a touchstone for those who seek to understand why those individuals in Minneapolis have taken to the streets: “A riot,” King said, “is the language of the unheard.”
So much ugliness in the world has added so much stress to the strain of us finding betterment and common ground. Time and time again America has neglected to positively build and/or acknowledge this: if we are truly in this together then where are the genuine bridges to empathy, compassion, and respect for cultures beyond one’s comfort zone?
In this season we’ve seen some folks flaunt so much self-righteousness, lack of empathy and leadership beyond comprehension. Simply put, cowards cower and leaders lead. I often find it strange that when we go the route of a peaceful protest, we have often been met with disdain, violence, and callous judgment. For months we’ve seen sad insecure people go to our capital throwing temper tantrums with their guns without being tear gassed. Instead of a protest, it almost looks like a festival was taking place.
We’ve been told over and over to get over situations in this country that continue to happen recklessly. Meanwhile, some wonder why there is so much mistrust and misunderstandings that unfortunately continue to occur. We’ve been beyond shock and awe in this country for a very long time without resolution. It is beyond madness that white supremacy, which is terrorism, isn’t treated in our own backyard like it is when we prep to go to war with Al-Qaeda or ISIS. We have a running faucet of Black American citizens who continually are being treated as if they are expendable yet they are in fact American citizens, colleagues, friends, etc. They all belong to people who love them and should not be cast out as garbage. It is common knowledge that we do not get justice: instead we only get swept under the rug. However, the first shall be last and the last shall be first and in this very long season of neglect and apathy it all has a hefty fine to pay. My black skin isn’t to be weaponized, and I am not to be treated as a criminal and/or target practice to cover any perpetrators who steal joy because of hatred and insecurity.
The heinous repetitive murders that we see are tragedies that shouldn’t be happening, but because we are here once again, we should be mourning together as a nation without it being a second thought. We truly should be advocating for proper de-escalation and support.
If you are an officer in the community, you should be working for your community and stop being trigger-happy soulless puppets. Too often we receive brutal force from police instead of receiving protection.
Two months ago I was walking for coffee in my neighborhood, which is in Grandin, when an officer asked what I was doing and where was I going?
If I were white walking in the Grandin area, would it have been a second thought? He then circled around the block and looked at me with anger in his eyes.
I am angry as hell. However, I still choose love and to open my heart to connect with people where they are and love beyond my comfort zone.
This cannot continue to happen, and we need to grow in this season by holding our leaders accountable and truly working with people who are willing to do the work of leadership.