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The Unrest-oration Age
June 5, 2020. My first blog of The RestorationAge
Well, last week I was pleading for a different plot line to life, but be careful what you wish for. This week has been a volatile, evolving mixture of disbelief, anger, sadness, and solidarity. And while I had already decided to start writing under the RestorationAge tag, maybe now is as good a time as any to start down that road. Like I said last week, it’s time for a reboot to our factory settings. To do that, start with yourself.
None of us were born racists. None of us were born knowing we were Black, White, Asian, Indian… We were all born to live and love, to not pass judgement, to celebrate our differences, and to help all of those around us succeed. We were each born one small cog in creation, a cog that will eventually be shed, leaving behind nothing, except what we created while here. Each no different than any other in existence at any time.
But in life we immediately become surrounded by history, fear, prejudice, stereotypes, poor government policy, and greed among many other systemic issues. These start working on us at a young age until it is ingrained in us to believe that we aren’t equal. And that means thinking that you are either better than and/or less than the next cog. This includes all forms of discrimination of race, socio-economic status, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion. If you don’t believe me, in a simple test, ask anyone in Louisville where they went to high school and then tell me a preconception of that person isn’t immediate.
Honestly, I do not feel worthy or smart enough to debate race or racial tension. All I can share is how I feel and what I know to be true in my heart. So excuse my ignorance. Basically, everyone reading this post would have a hard time saying you have never uttered a racial comment or had a racist thought run across your head. It’s okay to admit it, and if it is something that you are ashamed of, I feel it pretty certain that you are not a “racist”. Racism is a learned behavior based on ignorance, hate and fear and that’s why it’s hard to admit out loud that you have said something or felt something that leans this way. It’s ugly and vile, like those assholes that tracked down and murdered Ahmaud Arbery. We know what is right vs. wrong and the first thing to do is take responsibility for our past mistakes and become aware of them. Do better. Start with yourself. You can’t ask other people to do the work if you’re not willing to do it yourself.
Look around you and feel it. If it looks funky and smells funky, I guarantee you it is funky. Racial profiling is a very, very real thing. I have a twenty-three year old son and the greatest worry I have for him is that he won’t be able to find a steady job to secure health insurance or make enough money to pay back overwhelming student loans. Imagine being the mother of a twenty-three year old black American son, who has all the same worries for her son that I have, plus the fear that he will be accused, attacked, arrested, or assassinated just because of the color of his skin. It is unbearable to think about the baggage a whole people have to bear every single day. It is completely unfathomable. And inexcusable.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. The amount of people who don’t believe in such a discrepancy far outnumber those that do. Dare I say, it’s probably even true within law enforcement. I will say that even though their job is to protect and serve, even I suffer from Astynomiaphobia, a fear of the police. I don’t know why, but I have always felt police officers to be looking for what you are doing wrong first. Perhaps I am discriminating against them because I don’t have firsthand knowledge of who they really are. All I know is that I’ve been told they are heroes and I’ve also been told they are bullies with power, but my perception after dealings is that they are suspicious of everyone. And that is coming from a white, middle-class, privileged female. Not good.
This in no way compares, but as reference, the last time I dealt with law enforcement was when I crashed my car into a deer on I-75 at 70 mph. When the state police showed up he wasn’t concerned that my daughter and I were okay or uninjured, he wanted to know if I had been on my phone. That was his first question to me, “Were you on your phone?” No, jackass, I mean No, sir. Like I said, suspicious.
Imagine how persons of color feel about the police. If most of their dealings with police are fear-based, how will they ever feel safe and protected? How will they ever consider police officers to be the peacekeepers of the land? This is most definitely a law enforcement issue. If you don’t watch Seth Myers, every night he has one of his female black Americans writers tell a story of a run-in with police, like being pulled over in a car with a white male friend because there were reports of prostitution in the area. She is quick to add that ALL black Americans have several, if not many, stories multiplied by the number of black Americans in the country today. It’s not okay.
It may be cliche, but a few bad apples really do spoil the whole bunch. How are the moral police officers not holding others in line to do the right thing? How are they looking the other way when their co-workers do something racial in nature? Why aren’t they speaking up? They turn to their leadership to make it right, but the few community-based programs that exist won’t solve this systemic problem. Trust is gained over years of mutual respect and that is what is missing. It is going to take genuine reform, time, dedication, commitment, and good leadership. And we’ll never get there if we don’t start today, hell yesterday. George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the countless other black
American victims deserve better.
Again, excuse my ignorance and simple way of looking at things. All I know is that I am here to do my part to show love and support to all my fellow cogs, regardless of the discriminatory issues listed above. I am no better than anyone else; I am no less important than anyone else; and I expect to be treated in the same way. I was put here to spread love and understanding and will do everything in my power to help affect the same attitude from everyone around me. Bottom line. It starts with educating yourself, listening, and then speaking up. Don’t be afraid to let people know where you stand, including with family and friends.
It’s time for restoration. We need it. One bad bat started a pandemic (allegedly), but many social injustices are responsible for where we are now, fighting an even more destructive virus. Factory reset, factory reset. Time to become who we were at birth. Just human.
My message today and every day. GO VOTE! Make your voice heard.LLM