|This photo of Devonte Hart taken at a Ferguson rally in Portland in 2014 still gives me hope. (Photo Credit: Johhny Nguyen)|
Terrorist attacks... Gang violence... Police shootings... Racism... Indifference about our social issues...
In the case of recent police shootings, I've been going back and forth in my mind trying to make sense of everything. Which actions were justified? What could've been done differently to yield alternate and more favorable outcomes? Alton, Philando and Dylan were all completely different people yet all are gone. These cases are prominent in the media right now when I'm sure far more occur daily that are never on our radar. Why now? Distraction? Social experimentation? Let's see if they riot in the streets over this? Destroy each other and their own communities? Divide or unite? Rush to judgment or wait for facts?
I'm truly sick of seeing the darkest side of humanity play out over and over and over again. No one story is worse than another. Each loss of life is tragic. As much as I am hurt over witnessing the death of someone's child, it's never made sense to me how making generalizations about police officers is any better than the kind of generalizations we're concerned about people making about us? I'm not condoning anyone's bad behavior. However, if you're talking about harming police officers as retaliation then you too are part of the problem. Yes, we're upset and angry but what is going to effect real change? Threats of violence? How? "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that." You can't fight fear, hate and ignorance with ignorance, hate, and fear and expect anything other than a vicious cycle. We cannot afford to get caught up in your feelings right now. Nor can we afford to ignore a very real problem. We need to focus on the issue and come up with a real solution.
Now is not the time for frivolous pursuits or filling our minds with useless information to distract us from the corruption unfolding around us. It is time to wake up. To educate ourselves. To think for ourselves. To unlearn ideas that do little to move us forward. It is time to gain or regain financial independence and carefully consider whose pockets we're lining when we invest our hard earned dollar. To mentor our youth and teach them the way that they must go to ensure that we and they leave the world better than when they found it. To be the change we want to see in the world. To conduct ourselves with dignity and integrity. To practice what we preach and not remain silent when we witness injustices against any man, woman or child regardless of whether they think like us, look like us, or worship like us. Let's be not divided but unite against fear and hate.