There’s No Time for Silence
I must warn you that I started my blog today speaking to anyone reading these words but my heart turned to my brothers and sisters who share to same color skin as me. I was urging readers to unplug for 24 hours, giving your soul some rest from all the chaos taking place in America. But as I began writing, I realized I didn’t have 24 hours to lose because right now every breath we take matters.
I feel incapable of describing the last few months. COVID-19 showed up and started wreaking havoc on the world, building unrest and fear in the hearts of most people as this virus is going viral faster than a kid dancing to the “in my feelings challenge” and being hit by a car. In addition, major stories broke loose in the news producing an incredible amount of tension, emotion and outrage towards the ongoing reality of the position racism has permanently held in America til present day.
This morning I asked myself a question. “How did the generations of black people before us cope with this world?” It’s a lot. It’s just a lot! Keeping it 100, for a moment, I thought, hey, it is a good idea to burn the buildings down if that’s what it takes to get the attention of systems that have oppressed us for so long! I even spoke against people who were calling the people causing the damage criminals. I considered it to be justified because of the amount of anger I felt within myself. I understand that it’s not the way, but I felt how I felt. I repented from those emotions and pulled my thoughts together to shift to solution-based thinking rather than being led by momentary passions.
Our anger is legitimate, justifiable, rational and logical but with that anger we must be completely responsible. The action we take today will determine the level of change we see tomorrow. So, the protests must be peaceful even though our souls, hearts and minds are in a state of unrest, tumult, pain and disorientation. Hell, many of us are waking up fighting depression as we speak as new videos of injustice continue daily to surface at the hands of racist citizens and reckless law enforcement. Now more than ever for our generation we must have the moral fortitude to outlast the response Donald Trump really wants, which is, please loot so that hopefully the police will shoot! We must have the mental capacity to keep pushing for all the reform we can get within our policing systems, court systems, prison systems.
We are dealing with record numbers of Unemployment where people are unable to pay bills, feeling claustrophobic in our homes through stay at home orders, trying to maneuver through a way of life we’ve never seen and cops are still killing black people in the street like black lives don’t matter.
Black people are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 while three police officers stand and watch while a black man dies handcuffed, under the knee of their fellow officer and none of these so called civil servants who have taken an oath to protect and serve, have the heart, the common sense, the moral decency, or the freaking basic training to lift this man up and sit him on a curb or in the car instead of watching to see how much pressure his life can take under a knee with a smirk on his face because he was aroused by the sound of a grown black man begging for his breath and calling for his dead mother.
I feel like America has its knee on our neck to see how long we will keep breathing?
We need to stop counting on Black lives to matter to others and focus on how much it matters to us. I don’t care if my life matters to you as long as police, judges, and racist white people will obey the laws and stop violating the rights of black people every single day as if we don’t have the right to sit in a Starbucks without ordering, make deliveries in gated communities, ask a white lady to put their dogs on leashes or sale bottled water on the side walk to raise money for our hardworking single mothers!
We must form larger institutions among blacks that teach and train our current and future generations in depth criminal law so that every instance that our laws are violated we can win court cases against the organizations and people that unlawfully harass, detain and arrest people.
We must form bolder institutions that will push those who have the capacity and skills of communication and leadership into the seats that will replace those in office who don’t give a damn about a darker colored skin.
We need systems that will direct and redirect funding to the schools in our communities and enhance the education of our sons and daughters. We can start here but letting our elected officials know we are here. Start by completing your 2020 Census so they know how many people are in our neighborhoods. Prepare to vote come November and every 2 years going forward without fail or hesitation so that we can get the right people in place that will petition for the grants and funding our neighborhoods desperately need.
Too many of us have been silent long enough. I guess our homes must be comfortable enough that we thought the racism struggle was over. It’s not! And with this underlying campaign to “Make America Great Again” there is an inclusion of conversations to set black people back in the mindset that we as black people don’t belong here. We do! And every single one of us that make up 13% of America need to strive to pull every other person of color up so that we will continue to rise economically, socially, morally and intellectually.
Aquila T Carmon