Sunday, August 2, 2015

Let Us Remember

My mind consistently replay the horrible events from the past few years. Lives taken so suddenly, some without cause, many without remorse. Children killed by their parents or as a result of senseless violence. No one is born with fear. No one is born with hate and malice in their hearts.

My first experience with hatred due to the color of my skin was when the movie, Roots was aired. My mother, great aunt, and myself were gathered around the Packard Bell wall to wall floor model television and I remember the silence in the room. I remember my mother leaving the room when the whippings started.  Of course up until then I knew nothing of the hatred and slavery that took place. I learned at that time that this was my history as an African American child.  Nothing about segregation and the men beaten for sitting at the lunch counter. Nothing of the 5 little black girls killed in church. I knew nothing of water fountains marked, for whites only and for blacks only. I knew nothing of colored use the back doors. I had no awareness of dogs being used to attack black marchers until, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, JR, Malcom X, and so many more due to the color of their skin.

I surmise that my parents tried to shield me from what was really going on by providing the best stable environment possible. Shield me from the abuse that they knew very well. But, on that day when Roots was being televised, I walked to our corner store to get some penny candy with my dimes my uncle had given me. On my way back to the house, happy as can be, some white men in a green two door car, I think 3 of them slowed up by me and hollered, go back to Africa nigger. That was my first taste of racism. And let me tell you as a child who had never experienced this, it scared the life out of me.  I finished watching that movie more closely and watched people even closer. I think that is when I began my journey at being a loner. I grew up in a mixed community. Everyone was nice, everyone watched out for everyone, it was a village and every adult was the village leader. But yet, something was different.

When I started having children, I vowed to not shield them from anything. I vowed to do my best to keep them aware of issues that could affect them be it real or imagined.  My sons who are now 35 and 32 did experience racism in Junior High and High school.  They were literally chased and threatened. As I think back on that day, God was with my sons. My youngest son who was a severe asthmatic, if he had not of ran to a friend’s house, I don’t want to think of what could have happened to him. Thank you Lord. On this day, I came home early. I had a habit of popping up on them. And on this day I praise God that I did. It was horrible. My sons have had to endure other hardships such as gang violence and turf wars. They have been shot at and though they are not participants today, they are city and state employees, they are fathers, and I blessed to see them grow and rise to the occasion of being black men.

Fast forward to today. The issues of race and mediocrity still exists. Many things have changed and to be honest I don’t see it getting better but worse. I see a fight for dear life as the marches continue, the rally cries for justice and peace.  When will it stop? When Christ returns. The only thing we can do as a unit is continue to raise our children and grandchildren with awareness and self-respect of who they are, to teach them that they have a voice, that they have rights, and to show by example the steps they will need to take. As we march towards the end of 2015, we will have to be ever so mindful and not forget the many who have lost their lives and lastly to pray. We must not stop praying. We must not stop raising our voices for change. In doing so rest assured that this too shall pass.

Let us not forget those who have lost their lives senselessly. Let us keep their faces in our minds and hearts. Let us increase voter registration and then make sure to use that right. Continue to speak out against injustice. We shall overcome as long as we do not remain silent. All of us must stand united, hand in hand, prayer by prayer, and voice by voice.  We must be present and aware. We must not close our eyes and ignore what is right in front of our faces. We must remain vigilant. Remember, violence begets violence.
Be Blessed

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