The times we live in.
Crisis within crisis.
Humans want to simplify things.
Humans created a creator so that they can explain creation.
The universe is so vast and ungraspable, and humans want to be able to “get it.”
We want things to be black or white. (pun intended)
It’s much easier when we put things into boxes.
It’s easier when we say this is this. And that is that. And that is it.
But it isn’t.
Life is more layered, more nuanced, and more tangled up than we want it to be.
It is woven together and it is falling apart.
We want answers – clear, direct, and straight-forward.
We want someone to tell us what to do.
We don’t want anybody to tell us what to do.
We want a savior.
We want someone to blame.
We want a victim.
We want a bad guy and a good guy and a good ending.
We ask: “Is it this, or that?”
And we hate to hear the answer: “Well, it is both.”
Ambiguity is not our favorite dinner guest. We don’t even want to have coffee with it.
People want to explain things.
People want things to fit into compartments.
So people generalize (we all do it).
And then we hear things like:
Black people are this.
White people are that.
Mexicans are this.
Jewish people are that.
Muslims are this.
Puerto Ricans are that.
Life is easier and simpler when we can stereotype our way through it.
Racism in this country is an old story. Racism is what this country is fucking based on.
This country was founded through the brutal murder of the people who lived on this land before the arrival of the white man. This country was built on the backs of slaves. Generations upon generations of black people working for the white man without rights, living life without liberty, and without a trace of the pursuit of happiness. That is not a past anyone who lives here can turn their backs on. This past will always be this country’s past. There’s no undoing. And this country still reeks of the brutality and the inequality that are at its core.
We can’t untangle any of it. We have to look at it in the eye. Until most people are ready to look into the shadow that the spangled stars have casted, real change will not take place. Maybe we are finally starting this process? We can’t disengage from the past. We have to carry it on our backs. As we look forward we must consider what we want to connect ourselves to. Liberation from what was is not an option. The freedom to make something more is. What do we choose to attach ourselves to? What fabric are we weaving as we move into the future?
To dismantle the horrors of white supremacy we will need to look back and include the past. Where we came from isn’t going away. We have to acknowledge it and work in relationship to it. We will need to carefully look at where we are, and examine our own participation in this racist reality. And we will need to look forward, and thoughtfully and thoroughly loom the future – not disconnected from the past and from the present, but emerging out of it.
The universe is only moving further into complexity. We will need to make more connections – not less. Moving forward, we will need to engage more deeply, instead of running away, trying to bypass the harshness of reality. What are we tying ourselves to? To dissolve the old we will need to create the new. And to create the new we will need to dissolve the old.
We have reached a breaking point. And we’re seeing people of all colors standing together to cultivate antiracism, to fight against police brutality, to dismantle white supremacy, and to bring forth equality.
Can we say all black people want to feel safe? I think YES! Because ALL people want to feel safe! Do we need to emphasize the safety of black bodies right now? YES! Because those are the bodies that are being discriminated against. Are we going to need to address racism and discrimination against other minorities? YES!
Here is something to think about, as we move forward. Maybe I’m confused. Maybe I don’t get it. But I’ve been hearing/reading people (of all colors) say things like: “Black people don’t want to educate white people about racism! It’s not our job!” And then you scroll and see something like: “White people need to shut up and listen to black people right now! Listen and learn!“ Keep scrolling. “ Black people don’t want to hear from you white people!” And: “Hey white people, check on your black friends, make sure they’re ok. Ask if they need anything.” Then you read: “Black people want white people to stop asking them what they need!” And: “Black people want white people to step forward!” And: “Black people want white people to stand back!” And: “White people, stop putting yourself in the center of this!” And: “White people, you are in the center of this, so until you make this about you, this shit will not end!” And it goes on and on.
People are people, right? Regardless of skin color. Different people have different feelings. Not everyone is going to respond with the same sentiment. So why are we putting people in one box, titling it with the color of their skin? Isn’t that what we are standing together against?
This world is complicated. And entangled. And complex.
There are some things that are not so complicated though. Black. Lives. Matter. That’s a pretty simple thing to understand. All lives matter? Of course! However, when the lives of people are in constant danger because they are black, the issue needs to be addressed. So… BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Black Lives Matter!