You probably might be wondering why we're getting a blog post so early in the week. Well, in light of what's going on, I felt that I needed to share my bubbling emotions over the recent senseless killings of three African Americans.
You'd think that we would be in a better place in the 21st century, let alone 2020. Unfortunately, in terms of racial and gender equality, we're still light years away from ever truly adapting to what is needed for radical change. Especially in terms of racial equality. And that makes me mad. It makes me confused. It makes me sad. It makes me frustrated. It makes me bewildered. But most of all, it makes me weary. How is it that in the 21st century there is still racism, prejudice, and ignorance in our nation's DNA? Especially when it was the very thing that abolitionists, progressives, and forward-thinking individuals fought so hard to destroy? How is it that in this day in age there is still hatred towards other races, even if they did nothing wrong or are trying to attain a career that is very hard to attain in their field? How is it that in the year 2020 we are still fighting for racial justice against minorities who help make the backbone of our nation? I've had enough. This can't continue on for the rest of humanity. We can't have innocent lives die at the hands of those in power, privilege, and those who are supposed to protect this. We can't continue to stereotype the minorities as threats when in actuality they are just trying to live their lives. We can't continue to become numb to the senseless violence or make it become the new normal. We can't continue to sit there in silence or be neutral. We can't continue to have whites chant "all lives matter."
This. Has. To. Stop. NOW. A great man had a dream that our nation would learn to appreciate one another by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. He taught us that hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that. He led peaceful marches in the cruelest of places where the division was the rule of the land. He stood strong in the face of adversity, even if it meant going to prison. And that man was Dr. Martin Luther King. If he were here today, he would be downright ashamed that his dream is still being hard-fought-for without any true results. I wouldn't blame him. I'm ashamed that his dream is being challenged by those in power and those with privileges. If you want to flip the script, think back to a quote by Audrey Hepburn who once said that "impossible" could be separated to say "I'm possible." It is possible to attain racial justice. It is possible to have the same rights as whites. It is possible to walk the streets without fear of getting killed. It is possible to receive the same healthcare, mortgage, jobs, and even cars at the same price as whites. It is possible to live with each other, no matter what our color, religion, sexuality, or political beliefs we have. We can't afford to go backward. To quote another great man, we have to "keep moving forward." (And that was Walt Disney, by the way.) What does that look like, exactly? It looks like unlearning racism and teaching love and respect for people from all different cultures within our households. It looks like eradicating stereotypes being seen in the media and holding minorities in higher esteem than what sells. (Think about it - many minorities have contributed much to our nation's culture: food, music, dance, theatre, film, books, the list goes on.) It looks like offering the same wages and pay cuts to EVERYONE, regardless of race AND gender. It looks like having a civil conversation about politics without being called "snowflake," "libtard," "stupid," or any of those demeaning names. It looks like offering the same educational opportunities for EVERYONE, with new books, computers, learning resources, and good food. It looks like walking the streets with heads held up high, and not be afraid or judged by what you look like or what you're wearing. It looks like holding those who are supposed to protect accountable for their actions and not abuse their power or rank. It looks like true leadership by those in power, who offer compassion, humility, earned respect, hope, patience, courage, and other important values that are so needed today. It looks like the world that I want to see future generations live in. It may seem far-fetched, but it is attainable with the courage to pursue this dream. It's not just my dream, but it's the dream of all us minorities, especially the black community. We're not savages, monkies, ill-learned, dumb, or worthless. Each and every one of us has a place in the world, especially in our country, and we deserve the same opportunities and rights as whites. Enough is enough. I may not be protesting out in the streets right now, as there is still a pandemic going on right now, but that doesn't mean I can't use my voice in other ways. And so should you. What does it look like, you ask? It looks like talking with minorities about what they experience each and every day, and understanding where they're coming from, what's okay and what's not okay, and being an ally in their fight for racial justice. It looks like teaching children the importance of love to each other's neighbors, even if they are a different color or religion from you. It looks like speaking out against the centuries-old systemic racism through whatever you're passionate about, whether it's music, art, poetry, theatre, books, or even blogs. It looks like sharing your support with organizations who are fighting for racial justice, like Black Lives Matter. It looks like being reminded that we are all human beings living on the same planet together, breathing the same air, walking the same ground, and loving one another in our own special way. Do you want to see the change in the world? BE that change. Take a stand. Use your voice. Use your pen. Use your piano keyboard or music sheets. Use your blogs. Use whatever you are passionate about and let your voice be heard. Use your voting rights, even. (Go vote in November!) We can't let this continue. We can't let hate or ignorance rule our hearts. We can't let privilege or power define who we are. We can't keep on bullying those who are "beneath us" when we're all equal. We can't make this the new normal. I am with all of you who are marching in the streets peacefully. I am with all of you who are part of organizations fighting against racial inequality. I am with all of you who are allies to minorities, transgenders, gays, lesbians, and non-binaries. I am with all of you who are learning more about racism and how to end the pattern permanently. I am with all of you who are shouting "no justice, no peace." I am with you.