Complicit Silence

Complicit Silence

I wanted to write something in response to what has happened in Georgia, Central Park, and now Minneapolis, but I’m a jumbled mess of emotions. The effort to make sense of what I feel, and want to say leaves me exhausted. It’s probably emotional, but it feels physical. It feels like I need sleep.

I don’t often write about things like this, but now, more than ever, I believe my voice must also be heard. There is a sad song being sung all over the country and I am compelled to join the choir. Beneath the rioting, and looting by those exploiting our pain is the cry for justice by those who are frustrated at not being heard. So I add my small voice to their cry, and say, I hear you, and I share your pain.

I am both saddened and angered by my many brothers and sisters who are calling this a human rights issue in an attempt, whether consciously or subconsciously, to deny the skin of this sin. This is about America’s original sin; the sin that so easily entangles. It is systemic racism. You simply cannot address the sin of racism without talking about race. I refuse to argue that point, we are so beyond that now. If you are at all interested in making a change, you must know this denial is also a source of much pain and frustration.

The dangers and concern for black men and boys is evident. We talk to our boys because we know the dangers that await them simply because they are black. For us, this is not ideology, this is survival. But what gets missed is the dangers and concern for white men and boys. Black men and boys are losing their lives because they are black. White men and boys are losing their souls because they are white. Racism is just as dangerous for them both. We are grieving, but our consciences are free, because we know we are right in this struggle. We know that everyone of our sons may become George Floyd, and so we talk to them about race. But you don’t seem to know that everyone of your sons may become Derek Chauvin, so you avoid the hard conversations about race and privilege. I’m as concerned about your sons as I am about mine.

Lastly, to those who brushed past the ABC13 reporter with the stolen TV, to those who took a hammer to the checkout machines at Target, and to all the rest who took the opportunity in this time of pain to impoverish themselves trying to enrich themselves, shame on you. I encourage you to consider your ways. Your brother died in the street and in depravity, you are lead to steal; steal? Is that what you decided to do? You do not fool us. We know you were never with us. You have been about yourself.

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