Updated: May 31
Photo Credit: AP News
I woke up to see the fires and devastation in Minneapolis, along with a CNN journalist who is a POC being arrested on tv just for doing his job. I also woke up to the leader of the free world saying “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” reminiscent of rhetoric from the ’60s that contributed to riots in Miami. This is the world we live in. And for my Black brothers and sisters, we are unfortunately no stranger to this.
BUT WE DIDN’T START THESE FIRES.
What’s happening in Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC and the rest of the country is the result of the frustration of injustice after injustice with no repercussions. The question of “more evidence needed” when a Black man is murdered on video. A president that continues to condone violence. Black people being murdered profiled, and discriminated against because of SKIN COLOR and unwarranted fear. People are TIRED.
We can’t let the narrative become about the looting. This is about injustice. This is about racism. This is about discrimination. This is about Black people wanting the same simple human rights of any other human being. I feel like a broken record repeating WE ARE NOT ANIMALS. When we knelt in peaceful process, we were told that it was disrespectful. When we riot, we are told we are "making matters worse." What will it take to bring attention to the plight of Black people in this country? Dehumanization is not comfortable, so how we speak out against injustice should not be expected to make anyone feel comfortable. It is DISCOMFORT that gets attention, that makes people open their eyes to the rest of the world, and eventually leads to ACTION for positive change.
I was at a gathering last night where the question was asked “Where do we begin to fix this and start the healing?” We cannot heal without JUSTICE. It is a simple human right that we are forcefully being denied at every turn. There can be no true peace until EVERY human being is regarded in the same way. Even when people stop looking and talking about this, we cannot turn off or look away from being Black.
It will take ALL ethnicities to get involved and work together. If everyone starts in their own communities and addresses their family and friends who exhibit racism and hate, it will be a start. The problem continues when the rest of the world turns a deaf ear simply because the problem is not at their doorstep.
I have stood for domestic violence, poverty, women’s rights, and many other injustices, not just for Black women but ALL women. We have to get to a point where we begin to see all people as VALUABLE and WORTH standing up for. A White friend of mine asked, “What can I do?” And I told him, “Start right where you are and speak to as many people in your community as you can.” Black people can’t fix something we didn’t start. We did not start racism. We did not start injustice. We did not start the hatred that unfortunately exists in some people in this world.
And we DEFINITELY did not start these fires.