Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Reflection: Our Nation Under Protests, Divisible, with Liberty & Justice for Some

Warning: literary imagery may be upsetting to some

Black, White

Night, Dark, Fear, Trouble

Bright, Light, Hope, Help

And countless more false dichotomies that create compounding associations, both positive and negative, with these two words: White, Black

I want to write beautiful words about the systemic racism, but there is nothing lovely, nothing delightful about hatred that masquerades as constitutional rights, police procedure, or justice.  Systemic racism produces oppression, because it is the deep-seated mode of thought that subconsciously informs human behavior, which in turn influences the operations of social services such as police, courts, and legislative bodies.  This is bigger than you, bigger than me, its all of us.

Every. Single. One. Of. Us.

Silence is the same as defending the abuser.  Shaming those who are protesting is the same as shaming the victim who finally hits back.  You don't have to like the process to recognize that "the way its always been" or "the way it is" is broken and must change.  You don't have to approve of someone's mode of recourse to admit that "what we've been doing doesn't work."

This is about deep wounds - they are not scars.  They are still bleeding.

I have a loved one who lived through an inner battle that left him with scars up and down both of his arms.

His deep wounds stopped bleeding.
They healed.
They became scars.

Four years later, those scars are faded.  
Four years later, my memories feel distant.  
Four years later, those cuts no longer bleed.

The African American community's wounds are still bleeding.

This nation's soul is still bleeding.  
Hearts are still ripping asunder.

If you go to a doctor with blood dripping down your arms, the doctor doesn't select a healing balm first.  First, that doctor starts assessing the wounds to figure out how to stop the bleeding.  And that doctor doesn't stitch up those wounds when the one who inflicted them is still standing by with a knife.

How dare we talk about healing when there are still open, bleeding, and ruptured wounds?

How dare we try to tidy things up, stop the bleeding, when the abuser still stands in the same room, 
still holding a knife?

The abuser is not whites, not police officers, not politicians. 

 The abuser is systemic racism.

Systemic racism is a form of socially acceptable hatred of another human being.

Our nation has made is okay to hate another person.  Our nation has made it rational to automatically fear another human being based on nothing more than melanin levels.

Until we as a nation refuse to accept this as status quo, we will all suffer at the hands of this silent, comfortable torturer.

I have no beautiful words.
I have no balm.
I have nothing more than this.

I welcome your thoughtful & respectful comments and reflections on this post.
Thank you.