Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Be the Change

The last few days, I have been so frustrated with the things I was seeing on my Facebook news feed. Like, to the point that I unfriended a few people because of the ridiculous things they were posting on a daily basis. There are a few things driving me crazy right now:

*The riots in Ferguson, MO



Almost every news story or article or post from a few people have been solely about those three things. Please don't mistake this as me not CARING about those three things. They all make me sad and turn me to God in prayer. The thing that frustrates me is the controversy that has come from all of these stories. I'll write future posts on suicide and ISIS, but today I want to focus on:

Ferguson, MO--A young man lost his life. It's sad, heart breaking, horrible. However, I don't think anybody but God, Michael Brown and Darren Wilson know exactly what happened. Every witness has a different story and there's been promises of "proof" from both sides with very little fulfillment. I don't think Michael Brown is 100% innocent. I don't think Darren Wilson is 100% innocent. The media coverage has been poor and seems to swing wildly to one side or the other.

But the aftermath is almost sadder than the shooting. A whole town--self-destructing.  Peaceful protesting is one thing--what some of the people in that town are doing, is another. They have every right in the world to do a peaceful protest. But what exactly about the situation makes them feel they have the right to loot? The right to throw Malatov cocktails at the police? The right to threaten the whole community? They are taking advantage of a nation-wide situation and it has become no longer about Michael Brown. They are doing NO justice to him--even his family is embarrassed and calling for a peaceful demonstration.

What frustrates me the most is the controversy that it's started among people outside of the situation. Along with every article I've read, there are comments about how horrible white people are, how horrible black people are, how horrible police are, how horrible politicians are, etc.

Ladies and gentlemen--step back and breathe in some reality. No matter what color, race, size, career, background you are--there are going to be some rotten apples. Of course there are some racist white people--but not all of them are. Of course there are some black people that commit crimes--but not all of them do. Of course there are some policemen that break the rules and their oath to protect--but not all of them do. Of course some politicians make some horrible calls--but not every single one of them. The stereotypes that are being bashed because of this situation are making me crazy. There are bad teachers, bad preachers, bad mailmen, bad doctors, bad vets, bad soldiers, bad EVERYTHING. In EVERY group of people, there are going to be SOME who don't have morals or ethics or value life.

My last straw was an article I read titled "12 things white people can do now because of Ferguson."  The title alone turned me off, but I read it anyways. There was a statement in the article that says, "I am challenging white people to consider carefully whether failing to speak out or act because of those fears is justified when white silence and inaction mean the oppression and death of black people"

Hold the boat. By not acting out or participating in a protest or yelling on my facebook page that Michael Brown's death was unjustified, I'm adding to the oppression and death of black people? That's not a fair or accurate accusation. I take my issues with injustice up to God and let him deal with them. My lack of PUBLIC action or speaking out about something does not lead to the death and oppression of ANYBODY. I speak out in situations of prejudice of ANY kind--race, gender, social status--when the time calls for it. I break the trend by teaching my kids it doesn't matter what you look like, it matters who you are. For the author of that article to say that is just as judgmental as the issue she's writing about. 

I read another article that was addressed, "To the White Mom"--again, the title turned me off, but I keep reading these things for some reason. It's written by a black woman and in it, it says that "My son needs me, as much as yours needs you. Sadly, my son needs me more." As annoyed as the other article made me, this one just ticked me off. As a MOM, we all fear for our children (white, black, brown)--I worry every day about my son. Just because she BELIEVES my white son won't get shot by a police officer because he's not black doesn't mean he won't get shot by a crazed WHITE lunatic that barges into a school and kills a bunch of kindergartners. It doesn't mean he won't die in a car accident where somebody high on drugs is out to kill. It doesn't mean I'm not scared to death somebody will kidnap him from our house at night. It doesn't mean that I don't think EVERY DAY about his safety and worry about his future. For her to say her child needs her more than mine needs me....not okay. She goes on to say...."And please, in your Facebook feed share something that shows this matters to you. Don’t say you don’t want to be political. Don’t tell me you don’t want to offend people. Because all that means is you don’t want to get into it with your clueless white friends." Saying that I can't possibly understand something simply because I'm not living it is insulting my intelligence. Me and my "white" friends are not clueless. How is she being any less racist than she's asking white people NOT to be? By generalizing "me and my white mom friends" as clueless and uncaring, she's playing the same card she's been dealt. 

Am I sorry that racism still exists? Absolutely. But do I think black people are the only ones being prejudiced against? Not for a minute. 

Injustice is coming from all sides--from all races. Instead of letting Michael Brown's death bring people together, it's turned into hateful bashing of cops, disgusting slurs against black people, unfair generalizations of white people.

And why? WHY?!? The war was already fought for all to be treated equally. Why are we making it happen again? Why can't we become the change that the world so desperately needs? 

Regardless of what color you are, I ask you to start the change with your corner of the world. The people around YOU.  Don't just say everybody should be treated equally--TREAT THEM EQUALLY. If we all just took care of ourselves and made sure WE weren't being the problem.......then wouldn't the problem be fixed pretty quickly?

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