I am grieved in my heart even as I type this blog because I (like many of you) have had to sit and watch yet ANOTHER black man be murdered on American streets that our black/brown taxes pay to pave just as the next. Now, we must all be sure to not fall asleep in our own cars while black/brown. And I digress. So, this particular blog is one that I have held close for almost five days. I was not sure of how I wanted to release it; however have decided to do so in this manner as a mixture of BLOG and a Breathe of Reflection virtual conversation video. I encourage you to watch the video in its entirety as I share my own riveting testimony with hopes it helps people of ALL races, nationalities, and creeds to truly understand that the systemic racism that plagues us in the United States of America and internationally is also an international crisis (pandemic) that has lasted 401 years to date and currently still counting unfortunately. It is a sin before our great God and I still cannot understand all who call themselves fine Christians, yet participate in and are complicit with actions to treat any portion of the human race so inhumanely without relent as if it is normal. Those who are not a part of solutions, and yet benefit daily from the oppression of black/brown people, are a part of the problem (and there is a period behind this statement which is a fact).
So, Father's Day is approaching us next week. My Dad is deceased, he passed away in 2012 during another very devastating year in my life. When I was about 20 years old, I recall my Dad told me that I'd already gone through and experienced some things that 40 and 50 year old women had not experienced. Dad had lived long enough to truly understand the essence of what he was expressing to me at that time. I cannot share this testimony without giving a precursor of who my Dad was because I think he represents many other fathers when it comes to their sons and daughters experiencing what I am about to share with you. Let's set up the video with these few key things about my Dad as follows:
Dad was a man's man, and my Superman.
He was disciplined from training and teaching for many years as a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Karate (KyokushinKaiKan); one of the most difficult full contact Japanese forms. Get a glimpse of some of his trophies behind me in the video.
He was a soldier who served in the Armed Forces (Army).
He was a retired Correctional Officer of the law.
He was an intellectual, a thinker, motivator, and easily the most handsome and charismatic old guy:-)) in any room. Not from a boisterous/loud command, but just the aura of him just BEING there would command atmospheres. He knew who he was and his capabilities mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. He functioned in life disciplined and never forgetting that just his hands were registered and considered a lethal weapon.
I share these things not only in memory of my Dad's support during that time in my life, but also for you to understand that I had NEVER witnessed fear in my Dad, until this injustice that impacted me 25 years ago. As you watch this video, just think about how clips from my story and the stories of so many other black/brown people who have been killed, unjustly mistreated, beaten, battered, and bruised could be combined and one would think it was the story of one person sharing. There are NO such coincidences that plagues and systemically decimates one race of people in this inhumane manner in masses. Systemic racism extends well beyond corrupt policing (which took the place of slavery when abolished, so they think our brown bodies (male/female) are their property.
Why is it like pulling teeth for federal laws to be enacted to protect mankind equally? Why are lawmakers still debating making lynching our black/brown bodies a federal crime in the year 2020? We too are God's creation, and when we were made Adam did not name us Ape nor Monkey, but just as every other human being we were named 'Man' and 'Woman' (taken from Man). When God finished, He collectively declared ALL His creation as 'GOOD'. Remain encouraged in spite of as the Bible declares, "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord! (Romans 12:19 NIT)
I have forgiven the officer who attempted to curb my destiny in destroying my life and livelihood because my brown skin labeled me of no value in his eyes. Devalued means: reduced or underestimated as pertaining to worth or importance. Do you recall your first trauma when you realized you were devalued also? Feel free to comment or reach out to connect with 2 Fab Vision Event - Breaths of Reflection virtual community round table discussions to share.