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The Racism Lens

Racism. Apparently some of us don’t understand its true meaning. Maybe some of us don’t understand the level of anxiety that we have or the pain and anger that surfaces when we’re faced with it, when we see it for what it is…

Malcolm Jenkins, player for my favorite team, none other than The Philadelphia Eagles (#FlyEaglesFly), so eloquently expressed his feelings after seeing a picture of the young man being led by rope by two policeman on horses in Texas. As I read, it was evident that we both felt the same regarding this particular picture. It was 100% clear that we both are frustrated and appalled at the rise of blatant racists acts in this country. Yes, the rise of racist acts, because the belief in racial superiority and racism itself, has always been alive and kicking. Folk just haven’t felt bold enough and empowered to show it and speak it. Well, the tape has rolled back and the apparent suppressed acts are now on front street for us all to see again, so why don’t we ALL see it??? It’s so clear!! Smh

I was so compelled by Malcolm’s response to this likened “Django Unchained” picture–That’s exactly what I thought of when I first saw it on the national news. His words found resonance and strong agreement with my thoughts and so many others. As I read, I tapped into the power of using your platform to not only express, but to hopefully educate. My fingers immediately went into “two-thumb motion” on my phone’s keyboard. I commented on his IG page with: “So true. We’ve witnessed so much of this blatant racist behavior, but it appears that we should pretend it isn’t what it is…it’s something else. Well, it’s not!! It’s what our eyes see CLEARLY! This one right here paints the picture of where some folk want us to be, what they think of us, how they truly see our beautiful black people. This is sad and sickening!!! Smh. Your words are spot on! Using your platform.”

Bottom line….Like it or not, attempting to call it something else, making anything else the reason is an excuse, and quite frankly is asinine. I mean, the imagery reflected slavery. It is covert, yet “in-your-face” racism, at its core. It is the offspring of the picturesque nasty pit of hate. It has no idealism associated with anything right! How can anyone look at this and think otherwise baffles me; it pains me; it angers me. If you can’t see it, you apparently can’t see me! You can’t know history. You can’t love me and not appreciate the skin that I’m in! It has to be some other emotion that you feel. You can’t look at behaviors plaguing a race of people and try to make it okay in your head or your heart. If you love God, you know that love is expansive and inclusive. He loves us all! I don’t think the Bible records any reference to race in the days of creation. We are all the result of one creation, products of one human race, the children of one God! We are not less than; should not be treated as such and sure should not be expected to be accepting of it. We do have to accept where some of this is now stemming from. We know that words matter. We know that folk gravitate and attach to them, especially when they are expressed by folk they respect, even though they may spewing toxic garbage! Yes and hello!

We all have a responsibility to take some part in the eradication of this demeaning, humiliating, disgusting, inhumane behavior. If some people actually saw images of themselves, maybe the severity, the sadness, and the sickness of these dehumanizing actions would find the appropriate place in our hearts to see it for what it is. People are dying! People are dying! Get it?? People are dying, simply because they look different, because of hate; because of the ugly “r” word, RACISM. All of us have a Godly and human responsibility to understand how we see each other and to open our eyes to how people who see themselves more superior, see us!

I pray that the spirit of hate finds its proper place in Hell and that love is lifted from the place in which we see God…The One who made sure that we would know exactly what it (love) is and what it should look like, as we live the lives that He allows us to have, through His love, grace and mercy.

I have been praying and praying, and will continue to pray for the victims, families and communities of El Paso, Dayton, and all of the others, past, who have had to endure the same. It is senseless that they have to process and live with the happenings of the respective events–not for a few days or weeks, but for the rest of their lives. Smh again. The recent shootings, and many others, were fueled by the inability to accept those who look different. I am also praying that we can have transparent and mature conversations about the plight of racial, religious and sexual orientation differences. Prayerfully, when we make attempts to understand each other, we will begin to see and understand what angers our hearts and distresses our spirits about race and equality in this America!

Please pray for me, as today, at this moment of expressing my thoughts, I have yet to find that place of peace regarding this issue—-but I know it’s on the way! Trusting that we will use the gift and the ability to pay attention, and to love. Trusting in God, who can do ALL things!

Questions: What does racism really mean to you? Is it worth figuring that out to ensure that we don’t experience the likes of El Paso and Dayton again? What are you willing to do? Who are you willing to converse with to garner understanding and dismantle hate-filled ideologies? Are you ready for change? I sure am!!

I’m thankful for all of the friends that I have! I’m grateful that we can have transparent and healthy conversations about the historic roots of race, aligning history with the “why’s” and the “why not’s” of today.

Peace & Blessings, Lisa B

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