Tag Archives: “Black lives matter”

All Lives Matter?

 

History is repeating itself right before our eyes and we cannot look away.  Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand or to take a sick day.  We need to show up with our story and perspective ready to share and ready to accept the story of another.  All ears on deck.

I turn on the news and I turn off the news.  More shootings, more protests and more police officers.  It is stuttering the same sad story about race in America.  I hope that we listen up this time and that we talk to each other– not just across dinner or coffee tables but at work, at the gym, in the grocery store and in church.  We need to talk it out, not fight it out.  Inflicting pain does not open ears.

While the Internet affords us access to a seemingly endless amount of information, it is of no use to us if we do not access it.  Along with the video posted above, here are a few resources that might be of assistance to you, your family, organization and church in light of last week’s tragedies.  Please add to the list via the comment section as I can only click on so many websites.

“Why you should stop saying “all lives matter,” explained in 9 different ways”

These 12 Tweets Expose the Hypocrisy of #AllLivesMatter

Enough Already With ‘All Lives Matter’

Trauma of Racism Report

38 Resources to Help Your Church Start Discussing Race Today

Okay. Now, it’s your turn.

 

 

 

 

 

All Lives Don’t Matter

allhousesmatterIt is a trending hash tag. #Alllivesdidntmatter is the new response to persons who have quipped “All lives matter” to the Black Lives Matter movement and message.  It is a national conversation on race being played out on social media.

The hash tag serves as a frustrating reminder as it seems that there are those who still believe “the lies their teacher told them.”  We all should know America’s history: the near annihilation of the people indigenous to what is now the United States, the kidnap, rape and enslavement of millions of Africans, the lynching of thousands of African American men, women and children because “they fit the description” (some of whom were dismembered, set on fire, photographed for postcards, their body parts sold and kept as souvenirs), the interment of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II, segregation and the Civil Rights Movement, the racial profiling of Africans (Remember Amadou Diallo.) and African Americans, the religious profiling of Muslims, the immigration debate and Donald Trump’s great wall.  This is exhausting.

Part of the reason why I am able to proclaim a race-less gospel is because of the revelation of Holy Scripture that I have been inspired by.  But, the other part is knowing the facts about race and its progeny.  Obviously, there are many more that are not far enough along in this process.  The vision must tarry while we take a trip down memory lane, especially when persons like Tomi Lahren, a cable news host, tweet that the Black Lives Matter movement is the new KKK.

So now African Americans are terrorizing people?  It seems that we are handing out fear these days.  “And you’re a terrorist.  And you’re a terrorist.  And you’re a terrorist.”  But, I digress.

#Alllivesdidntmatter has served as a kind of historical litany and a lament with hundreds of years of verses.  If we drop our defenses and are not concerned about who is looking, we will sing along.  We know that it is true so there is no need to feign ignorance or laryngitis.  All together now!

#Alllivesdidntmatter is better said all lives don’t matter.  When it comes to abortion, the criminal justice system, society’s gender roles, the victims of rape, the homeless and so on, we know that it’s true.  And as is the case for race, all lives don’t matter because the social construct was not invented to make us equal.

Jesse Williams’s BET acceptance speech is a poetic confirmation

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Honoree Jesse Williams accepts the Humanitarian Award onstage during the 2016 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/BET/Getty Images for BET)
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 26: Honoree Jesse Williams accepts the Humanitarian Award onstage during the 2016 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/BET/Getty Images for BET)

I must confess that I am not a fan of Black Entertainment Television, also known as BET.  I cannot understand the stereotypical depiction and degradation of African American bodies billed as entertainment; for me, the name is duplicitous.  And I don’t need to be entertained by these messages and images.  But, I digress.

This morning, when a coworker, who does watch BET, shared this acceptance speech by Jesse Williams, I felt that I had been affirmed, heard and understood.  Though aimed at crediting those for which the struggle for justice is real and daily and those who attempt to critique it when they have not protested one step much less one mile in their shoes, I could not help but see the irony as he talked about an American and frankly a rap culture that seeks money in order to wear brands, echoing that of American slavery that branded enslaved African bodies for money.  His audience was filled with so- called entertainers who are all guilty and this is a battle I would not suggest that any of them enter.  His words were better than any rap lyric or chorus, not that I can appreciate much less comprehend today’s rap, trap and hip hop artist’s music.  But, I digress… again.

His acceptance speech rejected every stereotype of history and traditional lie about what you or I don’t understand, cannot believe or do.  Words have power and if we can use them to entertain us, then we can use them to elevate us.  I have said more than I intended for Mr. Williams says most of it, not all, as there is certainly room for others to respond.  I would certainly welcome yours after you hear this.

 

 

Black Lives Matter versus All Lives Matter

maxresdefaultMore than a chant or a hash tag, it cannot be argued that Black Lives Matter is a movement, putting pressure on social structures that continue to value some lives more than others.  Eerily similar to the declaration “I am a man” made during the Civil Rights Movement, I, along with so many others, cannot believe that it needs to be said today.  Not because we elected our first African American president but because we are so progressive, so liberal, so inclusive, so tolerant.  Birthed out of headline after headline of police- involved shootings of most often unarmed African American men and women, those three words prove necessary.

Said again and again, these words are the source of heated debate and deeper discussions on the meaning of life for those socially defined as black and white.  The discrepancies in perception and resultant treatment by some in law enforcement cannot be denied. The response of some has been that “all lives matter.”  For others, the declaration has had the opposite effect.  Last month, Kevin Wright had this to say in a blog post titled “When Christians Won’t Say #BlackLivesMatter.”  Please share with me your thoughts.

United Nations working group calls for reparations for African Americans

b17b6489cda7ac82b9c26a573932dc61.350x263x1While my writings seek to aid us in the ministry of reconciliation as we must view race differently, it cannot be said often enough that there is much work to be done.  If we are to have healthy cross- cultural relationships, we must communicate authentically.  If we are to stand in unity, then the ground must be level.

This week, the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent released its preliminary recommendations and its members are “extremely concerned about the human rights situation of African-Americans.”  The chair Mireille Fanon Mendes-France of France said, “The colonial history, the legacy of enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the U.S. remains a serious challenge as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent.”  After meeting for more than a week with persons from Baltimore, Chicago, District of Columbia, Jackson, Mississippi, New York City and Philadelphia, they likened the treatment of African Americans to that which preceded the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.

While reparations is highlighted, the group calls for much more.  The reparations must not only be financial but social, political, personal and relational. Click here to read the full article.