Today was a weird day. I anxiously watched the live viewing of the Arbery final verdict from Twitter. Holding my breath, hoping that the justice system works for this family. I feel like the last four years have been full of watching videos of injustices against Black people, reposting it on social media, receiving silence/pushback from my followers, and waiting a year or so to hear a verdict that doesn’t serve justice. Yesterday was different. The three men were found guilty and are facing federal charges as well. I was able to let out a sigh of relief and gratitude. But the fact that I’m even holding my breath points to a bigger issue. We’re used to seeing the justice system fail our community. The Black community.
This is the reality for a large majority of the Black community. This sigh of relief is an indicator that we operate out of trauma. Trauma that stems from the number of cases that were so clear in our eyes receives little to no empathy and a disappointing verdict.
Maybe there is a shift happening. The media tells us that the US is divided like never before, but I would disagree. I’m having more conversations with White people that desire to learn about my reality than ever before. When I post about race now, I’m not told as often that I’m just buying into the rhetoric or doing what the democrats want me to, but that my reality is something they never thought about.
As a citizen of our country, it is imperative that we honestly evaluate what we are doing well and the areas we are failing. People often think that I am anti-America. This is false. I am anti painting America as being perfect. Is it one of the better countries in the world, for sure, but it is also one that has failed minorities (and women) since its inception.
We can be proud of being an American, but still, be REALISTIC and disappointed in how America has/is failing in certain areas. Same thing with Christianity. I love being a follower of Jesus and being a part of the body of Christ, but I am constantly realistic about the fact that there are churches, groups, and individuals that do not represent the love of Christ but claim to. And I mourn. I don’t create this false narrative in my mind that Christianity is free of blemishes.
In conclusion: The year 2020 will be one of America’s defining moments for the future of unity and justice, and for many of you reading this. Many became aware of the differences in America when it comes to the black community and other races. How will you respond? Will you teach your kids what true inclusion looks like? Will you be afraid to call out injustices? Will your silence be how your Black brothers and sister remember you when they needed your support the most?
America is growing. It’s slow and painful. There are major setbacks. Like any family, there are rifts, fights, and frustrations. It is not perfect. It is not the worst. But for the sake of our personal integrity and the integrity of our country, we have a responsibility to acknowledge the good, bad, and unjust.