Mourning The Loss of Friendships

And yet another friendship down the drain……

I am so sorry that I have had to let go of some people in my life.  Things were okay, as long as I was quiet.  But, as I have said before, the George Floyd murder was a catalyst for me.  I can no longer be silent.

This is going to be a difficult post for some of you to read.  It was extremely difficult for me to write. I really struggled with it.  It does have that “us vs. them” feel to it, and I just couldn’t get around that.   I am black and the people I am having issues with are white.  And since I am retired and, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, my interactions with the general public have been limited.  So the people I am having issue with are mostly individuals I go to church with.  I’ve been attending this church even before I moved to Roanoke in the year 2000.  That’s one reason this has been really hard on me.  I’m not perfect and I know they aren’t either.  But I guess I did expect a bit more understanding from my Christian brothers and sisters.  But the shackles of race and politics are strong; much stronger than I had anticipated.  And it has been quite a painful process for me AND THEM to go through.  I am not the same person I used to be.  All the false hope I had built up over the years that things were one day going go be better for blacks in this country tumbled around me.   After George Floyd died in such a callous and inhumane way, I saw that many people didn’t care.  Black people cared, because it’s happened to us so many times before (and unfortunately, since then also).  Many whites didn’t care because he was black, a suspected criminal, and it really didn’t affect them.   But then, THIS TIME, I saw it actually was affecting more whites than I’d ever witnessed before!!  Finally, they had developed a caring heart, not out of guilt, but out of compassion and understanding.   But sadly, I didn’t see that in some of my white friends from my church.  I challenged some of the things they were saying on-line, and got accused of attacking them.  I tried to keep politics out of it, but they managed to always cite my dislike for Trump as president as a factor in their argument.   I tried to share with them why we object to the confederate flag and confederate general’s statues, but they say I want to erase history.  I tried to show them the real history that actually was “erased” because it didn’t support the “rightness” of the South, but I was accused of supporting their explanation of revisionist history (their definition is  intentionally distorting the process and product of historical inquiry).  I see the positive side of this definition as an “important, and integral part in seeking to learn the truth, or gain a different perspective on historical events. … The practice of historical revisionism is crucial in presenting an objective, academic, and truth based narrative on a particular historical event.”   My husband tells me I should just give up…and I think he’s probably giving me some good advice.  I guess I need to just be glad these incidents helped reveal the hearts of some people, and where you stand is something we black people really need to know.

It’s a shame, though.  The pastors at my church, although white men, GET IT !!!  They understand the struggle.  They preach on it.  They suggest materials for all of us to read to get a better insight.  They live what they talk about.  They love. They care.  I love them dearly for who they are and what they are trying to accomplish with our congregation.  But the bonds of “this is the way it has always been” are tough to break, and many people, some of them in our congregation as well, seem unwilling or incapable of change.  I have been entertaining the thought of attending some other church where I could feel more comfortable in my own skin….literally.

But until I make that final decision, I can no longer allow the people around me to think it’s okay to harbor attitudes that are unkind or hurtful to black people when they communicate with their mostly white friends on-line.  I suppose they don’t remember that people of color, even the small numbers from their own church, are able to read their posts and memes, and see both the blatant and underlying prejudices in their words.  I especially am not going to let my Christian brothers and sisters get by without letting them know how their comments are perceived by most people of color.  They can stand on a soapbox and shout their love for God and what a loving, kind person they are until He sends his Son back to Earth, but I am not going to let them post ugly things on-line and not be called-out for doing so!!!!   For some of them, they aren’t even fully aware of what they are saying – THAT is the problem.  I challenge what they post, and they can’t see that what they are saying is the least bit prejudiced.  And it is definitely not of God!!   They can’t see that they grew up in a “white privileged” world, think that everyone can get ahead if they really want to, if they work hard enough, etc.  I know the term “white privilege” upsets some people, and they deny it even exists.  You don’t have to call it by that name, but the concept is real.  And if a person cannot see beyond their own experience, there is no hope that they will ever make any contribution to understanding or improving race relations in this country.  So, I just have to let them live in the oblivion of their own unrecognized contempt, and I just have to find more or cling even closer to my genuine friends.  These people, the ones in question here, have shown they have no desire to open their hearts or minds to see the world from any other vantage point than their own.  And worst of all, they use their Christianity as a shield to try to cover themselves from scrutiny.   I have had to “unfriend” a few people because of this.  I have had just about enough of their ugly comments.  I just had to take a break from some of them for my own protection.  I’m sure they feel the same need to get away from me, too!

I would like to take the opportunity here to sincerely thank my Caucasian friends and acquaintances that have been so supportive.  You have been able to see things from another point of view and realize all we black/brown people want is the equality we were promised so long ago.  We are not looking for things to be handed to us; we just want the playing field leveled so we can have a chance to succeed.  I thank God every day for you!!!  Your willingness to even just SEE that there are disparities is the first step in improving race relations.  You can open your mind and visualize that many of our inequities weren’t caused by the misconceptions that blacks don’t want to do better or we don’t work as hard as whites.  You can see that we weren’t allowed to live in better neighborhoods so we could attend better schools and get better and higher education in order to pursue those better jobs.  You don’t make ignorant statements like “I never owned slaves” and “You need to just get over it.”   Thank you for realizing many of us can’t just “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps” and be whatever we want to be in this country…..because of the color of our skin.  You don’t have to march in a Black Lives Matter rally.  You don’t have to donate money to the cause.  You don’t have to walk around wearing a BLM hat or t-shirt.  Just knowing that you CARE in your heart about the plight of black/brown people – just knowing you have empathy for disadvantaged people is worth the world to me and others like me.

I am a Christian. Not all of my friends, black or white, believe in Christ or any other deity for that matter.  But they have pure and good hearts.  Their lives are governed by a high moral standard, and that is what they live and show to the world.  I want you to also know how your support and care in this matter is appreciated as well.  You don’t judge me for my religious beliefs because they aren’t your beliefs.  You see the wrongful treatment of your fellow human beings and that is all you need to care, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, or economic status.  I thank God for you (smile) as well.

I’m not sure why this came to mind while I was writing all this…. but it did.  My pastor calls it “chasing rabbits” !!    My head still spins in disbelief at the ignorance of State Senator Steve Huffman, a Republican from the town of Tipp City, Ohio, when he commented on the disproportionate number of Covid-19 cases in impoverished  communities of color : “Could it just be that African Americans or the colored population do not wash their hands as well as other groups?”  Beyond being an absolutely absurd thing to say, it was incredibly racist and demeaning!  And yet, he saw nothing wrong with this and some other assumptions he made, all based on the color of one’s skin!!   Ridiculous!!!   This came from a well educated (or I should say, “book-smart”) man!!   Sometimes, you really need to think before you open your mouth!!!

Along those lines, I really questioned why a friend of mine from high school put the following on their Facebook page.  I had seen other postings from them, but this one really upset me.  This was something that was copied and shared.   It just struck a sensitive chord with me.  It was just so incredibly insensitive to me on so many levels…….

115931862 10223051216819160 211203980569747209 o

This individual has always been very patriotic and supportive of the current administration.  I have never had a problem with that.  But this post went way over the top.  It brought out a side of this person that I had never seen or experienced before!  It showed a complete intolerance of just about everything!!   Do you really dislike gay people?   Do you not understand, generally speaking, that there has always been bias in this country against black and brown people by white people?   Yes, your ancestors have been a problem for my ancestors, but your present attitude is why we are experiencing the same problems now!!   Your race almost obliterated the true knowledge of my race’s history, and when we finally insist that that information be considered and included in the American experience, you have the audacity to say we are trying to erase yours!!!   I don’t care about your politics; you can support any political party you want.  But please don’t insult me by insinuating that the only reason I haven’t gotten the same things in life as you is because I haven’t worked as hard as you have!!  These statements tipped the scale for me, and I temporarily “unfriended” this person, for now, because I just couldn’t read any more posts like that from a person that I cared so much for.

This individual did contact me afterwards and said they were sorry that I felt the need to unfriend them.  I responded :

“I just needed to take a break after that last post I saw from you.  It was so ugly.  It’s okay to have different political views; I have friends that are way more conservative than I am.   We don’t agree on that, but that in itself is okay.   But the gay and the race comments you had in that last post really got to me.  Your words were very hurtful.  I’m sorry, but there IS racism in this world, in this country.  And the attitudes and actions of many whites, from generations ago AND in current times, ARE responsible for the way things were and are for black and brown people.   And if you truly feel in your heart the things that post said about people, that is part of the problem and the reason blacks will never be treated as equals in this country.   I can’t detach from that.   I know how it feels to be discriminated against.  I work just as hard as a white person, even harder, and I get passed over because of my color.   That kind of thing doesn’t happen to you!  Happens to black people every day!!   I remember putting in for a position at Genicom [a company in our hometown], didn’t get the job I was perfectly qualified for, then they had the nerve to ask ME to TRAIN the inexperienced white person they hired!!!   Told them hell no!!!  [ If I was qualified enough to train someone else to do the job, why wasn’t I offered the position??  Perhaps, because this person was the daughter of a white local artist who is nationally well-known, and she sent the interviewer a piece of her mother’s original artwork as a thank-you for being considered.  Pretty much “trumped” my mere thank-you letter!!! ]   And I could go on and on with many more examples in my life.  And I see it every day with other people of color.  I am sorry if you can’t see why the attitudes in that post were hurtful to me personally and to the many people of color in this country.   So, I chose not to see any more of them from you right now for my own well being.  I hope to ask you to be my Facebook friend again one day and I hope you’ll accept.   I just wish you could feel some empathy for people that just can’t seem to catch a break in this world because they aren’t white.”

                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My hometown friend is a Christian, but we usually see each other only a few times a year at reunions or concerts and such.   I guess what caused this, my latest “outrage”, was a post made by a friend of mine from my current church – a person I would see every week.  Besides being angry, I was also very hurt with the comments they chose to support.  Here, also, no names are included; it is not my intention to hurt that person by sharing this, but this an example of the things I have had to come to the defense of.  I tried to address as many points in concise way here, so I apologize for the format of my response.  This person also admitted they copied and  shared it, but I held them responsible for the statements made….

The Post :

Hear here,…hear????

SORRY FOLKS, I’VE HAD ENOUGH, IF YOU WANT TO UNFRIEND ME AFTER THIS, I DON’T CARE. I HAVE THE RIGHT TO MY OPINIONS AND THIS IS HOW I SEE IT AND FEEL…

💯% Let me break it down…again

1. Joe Biden isn’t winning just like Hillary wasn’t winning.

2. Bubba Wallace wasn’t a victim.

3. Black lives do matter, along with everyone else.

4. What happened to Floyd should never happen again. But he was still a criminal not an innocent individual.

5. All cops definitely aren’t bad, nor are they all racist.

6. Trump is the President and doing a great job!

7. Rioters and looters have nothing to do with George Floyd. (And should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law).

8. Police lives matter.

9. Unborn lives matter.

10. Colin Kaepernick isn’t a hero, and never will be.

11. CNN isn’t news (nor is MSNBC)

12. Elizabeth Warren isn’t Indian just a fake person.

13. Facebook only censors conservatives.

14. All lives do matter (red, yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight).

15. COVID 19 is being used to gauge just how much of our freedom they can take away.

16. All fear is fueled by the media, this is a fact.

17. God is still in control and always will be.

18. Epstein did not kill himself. Nascar did kill themselves.

19. Most people are not racist.

20. There is NO White Privilege

21. LIFE is What YOU Make of it.

22. No one OWES You ANYTHING! No matter what color, race, belief you are…….no one owes you a thing!!

23. I stand for the Flag 🇺🇸 and National Anthem.

24. I kneel only for Jesus.

And there ya’ have it!

I copied and pasted this so if you agree, share away.

To which I replied :

Guess we’ll have to part ways. It’s okay to have different political opinions.  That’s something we can agree or disagree on.  But human rights issues are totally different.  A noose in a black man’s garage is not cool; it was put there to represent a lynching noose.  Criminals deserve humane treatment.  If you think it is okay to kill a black man for a “possible” counterfeit  $20 bill, I don’t like your low opinion of a human life.  No one on this earth has said all cops are bad, but there has to be a better way to weed out the bad ones.  There are also bad people mixed in with the good protestors.  It has been proven that some were white and white supremests, and they started the damage to blame it on the BLM people.   I guess no one standing up for a better life for black people will ever be seen in a favorable light by you.  And there is such a thing as white privilege – that’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.  You should read about it.  The flag is our national symbol, but I don’t value it above the brutal killings of black American citizens, above human life.  No BLM person has cursed the flag, spit on it, burned it, etc.  – disrespected it.  Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t stand for the flag, yet no one questions their patriotism.

Words and actions hurt.  So, if this is where you heart truly is, no empathy for the mistreatment of black Christian brothers and sisters,  I guess you won’t have to smile in my face and put down my race behind my back any more.

To which they replied :

Wanda I have never put down any people of color…my thoughts are always with Jesus at the front..my Dad was one of the finest down home preacher’s I’ve ever known and not racist in anyway..this was instilled in us throughout our lives…I’ve had many students of color in my classes, adult Ed, secondary and post-secondary..I have a compassion child …I’ve preached at a church of Christ of color in Chester, Pa, when asked to step in by the elders of King of Prussia Church of Christ. There is no color difference w Jesus. In Jesus’ name Ahmein, Amein Aaa-men 🎶🤟🏻🙏 TYJ 🎉🎶 TYL 🙏 TYHS ☝️🇺🇸👈

To which I responded:

Do you hear yourself, my friend??  You answer with the usual rhetoric we black people hear – I have black friends, I dated someone of color, my family welcomed blacks, I never called any the N-word –  but then you post something like this!!!  If you don’t think a noose in a black man’s garage is not a racist symbol…????  I have watched Nascar (on television) for decades, but would never go to a race because it felt like a klan rally.  They finally realize what a detriment the confederate flag is to their patrons of color, ban it, and now you won’t support them – what does that say??   You are demonizing George Floyd because he was not a perfect man (if you recall, no man is perfect), and so it was okay to murder a black man over a suspected fake $20 bill?  This is the same logic we used to apply to rape victims – she wouldn’t have gotten raped if she wasn’t wearing such a short skirt or she’s had numerous sexual partners, so she got what she deserved!   We all have a little bit of other races in us; that doesn’t make us a fake person.  Remember, back in the day, one was considered black if you had as little as one percentage of black blood in you, even if you appeared to have white skin and straight hair.  So if I choose to celebrate the percentage of European blood in me, that doesn’t make me a fake person.  And this politicizing a virus is ridiculous!!   Everywhere we go, WE ARE TOLD WHAT TO DO!!!  No shoes-no service!   No checks accepted here!!  Seat belts required to drive!!!  Why are masks, to protect your and others’ health, such a big deal!!  How is that taking your rights away any more than all the other requirements of us??   And there IS such a thing as White Privilege.  It exists, even if it is not your “opinion.”   It may be some people’s “opinion” the earth is flat, but that doesn’t make it true.  There is systemic racism in this, and other countries, that keep black and brown people from getting ahead in life, regardless of how hard they work or try to get ahead.  You can’t possibly be blind to that?  No one owes anyone a free ride, but you have to make it a level playing field before you start claiming everything is fair for all.  And if you can’t see that, with the kind of attitude you are projecting, then we blacks have no chance of ever being treated as equals in this country.  That is the problem.

I don’t expect everyone on this earth to join hands, drink a Coke and sing Kumbaya.  But if you can’t come out of your own preconceived notions to see how your black brothers and sisters feel, nothing will ever change in race relations in our country.  My friendships are not based on whether we agree 100% with each other.  But if a person is a real friend of mine, they see me as a black woman truly struggling with the biases I’ve had to navigate my entire life.  And almost all blacks in this country feel the same way.   If you find one or two blacks on-line that say what whites want to hear (you will see that 99% of their followers are white, so that should tell you something), please don’t be fooled to think they are speaking for the masses.

IMG 0755

And I further challenge my Christian brothers and sisters.  I don’t think Christ wants us to value a flag over human life.  We send money to fund a Compassion Child to make us feel good, but we show contempt for our black brothers and sisters in this country, in our communities, fighting for a better life.

I know this is going to tick some people off, but it should challenge you to think of your motives and where your heart really is.  I no longer want to deal with people who just smile in my face for the sake of having a black friend.  If a person has compassion and care for someone they can’t “see” or are exposed to for a week on a mission trip, but are outraged by the pain of their fellow citizens of color – “What do THEY want?? – then we really weren’t really friends.  I can’t detach myself from being black.  And if a real friend of mine has no empathy for the pain of others who are not white, we can’t have an honest relationship.

IMG 0770

To which they responded :

Whow! You’ve castigated me for what you have no idea.. I don’t apologize for sharing that post and I pray Wanda that the awesome drive you have for this energy was as passionate for sharing Jesus with all you’re connecting with…. I have no hidden agenda with anything you say…the 2 commands Jesus gave ALL of us, if we believe Him are Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, body and soul! The other is like the same..LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR as yourself…..I do. Since I first met you as  “Wanda and the White Boys” I’ve respected your talent and spirit.  I’m 73 now and have seen and gone through many things you and most  have no idea…May our God of peace and blessings and love Himself give you peace and blessings and love in all things and at all times 👉 TYJ 👈 TYL 🙏 TYHS ☝️🇺🇸👈🎶.  Aamein, Amein, Aaamen

I wish their love of Jesus was not commingled with the support of their hateful comments.   “Love thy neighbor,” and “All lives matter”…except for George Floyd, because he was a criminal after all, so it was okay what happened to him.   A noose is found in the ONLY garage that was “randomly” assigned to the ONLY black NASCAR driver, and let’s just say it was just a loop like all the others.   And because the organization supported him, in spite of the fact that they couldn’t prove it was purposely put there for him, you fault them for being compassionate.  Colin Kaepernick stood up, or I should say took a knee, to draw attention to the police brutality disproportionately experienced by blacks, and he’s demonized for it.   Racism turned that protest into a disrespecting the flag issue.   “Liberty and Justice for ALL” – blacks have never fully benefited from this promise.  A woman is branded a “fake person” because she pointed out a percentage of her Native American Heritage.  That’s such a loving thing to say!   Politicizing a fatal virus instead of caring about the heath and well being of those they profess to love is unconscionable.   I’m not going to address any of the political statements this person made. Those ARE opinions, and everyone has a right to their own political opinions.  My problem with this person is simply their ugly, disparaging racial statements interspersed  with religion.  This is not how people of God should speak!!!!  But as I have discovered, many of these Christian “friends” of mine seem to carry this common thread.

IMG 0691

My final response to this issue (after seeing another friend of theirs state this person didn’t have a racist bone in their body) :

I never called you a racist.  Just wanted you to be aware of what you send out.  I will keep you in my prayers.  Take care and stay safe.

Although in the OVERWHELMING minority,  ONE white friend of this person called them out as well.  Maybe not so detailed and harsh as I did…..

Their response :

You either agree with everything I have to say or you’re against me. What a terrible thing to think, to feel, to say.  And the hurtful, hate-filled things you say about people in these statements are antithetical to what I have been shown all of my life as being characteristic of a good person.  I am not in your false dilemma trap. I have no opinion to express about anyone. I don’t agree with your premise.  If you choose to unfriend me, that’s entirely up to you.

To which the original posting individual replied :

Notice (name omitted), I reposted that with no malice in my heart, Concurance yes. Any who know me would know that, I believe… I respect you and what you say…and I go back to the attitudes of Jesus’ 2 commands. I believe Satan  has developed all this malice because of ….

Have a good day and God bless…as you say 🤟🙏☝️

Wow – “no malice in my heart”, they said.   Sadly, they actually don’t see it!!  And they reiterate and unapologetically agree with EVERYTHING they posted there!  How am I supposed to interpret that??   Satan isn’t completely responsible for developing this malice; YOU helped him out by doing your part to spread this ugliness.  Satan didn’t choose to spread this all over Facebook – YOU  DID !!!   

By the way – this is the last thing  I saw my Christian,  “love they neighbor as thyself”, “all God’s people are equal in His sight”, “friend” post before we parted ways…..

 

IMG 0805

….plus all the “LIKES” and corroborating comments

coming from practically all of their Christian and other friends….

The Point Of It All :

This person thinks they can just quote a bunch of scriptures and that is supposed to cancel-out the ugly comments they made in this post.  I have known this person for over 20 years, which is one reason I got so upset and was so hard on them!  I know they are a Christian.  But they are not exhibiting Christ-like behavior or attitude when they say they are in total agreement with some of the things said in this post.  And they can’t see the slightest thing wrong with spreading these hateful things, as long as a person claims their love of the Lord as well!!!  This kind of hypocrisy is one reason Christians get such a “bad wrap” from the secular world – “If that’s how a Christian behaves, I don’t want any part of that!!”

I used to work with a Christian man back in Waynesboro VA.  He was always seen walking around the halls with his Bible in his hand.  He kept it at his work station, but he would bring it to the cafeteria for lunch every day, sit quietly by himself and read scripture while he was eating.  What a beautiful outward expression of his faith!   But then, we found out he was going home and beating the crap out of his wife almost every night!!!   That was back in the day when a person could not be arrested for domestic abuse unless the spouse pressed charges, and she was too afraid to do so.  So in my learned opinion (educated by the school of real life), you can carry a Bible as big as an encyclopedia or quote scripture from memory until the cows come home; that doesn’t impress me.  It doesn’t impress God!!!   It’s what’s in your heart that makes you a Christian; the desire to be Christ-like.  If a person says the are in full agreement with this ugliness, they just showed me, regardless of their outward actions, what is in their heart.  And people like me need to know where a person’s heart is!!!   Since the George Floyd murder, I have been exposed to several people from my current church, which is about 98% white, that are posting similar (and worse) things on-line.  I’d see them on Sundays (b.v. – before virus) for years, and they so nice and sweet to me.  But since the BLM movement took center stage,  I see they sometimes go home and post, what l perceive as, some really nasty comments about what’s been going on in our quest for equality.   There are so many concepts and issues I’ve tried to address and clarify for them, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.   It is discouraging, but I suppose I will continue to try.   There are so many lies and misconceptions we supporters of Black Lives Matter have to deal with……

All lives matter.  This is something I hear all the time.  We know ALL life is important and precious.  No one is saying blacks have the only lives that matter.   But this is the issue at hand; the racial injustice against black purple.  The black community is hurting and needs the help, the attention, at this particular point in time.  I saw these memes on-line that kind of sums up why this analogy is not welcomed :

IMG 0826

20160707 allhousesredux

                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

David Bedrick J.D., Dipl. PW, in a July 2015 article in Psychology Today entitledWhat’s the Matter 

With ‘All Lives Matter’?” states :

In response [to the phrase “Black Lives Matter”], some white folks have countered with the phrase, “all  lives matter.”  While this is seemingly a more empowering as well as a diversity affirming response, it is neither.  When people say “all lives matter” in response to “Black Lives Matter,” they are not simply opening their arms to the greater diversity of humanity.  Instead, they are taking race out of the conversation.  While the statement masquerades as a bright and inclusive light, in the shadow of this statement hides a willful ignorance of America’s racist past and present.  There is no doubt that racism exists today. The research evidence is vast and clear.   Adding insult to injury, asserting that all lives matter in response to Black folks declaring that Black Lives Matter, turns our eyes away from acknowledging America’s racist past, functioning as a form of dismissal or denial.  If we stop highlighting and focusing on Black lives, but instead focus more globally and generally on all lives, then we stop seeing color as a factor in American life. Putting it simply, if we erase race, we won’t see racism. 

Let’s face it, most white people don’t regularly think about themselves as white. We are not made to think about our race because we are not living in a pervasive systemic atmosphere that injures us because of our skin color. As such, we easily think of ourselves as a “just a person,” as a human being belonging to the human family. But when a person is regularly injured because of a quality [like the color of their skin], it is veritably impossible to enjoy the luxury of ignoring that quality.  When a white person responds to the statement “Black Lives Matter” by countering with “all lives matter” they exhibit a blindness to the privilege of living outside of a painful and marginalizing lens that highlights their race; a privilege not enjoyed by Black and brown people.  In the words of Jarune Uwujaren  [a contributing author to the publication Everyday Feminism], “[I}f you have trouble seeing race or are tired of people making things about race, realize that if they could, most people of color would ignore race too.”

The statement, “all lives matter” did not arise in a vacuum. It was not born of a passion for the value of all life; it is not a worldwide social movement for justice. It was a response, a retort, a counter-point to the statement “Black Lives Matter.”  As such, we cannot evaluate it purely in terms of its accuracy (i.e, “Isn’t it true that all lives matter?  Wouldn’t it be good to live in a world where all lives mattered?”) or as a general statement of care for all beings, including Black beings.  It is not said as a matter of truth or a statement of values.  Instead, it’s spoken as a form of communication that functions as a rebuttal to the statement “Black Lives Matter.”  As such, they are not words of love for all beings; they are words of negation, repudiation, and refutation. They are words of debate; they are fighting words. What are the speakers of these words fighting? Simple—that Black Lives Matter!”

We blacks practically invented violence in their view.  They can’t understand why we are so upset and cannot believe all the lawlessness going on in the streets.  I have to remind them that their ancestors got fed up with Britain’s unfair, controlling thumb on the lives the Colonists, and  THEY STARTED A WAR!!   We just have a small number of riots and looting in a few cities in the country right now, and they behave like Armageddon has come!!!   They want to define the entire movement using the actions of a violent few.  They in turn, say that we are defining all police because of the actions of a few as a justification to dig their heels in in greater defiance.   But that’s not what we are saying – we are not condemning all police as bad.  We are acknowledging that in this country, policing was created out of systemic racism [In the South in the 1700s, patrol groups were created to stop runaway slaves. In the north, a formal police force was created to control immigrants who were moving into cities in the 1800s.],  and we want a better, fairer, less bias-based, more accountable organization.

  As Martin Luther King, Jr. said back in 1966 :

       “I contend that the cry of “black power” is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of              

         white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the 

         Negro. I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard.”  

         And we have been unheard for so long.   

We blacks just want to erase history.  We blacks just want to erase their heritage??!!??   I saw a post someone white had made that kind of summed up this controversy over the Confederacy :

Your Heritage??  Heritage is when your ancestors go back for generations, passing down customs, traditions, and such.  The confederacy lasted four years – the band Nirvana lasted longer than that!!!  Plus your heritage was enslaving black people, which you insist on ignoring, citing “states rights” (which, by the way, was the desire of the state to KEEP owning slaves!!!).   Your customs were owning people and working them and beating them into submission…or to death.  What a heritage to be proud of.”

If you want to accuse someone of erasing history, look in your ancestors’ mirror.  Americans have been so underserved by only seeing one side of the story.  We got textbooks that were skewed to favor the South, that played down slavery as some sort of indentured work program, omitted the brutality of slave life, ignored the reneging of treaties with Native Americans, barely mentioned the internment of Japanese Americans just because of the color of their skin during wartime.   A person should not have wait until they are retired (like myself) to hear about some of these things for the first time!!!!   I watched a video the other day of a current black college student in a history class.   When the instructor started a discussion of the Tulsa Race Massacre, he held up his hand in disbelief.   This young man was a Tulsa native, born and bred in that very city, and he had never even heard of this!!  [ I have written a previous post on this subject alone, if you would like to know more about it].  We know your history.  Considering the history of others in this country is inclusive, not erasing.

We only want to teach their children the bad history of the US.  “Au contraire;” we want to teach ALL PEOPLE the REAL and COMPLETE history of our nation.  I don’t understand the fear so many people have of knowing the truth??!!??   I think they are afraid they may have to challenge their set-in-stone beliefs if they are shown actual evidence to the contrary.  The other day I discovered one of my friends giving out instructions on how to BLOCK the fact-checkers on Facebook.  When I questioned them why they would want to receive information that a non-biased group had determined was untrue, the said “good people were being blocked.”   So in essence, they want to continue to receive proven lies, I can only speculate, that continuously supplies the misinformation needed to back  their “opinions”.

Unlike the famous line from a  movie, I think we CAN handle the truth!!  Our love for our country should not be based on fairy tales.  Some of the truth is not pretty.  Some of our history was bad; the same as other nations have also experienced.  Sugar-coating it or omitting it should not be the norm.   So, I want it all, the good and the not-so-good history,  taught to everyone – yes; including your kids!!  I want everyone to know that more than just white people invented things.  Or that people of color were, and are, great politicians or scientists or mathematical geniuses.  I want everyone to know this nation was brought together by real people, like Washington and Jefferson, flawed people, just like the rest of us, that were able to accomplish great things.  That the Constitution is not perfect, but as we grow and learn, it has been amended to reflect those discoveries.

We want the country to turn to Communism and Marxism.  We have seen a political swing towards more Socialist-based ideas in this country, especially involving Universal Healthcare and free college tuition, and that seems to scare some people.  I am of the Christian belief that if you are able to help your fellow man, you have a moral obligation to do so.  If I have the means to support some cause that helps my fellow man, if that includes something like higher taxes to accomplish this, I am gladly going to do so.  Some don’t agree with this.  They don’t feel the government should provide some services for its people.  That’s fine.  That’s a political choice.  But no one in BLM wants to or is fostering some sinister conspiracy plot to take over your property, among some of the various lies and misconceptions I have seen.   No one is advocating a classless society, or the abolition of the police department.   BLM is not pro-abortion, but they do support a woman’s right to choose.   We are not trying to take over the government and,  we certainly don’t want an autocrat in control of our lives either.

We hate this country; if we don’t like it here we should go back where we came from. I’ve spent so much time on this already.   We love our country.  We have no other place to go to because THIS IS OUR COUNTRY!!!   Unless a black/brown family in this country voluntarily immigrated here, most of us were born here!   That is one essential requirement of citizenship; the same reason many whites get to call themselves Americans as well.  Why is it different for us??   But we have suffered one obstacle after another, since the beginning of this nation, designed to keep us down and remind us that whites (what some of them believe) are superior to us and any other race on this planet.  You can get all “biblical” on me, saying there is only one race – the human race.  But you tell that to the black family that had their home surrounded by the KKK as they burned a cross in their front yard!!  Were they doing this to remind the family that we’re all in this together??   Oh, and you tell that to the Neo-Nazi that got up in my face while I was on stage singing for an outdoor concert  in Charlottesvile VA years ago, while two Charlottesvile policemen standing there did nothing!!!   [ I had to signal my own sound technician to come down to the stage and usher him away.  And he could have been hurt also!!! ]   Was he just celebrating that we were all just part of the human race when he waved a rolled-up piece of white supremacist literature inches from my face??   We keep having little spurts in history where an incident happens, and we blacks get fed-up with being treated unjustly (no more than second-class citizens or less than human in some cases), and that precipitates some unrest.  We have faced this same scenario, numerous times, for generations.  We went through this same stuff in the 60’s and barely anything changed.  This time around, I am encouraged that some white people of means are showing Christian empathy and compassion and are now using their wealth, power and influence to help to right some of the wrongs.  Are their motives moral or economic??  I don’t care; that’s what they will answer to God for in the end.  I am just a witness to the results.  I finally see some changes on the horizon.  I don’t have as many years in my life left to let this momentum slow to a halt again.

                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For those of you that don’t know me personally, my husband is Caucasian. He grew up in a typical middle-class,  suburban environment.  Since his marriage to me, he has seen some of the blatant racism that blacks experience.  But more important than that, his eyes have been opened to see the subtle racism that hovers just below the surface.  My husband is right ( but please don’t tell him I said that!! ).  If a person has that hardened of a heart, no amount of information you present to them is going to break that armor, and they are going to hang on their misinformed convictions until the day they die.  These revelations, via Facebook posts, has just allowed me to see behind the facade – the loving caring Christian personality they have shown to me on Sunday morning – and exposed the feelings they have for my race and the struggle of my people that are deep down in their hearts.  And that’s what I needed to see.  At this point in my life, l need to surround myself with sincere love and support.  Not demanding a blind following.  Not demanding that they agree with everything I say, but a sincerity of the heart.  This journey has  been rude awakening for all involved……

The Lord works in mysterious ways.   I had intended to post this a week ago.  I rewrote it about five times, but still didn’t send it out.  It was for a reason, unknown to me at the time.  In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been involved with a gospel group consisting of a small number of multiracial singers and musicians from several different churches and denominations.  We are providing the music for an outdoor, downtown Roanoke worship and praise service on Sunday evenings for the month of August.  The various community ministers speak and pray as well.  It has truly been uplifting for me.  One of the ladies I met through this told me about this song.  I had not heard this before, but I know now, this was the reason for my delay – I had to include this powerful song !!!    I so needed to hear this !!!     It really touched my soul.   People can let you down; sometimes you let yourself down as well.

PEOPLE   by Jonathan McReynolds

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_8d-W_lorY

They are the best and the worst you’ve created

Loving and hating and opinionated

Loners in basements and those congregated

Deliver me

Far from the peace, from ashore I was sinking

Deep in the ocean of thoughts they were thinking

Don’t know what validation I was seeking

Deliver me from

People, people

When you said you could heal me from anything

Did you mean

People, people

Deliver me

‘Cause I can’t point ’em out

I won’t say their names

I don’t know the damage

Or which one to blame

It’s just people, people

Deliver me

She was the reason I smiled in the morning

He took the last bit of joy I was storing

That’s too much power for anything human

Deliver me from

People, people

I know you can heal me from anything

What about

People, people

Deliver me

‘Cause I can’t point ’em out

I won’t say their names

I don’t know the damage

Or which one to blame

It’s just people, people

Deliver me

The hurt are hurting

And the broken are breaking

And the ones who had their joy taken away

Are out here taking from other

People, people

People, people

Forgive these

(People, people)

Heal me from

(People, people)

Crazy

(People, people)

Trollin’

(People, people)

Self-righteous

(People, people)

Entitled

(People, people)

Hatin’

(People)

Lyin’

(People)

Disrespectful

(People, people)

Forgive me when I’m one of those

People, people

Deliver me

“Forgive these people….heal me from crazy, hating, lying, self-righteous, entitled, disrespectful people….. AND FORGIVE ME WHEN I AM ONE OF THESE PEOPLE !!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *