I know my blog needed some serious resuscitation. It’s been over a year since it has gotten some love. I’ve had so many ideas for blogs, but somehow could not get them written down. No excuses. Apparently, my act wasn’t together. Now, I am back. I have something to say, and I might as well share it. I was born and raised in St. Louis. I sometimes still work here. It is striking how different the response is when someone asks where I am from. The responses used to vary from indifferent, to “I’ve never been there,” or “is that where that arch thing is?” Now, it’s a conversation starter. Strangers’ ears perk up. People have opinions and thoughts on Ferguson.
Do I think the case of Michael Brown is unique? No. Racism has been alive and well since Columbus “discovered” the native people of North America. What do I think is unique about this situation? I strongly believe that the environment is right for this to be sustained as a movement. I believe the events in Ferguson can be a catalyst for change and that the people of my hometown are strong and resilient enough to make it happen. My heart is warmed by seeing people across the nation standing up for equality. There are people across this country and even around the world coming forward to say that enough is enough. As history has shown, just because you aren’t in the group that is currently having their human rights violated does not provide protection that the next group to feel the wrath of discrimination and dehumanization won’t be yours. This has become so much larger than Michael Brown. This is now about the right for African Americans and all people to be able to live safely in a country and not be treated like animals or criminals. We have seen guns pointed at peaceful taxpaying citizens, black men gunned down by people that were simply intimidated by the color of their skin, and the political climate systematically further disenfranchise people of color and those with less financial resources. We have also witnessed an exponential growth in the comfort level of those with racist or prejudicial views to discriminate and openly say ugly things about those not like them.
We are at a critical time that racism cannot be denied. If nothing is done, we will continue to turn back time and be in jeopardy of returning to a new age Jim Crow or worse. The challenge now is coming up with a strategy and examining ways that each one of us can make a difference, other than just post on Facebook or Twitter saying this sucks. It is time for some serious soul searching. As our elders used to say, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
On this Thanksgiving Day (I may not agree with initial premise, but the thought of thankfulness is worth celebrating), I am so thankful and blessed. I have a wonderful family and so many friends that are like family. I’m surrounded by people that make me a better person. Now, I and you need to harness all of this love to make change. This country and this world needs more love. Happy Thanksgiving.
P.S. I’m shaking my head at myself that I have neglected my blog so long that the domains are a hot mess. I will work on having my website functional again this week.