For a few days, I have remained silent. I have chosen to sit in my anger, frustration, pain, confusion and unbelief for more than week. Not because I didn’t have any words to say, because I have plenty, but because I want my words to reflect the truth. My truth and place in this, but more importantly, God’s truth. As we all have read, watched the videos, news, media, there has been much to process. What is truth, what is not? Why so much injustice? What does racism have to do with an innocent man being killed? Just some of the many questions I have seen flash before my eyes in one way or another.
While so many people have addressed this on social media and the news, I chose to share it here on my blog (and then to social media). Here’s why. I do not have a huge following at all. In fact, I just started this blog at the beginning of the pandemic (mid March where I’m located). I started it in hopes to uplift, encourage and create content to inspire others to do the same. And while that is what my blog will still be about, I struggled to write my next post, wondering how I should address my own personal feelings about the racial injustices I have experienced in my lifetime and how it all relates to creating, encouraging, and uplifting others.
To be able to encourage others, you have to know why you are encouraging people and how to encourage them and right now it’s needed more than ever. And while this is a place where I hope to encourage, this current post may encourage some and may discourage others. So many people are hurting. Just look at the news and social media. People say and do things out of anger, being fed up, or simply not feeling heard. There are many ways in which this can look and it’s unfortunate that we are currently seeing more of the negative. Even here in my home city I see and hear from friends about the peaceful protests for change and unity. And then I see how these same protests bring out others who are also angry, but choose violence, disunity, and then others who choose retaliation and murder on more innocent people. This breaks my heart.
As I’m sure you have seen on my social media, I am of mixed race. Black, White, Mexican, Native American and Filipino, however, I grew up knowing a lot of the history of my father who is Black and my parents were good about making sure I learned about my history. Not only that, I learned at an early age how hateful people could be to someone like me through experience. Yet still, I was very optimistic that people were simply “having a bad day” or that they were just “dealing with things in their own life”. As I continued growing and experiencing life, I started to see some of the ways people would treat my dad. Still trying to be optimistic, I eventually saw that racism was still very active around me.
And then I started dating then eventually married my husband, a black man. The same mistreatment of my dad I began to see so much more happening to my husband. Why are we getting pulled over AGAIN and being told that he “fit the description” while I was driving MY car? And not only being pulled over, but another instance of him being asked to step out of the car and put in handcuffs WITHOUT any explanation again while I was driving. Oh yes, and then not to mention the time when there was a family dispute between my cousins, uncle and aunt at my parent’s house and when police arrived, they immediately looked at my husband and said “he needs to be handcuffed”, without any questions and he had nothing to do with the incident. Or being pulled over coming from my parent’s house and being asked “why are you in this neighborhood?” (a newer neighborhood) when the address on his license clearly showed he didn’t live in that same area.
I’m sure that not only black people have these things happen to them. That’s not what I am saying. I have, however, seen and heard from so many of my black friends, family and those I don’t really know who have lived and experienced these same things. I have seen and heard the things that white people have talked about in front of me, forgetting that I’m black too. I have felt the racism that was embedded in coworkers sharing information with one another, as we’re on the same team, who deliberately left me out only to hope it would sabotage me in one way or another. It hurts. It’s disheartening. It just plain ol’ stinks. I wish I could change it. I wish I could unsee it. I wish I could help others to see what the black community has struggled with for so many years; oppression, systemic racism, the negative stereotypes of people in the black community, yet the continuous cultural appropriation in the media. When will this end? How do I do my part to help others see this and want change? I can only share my experiences and speak up about what I see, and I wish that people wouldn’t need to hear “more the story” to make sure someone wasn’t being “a thug” or “a criminal” and “deserve to be killed”.
And so because of these things, I choose to support, now hear me out, Black Lives Matter. This does not mean that ALL lives don’t matter. I encourage you to see what the actual Black Lives Matter movement stands for and not for what you have seen on social media through memes, protests, and other venues, by people who claim to be a part of the Black Lives Matter movement because they do not always get it right, just like all of us who claim we are Christians may not always get it right or represent Jesus in the best way possible. Hear from the movement itself. On their website, and in their “What We Believe” page, they state the following:
Every day, we recommit to healing ourselves and each other, and to co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family a culture where each person feels seen, heard and supported.
We acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences and commonalities.
We work vigorously for freedom for Black people and, by extension, all people.
We intentionally build and nurture a beloved community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting.
We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others.BlackLivesMatter.com, What We Believe
So where does that leave us? In a world where there is so much division, I want unity, justice, peace (and I’m sure so much more). But in a world where so much sin exists, who knows if we’ll ever have all 3. That doesn’t stop me from hoping and praying. It doesn’t stop me from sharing my truth, teaching my children about all of their history, but also how to have love and compassion for everyone they meet. To treat everyone with respect. To understand that no matter who they meet or how different their beliefs are, we are ALL created equally in God’s image. To be the example to my children and those around me and not just speak it, but live it out. God loves EVERYONE and so must we. We are to find the truth of what God says and live it out in such a way that others will KNOW it’s HIS love.
If you are still reading this far, thank you for hearing me. Thank you for taking the time to listen to someone who doesn’t have much influence on a broader scale. I want to leave you with the verses that God has spoken to my heart as I took time this week to sit down and write this. I hope that His word encourages you to move, take action, listen more, speak up against racial injustices and to LOVE others. I hope that we can see some change before our time here is done. Let’s hope and pray together!
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”Genesis 1:26-27, NIV
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”Galatians 3:38, NIV
“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”James 2:8-10, NIV
“Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”1 John 3:15-16, NIV
“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”1 John 4:19-21, NIV