Black Lives Matter: Our responsibility

8 years ago 1

I’ve seen images from the Washington D.C & NYC Marches to protest police brutality on African Americans. Never mind the horrific images from Ferguson, Missouri following the decision not to prosecute officer Darren Wilson. Most of these marches and protests are reminiscent of those seen in pictures from the segregation Era.

Black lives do matter!

About a year or so ago, something weighed heavy in my spirit about the need to teach the future generation of African Americans about their predecessors road to freedom and their responsibility to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself. Most people thought I was merely clanging a cymbal until news of African American men being killed (almost like it happened in the segregation era) started popping up left and right then the need to do something about it suddenly arose.

I know what I write about isn’t the most popular but trust me, I don’t write about anything unless it’s in my spirit to do so and if only one person reads and makes the change then my duty is complete. One person making a change may impact millions later. It really only takes one.

While marches are wonderful and needed, I get the sense that we need to do more, within ourselves and in our communities. Honestly, how can we expect others to see us any differently if we keep reinforcing the negative stereotypes that are already out there? I’ll expound on that momentarily.

When I was younger, if we got in trouble or were attacked outside, my mom would confront the culprit but after that, she dealt with us at home. she wanted to know what we did to provoke whatever happened to us. She’d always say “How you present yourself outside determines how people treat you, so what did you do to get them to treat you the way they did?” In some cases, we really didn’t do anything to warrant their negative treatment of us and people were just being mean but it taught me to always present myself in a positive way so that if I did get attacked or treated a certain way, it wasn’t because of anything I invited.

The marches represent dealing with the outward attacks but we still need to deal with ourselves and our communities to change the way we’re viewed so this doesn’t continue happening and history doesn’t repeat itself or worse yet send us back to worse than what happened during segregation.

Speaking of what happened to African Americans after the segregation era, We got free and went into moral decay. We got the American dream and forgot the price that was paid to get us free. This topic is for another blog post but we might want to consider rekindling our relationship with the one that got us free and that would be God. Most African Americans don’t realize their purpose and Journey here in these United states is similar to that of Joseph (Jacob’s son) in the Bible. When we don’t realize our purpose, it’s easy to live any kind of way. That’s why Proverbs 29:18 says “where there is no vision, the people perish” Another version says “The people run amuck where there is no vision” but like I wrote above, that’s a blog post for another day.  I do believe one of the reasons God allowed President Obama to get elected was for him to be a litmus test for African Americans, for us to see how far we’ve come but also to see how far we still need to go.

So what is the solution to these senseless killings? While we need to change the laws that allow African Americans to be shot and killed like mere animals, we also need to change our behavior so we change the way we’re viewed.

Most of these kids emulate the negative stereotypes portrayed in the media. Parents don’t “train up” their children any more, the media does.  I was listening to an interview where a lady referred to the person who broke her heart as “Just being a Nigga” and it got me thinking about how the cops who took Eric Garner down or the ones who shot Michael Brown or even the civilians who have killed Black Children probably saw them as “Just another Nigga” who was up to no good. If we don’t require accountability and respect of ourselves and those in our African American community, how can we require accountability and respect from others? Some of these artists really need to be mindful of what they put out on the airwaves because that’s what these kids are emulating. I wonder what rap artist the 12 year old playing with a toy gun that got shot by police officers on the play ground heard & was imitating. We may think it’s all harmless fun but what we meditate on (put in our hearts and minds) through music, television etc is what we become. The bible says in Proverbs 23:7, as a man thinks, so is he. I could say so much more about some of these artists but that’s also for another blog post. I do believe that they need to take some of the responsibility for these kids’ death because what they’re putting out there is what some of these kids are emulating and it’s getting them killed.

Parents need to start raising their children again. My mom was very careful about what she allowed us to watch and listen to. She was my and my sister’s role model. She “trained” us up. parents need to decide whether pursuing the American dream is more important than raising their kids themselves. I understand we need money to live but is working an extra job just to buy a Gucci bag really more important than investing time in your children? Priorities need to change. Become a positive influence in your child’s life by being an example to them. Be their role model.  Teach the kids to respect themselves and authority. Teach them to pull up their pants, Say “yes ma’am”, “No ma’am or sir”. I know there will always be outside influences but if we follow Proverbs 22:6 and  Train up the children in the way they should go then when they get older they won’t depart from it.

I know what I’m saying isn’t popular and I might even get back lash for it but we need to change behavior by changing what we watch and listen to. We need to change behavior by what we teach the future generations. We need to stop reinforcing the negative stereotypes out there about us by letting it play out in our lives. We need to remind future generations what it took to get us free, give them a sense of responsibility of doing their part to ensure we stay free and hold them accountable for it. We need more positive images of African Americans out there. Statistics show there are more black men in college today than in jail, more black females in corporate America and the like effecting change in the world but we don’t see these images in the media and believe it or not, it affects how other races see us.

Nothing justifies being killed like an animal but if we do our part, God will do His. I pray everyone hears my heart in this blog and commits to doing their part in changing how we’re viewed so some of these senseless killings can stop. We’ve marched, now we need to do some housekeeping. SELAH

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