I have officially stopped posting funny coronavirus images for Fun Photo Fridays because an even more critical crisis than the global COVID-19 pandemic is sweeping our nation: Black Lives Matter. Some might feel the two emergencies deserve the same weight on the list of issues facing us today. But to me, nothing surpasses treating each other as equals and as human beings when it comes to the values of the U.S. and humankind. How can we possibly band together to battle an unseen enemy like the coronavirus successfully when we are already battling with ourselves?
If you are in the minority of Americans who think the Black Lives Matter movement is not necessary, or perhaps overkill, then I invite you to stop following my blog or social media—whichever platform got you to this post.
If you count yourself among those horrified by the everpresent, increasingly visible lack of fundamental fairness in our society, please still read, listen to, watch and repeat the truths coming from black Americans at the forefront and in the background of the BLM discourse. You are bound to be further enlightened. At least that’s what I found.
Racism is one of the themes of the novel I started work on about eight weeks ago. That does not make me prescient, merely a decent observer. I wish with all my heart that I wasn’t being handed new ideas for material on an hourly basis in the form of incidents and crimes that make me ashamed to be a white American. I wish instead I was able to rely on historical accounts of ill treatment of our brothers and sisters.
Having said that, the status quo was not acceptable. White Americans like me are more aware of that every day. No matter how many oppressed protest, peacefully or otherwise, nothing will truly change until the oppressors agree that the status quo is wrong, abominable in fact, and is destroying the soul of this country. We can’t blame one person at the top for this. We must blame ourselves. It is our collective guilt. It requires a collective response. Yes, those opposed to ending oppression and relinquishing the power they believe makes them better will remain set in their views. So it’s up to the rest of us to overpower them in the name of justice and equality.
Black Lives Matter.