Updated: Oct 4, 2020
In the Wake of a Monumental Cultural Shift - The Time to Act is NOW!
The horrific, sad, and senseless death of George Floyd hits close to home for me, being a Houstonian and him being a member of our community. George grew up in the Third Ward ('Tha Tre'), the neighborhood where I attended college, and where he graduated from nearby Jack Yates High School. He's remembered as "Big Floyd," tall in stature but gentle and friendly in nature. George Floyd later became of member of DJ Screw's Screwed Up Click, a group that had an immeasurable influence on Houston music and culture. And living and being apart of his home town, I like so many, share in the tremendous pain the nation & world are and continue to experience.
Over the past several weeks, as a collective, we all have been experienced a very emotionally, intense yet epic period in the country's history. For me, these past weeks have been a groundswell of emotions - from shock, frustration, and anger to pain and every sojourn in between. A lot of news absorption, video watching, reading posts, listening and reacting to ignorance, and even at certain times, feeling as if it was in a horrible dream because of the events of our country and the world. And as a woman of color and being from the DEEP south, I am beyond bereft that THIS is our reality.
Yet, still, I find glimpses of optimism, as individuals rise up together. I too, stand with them, I cry with them, and I unreservedly agree with them. Facing the mammoth that we call #systematicracism can feel overwhelming. Still, it can and must be dismantled & taken apart, even if it's brick by brick, person by person, or conversation by conversation.
BLACK LIVES MATTER. PERIOD.
Our country & the world is in a historic cultural shift, and together, we ALL must act!
We all must realize that thinking it is enough to be a good-hearted person, who's kind to others, and not intentionally causing harm, needs to shift towards understanding it is all of our duty to speak up in support of Black Lives Matter, as well as societal & systemic injustice. Collectively, we all need to be clear about where we stand as one, as human beings and be intentional on how we each contribute to the problem, and how we will work towards solutions in support of eliminating the systemic oppression, racism and social injustice of the black community.
"The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you can alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change the world." - James Baldwin
I am incredibly proud of & grateful to the millions of people willing to get out there and protest despite the palpable risks for that is how change is made. The lifetimes of civil rights advocacy and still, George Floyd. Trayvon Martin. Ahmaud Arbery. Nina Pop. Rayshard Brooks. Breonna Taylor. Sandra Bland. This is not new, but rather a few prominent cases added to a long, long list of victims of deep-rooted, systemic, and enduring racism in our country.
Silence is Complicity. ‘Silence = Death.’ This saying has never been so telling than in these moments! Silence and neutrality are tools of the oppressor, and I'd rather us all speak up – even if imperfectly – than not to speak or act at all.
Accountability. As a people, many of you may be viewing things from a very new perspective. And you may be wondering: how do we move forward now, with our businesses, while also wanting to be socially responsible, anti-racist, and a force for positive #socialchange?
Answer & Do Your Part. Here are three pertinent questions we all should be asking ourselves:
· How can I pivot my message to serve?
· How am I part of making things better?
· How do I contribute to a more significant impact?
Sometimes you have to live, knowing. As we stand in solidarity in the fight against police brutality, systemic oppression, racism, white supremacy, and the historical and continued oppression of our people. Let us remember we all are accountable for making change happen and use our voices. Stay alert, absorb and embrace the power of knowledge. Be counted in the #2020USCensus. Sign up for absentee ballots. Vote in your #StateandLocalElections. Vote in the upcoming #2020PresidentialElection. Call out acts of racism in your community. Show up for one another. And, most importantly live your truth and know that there is a lot of learning and unlearning to do for us all.
Yet as one race - The Human Race - we will transform our country and the world to be a place where ALL Black Lives Genuinely Matter & Equality for All Matters!
Live, Laugh & Love Always!
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