I’d like to consider myself a woman of peace, passion, and justice….a humanitarian…and an empathe. I cry at seeing a beautiful flower or hearing a stunning piece of music. Lately, my heart has been heavy…real heavy. Last night my blood was boiling….it has been boiling….when I see killings happening amongst our brethren across this great nation!
Growing up I cherished conversations with my Father. We talked about philosophy, religion, why people do the things they do….the important conversations! We had a passion for justice! I learned that many years before he was told by a high school teacher that he would never go to college. Injustice. When he was a teacher in a public school, he was given but a mere five minute token interview by the superintendent. More injustice. I understood the wound that drove his desire then to take his hard earned PH. D. and write a newspaper article about his ‘racial profiling experience’ of having been pulled over by cops in a community where he frequently drove to get to his job each day. As a young teenager I asked and challenged him about the article through question and response. I admit…there were parts I disagreed with, and now looking back, it was those ‘challenging questions’ that seemed to get to the heart of the issue.
That same desire for justice seemed to rub off on another sibling in the family! I remember celebrating the graduation of my sister. She took an oath to uphold the security and safety of the community around her and I am always awestruck by the individuals in our community who are so willing to risk their own life for the safe and security of another stranger. It’s so counter cultural, beautiful, and …altruistic. I try to play my part and say my St. Michael prayer to her and all those who serve in this capacity daily.
Having said all this, my heart sank the other night as I watched another video cross my page in which a group of protesters, apparently in New York City, had chanted,”What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” I have kept my mouth very quiet but there are just some things I cannot keep quiet about any longer. When did Freedom of Speech mean losing all responsibility to our words? Isn’t it interesting that a man could get fired for his job for sexually harassing a woman through his language, but nothing is done about hateful speech? I am not sure who endorsed this protest, but regardless of the ‘who,’ can we not recognize that there is a responsibility that each and every one of has to our words and to our neighbor? When I saw the video, it was not peaceful protest but inciting violence.
I recognize that there are flaws in every human individual and have brought many injustices to people. Let me repeat. I recognize that. Some flaws have brought minor offense. Some have brought grave expense! So, the question is, how do we deal with injustice?
I believe the real injustice friends is in our hearts! It is IN OUR HEARTS. It is in the inability to forgive those who wound us and who hurt us. If we want a movement to heal us, it’s not spouting hateful speech. I believe, as a nation, we need generational forgiveness and if we haven’t done so yet, we need to start praying for it now! NOW! It means getting down on our knees and letting the tears flow! It means understanding someone’s experience, where they came from, the struggles, the joys, it’ building RELATIONSHIPS with our neighbors! It is putting away the sense of entitlement and EGO behind "unforgiveness"! It’s the ability to say “I’m sorry for my wrongdoing, I’m sorry for not understanding your experience.” ITS ABOUT EVERYONE BRINGING MORE LOVE TO THE WORLD SO THERE IS NO PLACE FOR EVIL TO EXIST. That is how we heal.
I pray today for all. ALL! I pray for everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, etc. I believe there are common values that unite us all. Can we work on those? Can we be “One” in that? I believe so. Sending lots of love to the family and friends of fallen officers, the family and friends of those who have died at the hands of any injustice, for friends, family, people who lead our nation and community! AMEN!