“All we say to America is be true to what you said on paper.” - Martin Luther King Jr. “I’m talkin’ fear, fear that it’s wickedness or weakness.” - Kendrick Lamar “In the end, everyone just wants to smile, why can’t we accomplish that? - D. Bethancourt
I remember when this first started for me back in 2012. Where a killer got away scott free, a teenager lay dead in a neighborhood, and a bag of skittles became a symbol of protest. I couldn’t understand it, let alone comprehend why someone would take a life out of the expense of their own egotistical satisfaction. I couldn’t understand why someone would associate you as a lesser individual whose only function is to demoralize society. I didn’t know where the hatred came from, let alone why it existed. Soon the issues escalated, and with each passing year it seemed to be a victory for injustice. I witnessed a movie where a black man trying to make a living got gunned down by a subway station and myself questioning why he died. Next, a young black kid was killed for carrying a pellet gun. Then, a black man was double teamed by police pleading that he couldn’t breathe. If that wasn’t worse enough, violence even struck home in the summer of 2016. There was a former military veteran sniping up police for all the bent up animosity he had from the atrocities that had occurred throughout our nation. The Dallas skyline known for its beauty, had turned into a site of blood and mourning. People always bear witness to what happens, but they never ask why? But even when we are searching for answers, the media is already petitioning to have everyone retaliate by any means necessary. News outlets want to critique and escalate the violence targeting the insecurities and demons of those being threatened and victimized. Not just by making one individual the enemy, but making the world and everyone against “us” a threat. They ignite the flame to meet violence with violence, and captivate this mentality of victimization and negativity. Trust me it goes both ways, and just as Kendrick Lamar said, “America’s reflections of me, that’s what a mirror does.” What do you choose to represent our culture? A lineage of travesty, corruption, and sorrow, or shall we dawn a new era of hope, love, leadership, and ethnicity excellence to the world? Not just for ourselves, but for our seeds entering this world in the coming days ahead? You decide. Justice does not mean taking an “eye for an eye.” It means enacting the right principles ensuring moral code is upheld with integrity and that there is equal fairness in play regardless of whatever “status” you are. It means holding it down and doing the right thing, even if that taste of evil is calling your name. I know it gets hard sometimes, life always will, but we don’t need to make it worse. Just as love is easily spread, so is the action of hate. It’s easy to go get a pistol and go shoot up the neighbourhood because someone decided to disrespect you over something they have no business about. It’s easy beating the dogshit out of someone all because they don’t like who you are. It’s easy to make these threats, plot against these people, and know you're going to have a satisfaction that will turnout to be a regret in the future. (How do you think school shootings happen?) I know because I was once there no matter how much I hate looking back to all the pain I felt being someone different from the norm. Whether that be someone looked at with “mental issues”, “a black and hispanic individual who should only play sports or work construction”, whose father left him at a moments notice, being absolutely broke and having a divorce family, you are not the only one hurting. Still, even if I held a gun to all the people that made my life a living hell and blew their brains out. It’s not going to solve the problem, but now I’d live with a bigger hole and would ask myself, “was it worth it?” The biggest thing I could tell anybody about this inexcusable racial divide we have amongst one another is “learn the lesson, don’t become it,” and “be above the circumstance, don’t become it.” Do what you will because just as you beat an animal for so long, eventually it will retaliate. So retaliate! Retaliate under the pretense that you're echoing the plight of those who sacrificed blood, sweat, and tears for us to live a life of eventual peace and prosperity. Retaliate for the promise of a better tomorrow for your children, brothers, sisters, and family wherever. Don’t make an enemy of people, make an enemy against evil. There is a difference between protest and rioting, be the one advocating for respect, acknowledgement, and equality. Don’t be the one flipping the message and throwing away all the sacrifices made for you to at least create a life. Most importantly, just understand that not everyone is the enemy. I’m so ashamed that because some black individual has a different perspective on things, all of a sudden “he’s not one of us.” That’s the same mindset that has destroyed civilizations and divided people time and time again. Stop battling each other if you guys have the same goals in mind. We are not victims, we are people with the ability to shape our future the way we see fit. If you believe you're a victim and stay that way, nothing is ever going to change. It’s all a game of mindsets, so be above the situation and love who you are no matter what you do. I may not be the darkest african american who originated from the homeland of Africa and experienced the true misery of my ancestors. However, no matter what has gone wrong in the world. I often wish for the best of people and always have the humility to understand their pain because for the many that fell before me I wish I could have been there for them. I wish I could have been Malcolm X’s childhood friend growing up always telling him, “Hey! We are going to make it through this and do something for our people.” I wish I could have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s cellmate at Birmingham Jail telling him that we will reach the mountaintop one day. I wish I could have walked the passage of the underground railroad with Harriet Tubman and helped get all the slaves from the south free. I wish I could have fasted with Cesar Chaves and fought for the rights of many latino american farm workers. I wish I could help the Asian Americans who had to reside on immigration station Angel island and gave them some type of freedom. I wish I could have helped the many Jews who had the demise of Germany blamed on them and were harassed on occasion. Whether it be, authorities taking native land by force, militia raping and piliging towns, and material circulating the globe to create chaos in favor for profit. Everyone is going through issues and no matter what happens, have the humility to understand that. Only difference is that we all have the ability to turn the tide into a positive direction for all. This world wasn’t meant for a race, this world is meant for everybody and it is time we all live that truth.