My Reflection on racism (3)

“Our humanity is worth a little discomfort, it’s actually worth a lot of discomfort.”

 ~Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race

The wounds that never heal
Day after day we keep being reminded that we don’t belong here
Yet it was on our backs this country was built
Our Sons are gunned down in cold blood
Their lives are taken so soon.

Our Sons are sent to prison
Often for far lesser crimes than whites.
Then they wonder why there is so much anger.
When sons grow up without their fathers.

This is no new occurrence.
After all, back in the days, Fathers were sold off to other slave masters.
Ripping apart families without a care in the world.
All for monetary gain.

We are deemed less than human
Valued like the properties of other humans
That’s why it’s so easy to shoot us down in the streets.

Call the police on us for doing things, normal and regular activities 
So we can’t run
Or Birdwatch
Or be safe in our homes
Or be safe in our schools
Or go shopping 
Or drive without being stopped and questioned.

Yet we are expected to remain silent
Not to create an uproar
The status quo needs to stay intact
We couldn’t take a knee to protest
But it’s okay for our lives to be taken
With a knee on the necks of our men
We are tired of not being able to breathe
In a land that has taken away so much from us.

 I am proud to be a Black person, we are resilient. Think about it, we have made it this far despite all the injustice we face in America and around the world. Racism shows up in different ways. However, just because we are resilient does not mean that we are to be disregarded. 

Yet it seems for every step we take forward as a people, the more detours and stumbling blocks are put in our way by the system. Then some people dare to say we need to pull ourselves up. Hello, what do you think we have been doing. America was built on the blood and sweat of African Americans. Yet, to date, the system has failed to acknowledge this truth.

I am tired of being afraid
I am tired of fighting to be seen
I am tired of shouting so my voice can be heard
I am tired of seeing my people continue to suffer
I want the best for my children
I need the circle of violence to end here.

Let me be clear. I am not saying all whites are racist. The system is; it wasn’t built for people like me to succeed. Yet when we do achieve great things there are so many roadblocks, it’s a miracle we survived and that many of us thrive.

Going forward, I am no longer remaining silent. At 18, I was still finding my voice and was scared to ruffle feathers. This year when I began writing again on this platform, I committed myself to be vulnerable and to share my truth. Writing this took a lot from me, but I hope that it might help someone else to know they are not alone. I am going to find ways to be an ally to my brothers and sisters in America. Saying I am far away in Africa no longer cuts it as a response. As a Christian, I am no longer going to remain silent. 

To be honest, the reason I struggled with Christianity in my first year of university was the disconnect I witnessed in the Church when dealing with issues like racism. I felt unseen and unloved for so long. Thankfully I found places were I was welcomed in California, Accra, Nairobi, Lagos, and Arizona, places I have called home since. 

This is the time for me to use my voice. After all, my life’s journey has prepared me for this. As a teenager in my boarding school in Zambia,  we were groomed to become leaders.  It was also at the school I first got to have the beautiful experience of living in a multicultural environment. I love being a global citizen and learning from other cultures. However, sadly I have also learned that many people will judge me based on the color of my skin and where I was born. 

My favorite song in school back then was “I will speak out” by Dave Bankhead, Sue Rinaldi, and Ray Goudie. This is my anthem, to speak truth and justice, to defend the poor and the needy. It is what my Savior would do, it is what He expects of me, so I am going to use my voice and my platform to speak out for those who can’t. The truth is that where there is no love, racism, tribalism, and other evil acts are left free to roam and create havoc and chaos. Yet if we treat others like we want to be treated, the world would be a much safer place.

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