I’ve vacillated between hope and despair what with all the upheaval going on lately. Even while I know true change does not happen without disruption it’s still painful to witness the process. It was, as in centuries past, state-sanctioned murder that sparked this latest uprising. Beginning with the murder of Trayvon I believe and then, one hash tag in memorial after another the resistance began in earnest. How many videos of Black bodies being brutalized could we watch and do nothing after all.
So there was Ferguson after Mike Brown and now Baltimore after the murder of Freddie Gray. All around the country citizens are protesting in solidarity against agents of this rigged system disposing of human beings as if they were garbage. I confess that, while I prayed, meditated, and attempted to generate positive energy, despair sometimes managed to creep in unnoticed like the family cat. But following some of the protestors and organizers on twitter has kept me well and accurately informed.
Because of this, I have great hope that true and lasting change is not only possible, but probable. I watched one of those I follow, Deray McKesson, on CNN. During an interview with Wolf Blitzer who was continuously focusing on rioting and ignoring the death of an innocent citizen; Deray stood there in his blue vest and with straight back and even tone and informed Wolf Blitzer in so many words that he was NOT going for the okey doke. I became positively giddy with the prospects of this new movement. It made me feel the children are indeed well.
Add to that, Marilyn Mosby power walking to a bank of microphones to answer the question, “What it is young blood?’ with feminine energy so powerful it might put many a strong man in the fetal position, and I’m just about skipping in to work at 0600 hours. Indeed Moses may not lead us to true equality but Joshua and Caleb seem determined to take the land.
Looking at history it’s very easy to concentrate on the high points and give the lows little consideration. But the lows fuel the engine of any revolution. A content person seeks to remain content. An oppressed person, though he labor long under the yoke, will soon seek freedom. What has taken place since the civil rights movement is injustices happen, uprisings result and are quickly condemned, then the people return to business as usual; wash, rinse, repeat.
Through it all the system has remained fully intact. A system which without question presumes white supremacy, benefits white people in numerous and sometimes seemingly innocuous ways and disadvantages Black people in ways far from innocuous. Not this time. The system has been breached and the walls might come tumbling down.
No longer are those challenging the status quo seeking to appease the powers that be. As in the example of Deray McKesson, they are boldly speaking truth to power. They are not allowing hypocrisy to go unchallenged and they are not allowing those who benefit from lies and the minimization and trivialization of the suffering of the oppressed to control the narrative. They are full of youthful energy and idealism. They are well-informed and strong-willed. They are assuring that current events are discussed in historical context. In short, as Wolf Blitzer learned, this ain’t no game and they ain’t playin.
I said in a previous post that Black people needed to do the hard work and begin the deep healing we’ve never collectively afforded ourselves. I said that this healing would undoubtedly begin with we Black Americans as we are a peculiar people. I see Ethiopian Jews have followed Baltimore’s lead and are protesting and demanding to be treated as true citizens of Israel, which is just as much their country as it is any other Israeli’s. I see a change coming and young people are leading the way. I couldn’t be more proud.
DR. JOY LEARY HAS DEVOTED MUCH OF HER LIFE EXPLAINING POST TRAUMATIC SLAVE SYNDROME AND THE NEED FOR AMERICA TO ADDRESS ITS TRUE HISTORY.