My heart continues to be heavy with all of the pain from what is happening in the world today. As I sit and ponder the situation with young Black men being hurt or murdered it troubles my soul. When I talk to Black men among my family and friends, just about all of them have experienced some level of misconduct in their lifetime, no matter what their age, at the hands of a white police officer. All I can ask is where do we go from here?
Of course in asking this question, I am drawn to Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech that asks the same question. When I read his speech it made me think to answer the question of where we go from here, we must understand where we are now. Part of the systemic problem is when we look at the formulation of our country going back to the Constitution, the “Negro” was only seen as 60 percent of a human being. So from the start we were not recognized as whole or equal. Oftentimes what is perceived as not equal is usually not valued. Throughout generations there’s evidence that we have not been valued and our lives are disposable.
For those that follow my writings, I don’t often write about these issues in this way, but I feel that none of us can remain silent on what is happening. We must let our voices be heard. When I look at history the population of the African American race continues to decline and part of that statistic is due to the reckless killings of Black men at the hands of white police officers. Throughout time there have been different measures used to control or eliminate the Black race, specifically the Black man. During slavery the white master or overseer used whippings and beatings as a form of domination and control. Lynching Black men was used as a form of extermination. Today we have straight out annihilation with gun violence at the hand of white police officers towards Black men.
What causes this problem? Do white men consciously or unconsciously fear Black men and therefore feel threatened causing them to act in the way they do? When I’ve talked to some of my white friends and family about this problem and what they think, I’ve been told by some if they are honest, fear is part of the equation due to what they see in the media and what they’ve been told or taught by their family members. Therefore, they make judgments based on this information. How do we break this negative chain so that it doesn’t continue with generations to come? What type of dialogue and conversation needs to take place to stop this form of prejudice and violence? What actions or measures need to be put in place for justice to prevail?
I am a child of the Civil Rights Era. I was born in 1961 and I feel that we are back to square one as it relates to race relations. We must learn how to interact with one another if we hope for a change to come. Discussions must also include issues around the subject of poverty, jobs, education, and housing just to name a few for healing to begin. I received a quote from my son Freddie that said, “Forgiveness doesn’t erase the past, but it can bring hope for the future.” We must all be willing to take this journey.
Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!
Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org. Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at [email protected]. Wendy is featured on Los Angeles’ Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am.