What Really Matters?

I have been feeling pretty good lately. Getting enough rest. Eating healthy. Spending more time with family. Overall, life is good.

Then, I started watching the local news again, regularly. My natural high was immediately crushed.

I want to say that I am tired of black on black crime, but tired isn’t a strong enough word to express my feelings. I thought about exasperation, but again, not enough.

Bottom line, I believe in the Black Lives Matter movement, but I also think we are glazing over a valid criticism, which is: If Black Lives Matter, what are we going to do about black on black crime?

My emotions are mixed. I admire those in the forefront of the movement. I admire their tenacity and bravery. I would admire it more if we treated black lives as if they mattered with the same passion within our own communities.

I am well aware of the plight of people of color in this country. I am well aware of how we came to be in this position. And while I am all about sticking it to the man, I do not want us to forget the need for sticking it to ourselves.

Not only is the white man and the privileged class subjugating and degrading us, we are doing the same to ourselves. This is evident in the entertainment industry, as well as in the crime within our neighborhoods. And, when we gain a little status or education, we tend to turn on each other even more and fall into competition.

We are playing right into the hands of the enemy. Our struggle is real, but it also needs to be fought on many fronts. It is necessary to challenge the white man and the privileged ideology in this country. It is necessary to challenge the inherently racist institutions and systems in this country.

It is also necessary to STOP killing, robbing, lying, hurting, abandoning, and ignoring each other as people of color. We can protest and boycott all we like, but if we do not unify and support each other our community is doomed.

I don’t care how much money you have, where you went to school, how you were raised, none of this matters. As a person of color, I feel we have a responsibility to each other as citizens in these “united” states.

One day, when we achieve a truer sense of equality (of which I hope I see in my lifetime), it may not matter if we have not addressed the divide within ourselves. We cannot have high expectations for change, if we do not have high expectations for ourselves.

Agree or disagree. You have that right. But, know that I am exploring my expectations, and I hope to figure out my place in all of this….

Julia

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