It has been increasingly obvious that as humans, we need to change the narrative. Social media has been inundated with lots and lots of information, but the semantics trouble me. For instance, a shopping center was closed as police had received information that there may be a problem. Individuals posted things like “Shopping center closed for rioting”. Woah. There was no rioting happening. Jesus. Relax. It was a precaution. How about being involved in the solution instead of adding to the chaos?
I have had a lot of awarenesses this week. Some brought discomfort and shame, as I realized how skewed my views have been. My reality was based on the ideals that were provided to me. I wasn’t listening. And to those of you who say, “This isn’t my problem” or “I didn’t make this mess”, I urge you to step out of that misconception. Sure, our forefathers left a big, fat mess for us to clean up, but we have contributed to it by letting it fester. You can’t ignore a situation. That’s called denial. The more you ignore, the larger the issue gets. That is where we are right now.
This week I listened with an open mind. I had a better understanding that those who took a knee while the national anthem was playing, were not disrespecting our country as I originally felt. They were simply wanting us to take notice. The intention was for us to acknowledge that the lives of black people were in danger. That their lives matter and we need to take a stand. I didn’t know. But, I do now.
I didn’t realize that the statues erected of historical figures from the Civil War era caused pain. I honestly thought that by removing them, we were hiding our history like a dirty, little secret. But, now I know. I understand that those statues are painful reminders of their plight.
And let’s be clear, all lives do matter, people. But, that isn’t the focus right now. I know some are a little sensitive when they hear “black lives matter” over and over again. I say this with love…..this isn’t about you. If you are white, are you fearful about entering a store, walking down the street, or even getting pulled over by the police? That is the selfish and self-centered attitude that has been our country’s mindset for eons. Change the narrative.
What could I do to contribute to this historical shift and celebrate my awakening? I researched nonprofits that assist families/individuals in the west end of Louisville. I found one that spoke to me, and donated. I will continue to do so. The one I selected was Children Shouldn’t Hunger, (www.childrenshouldnthunger.com),which strives to build a community by helping youth through outreach and mentorship. They are fighting to end youth hunger. Our west end is literally of desert for food options and the financial hardship is real. I also want to support black businesses. I want to be more mindful of the world outside my white privilege. It is all about bridging the gap.
Here is the deal…….Not all police officers are bad. Not all black people are criminals. Not all white people are racists. And, not all humans are assholes. Well, the last one is subject to debate, but I am hopeful. Hope is all we need and I am seeing it in spades. Change your narrative, friends. It has the power to change the world.