We Can’t Ignore the Reality of What It’s Like to Be Black in America

blackwomanMichael Whaley, a black former Marine, says in this video America should be one family, like the armed services he was a member of. He says that the Black Lives Matter movement promotes racism, which it probably does in some places. I agree with Michael that we should feel we are all one family and I wish everyone was as enlightened as he is. But there is a thread that runs through our country–such as KKK members who say black people are descended from animals–that is filled with hate, suspicion and fear aimed at black people, and this causes disproportionate dangers and harm to them. Of course all lives matter–that is God’s Word–but saying that to a black person when he says “Black Lives Matter” is ignoring what every black person must face every day when he or she walks out the door: “Will I be attacked in some way today because of the color of my skin?”

I was at the grocery store one day when a tattooed white man with a shaved head turned on a black woman in the line and raised his fist and shouted very offensive names at her I won’t repeat here–just because of the color of her skin. His face was red with rage and his veins were visibly pulsing. Everyone was scared. I can’t imagine how she felt. I don’t know where the courage came from–I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that there were many people in the store–but I stepped out of line and said, “Sir, that’s not necessary.” He looked at me, turned and kept shouting. I said it again and again until he finally stared at me, turned and left the store. I know those words sound lame, but they were the exact words needed for him to stop shouting. The woman waited for me to come outside and thanked me. I felt so bad that she had to carry the burden of not knowing when the next person would turn on her–and that’s how it is for every dark-skinned person in America today. Yes, we have come far from slavery and yes, also, we have far to go.

I joined the prayer vigil today from San Diego online and it is my sincere prayer that we Americans will begin a dialogue that includes a meaningful change in how black people are seen and treated in America. We all need to look at our own prejudices and decide to grow–especially our police who are charged with watching over us, because they can cause such great harm in just a few seconds. With the power of life or death comes great responsibility. And we must stand up to the hate groups in this country that fan racist flames. Here is a link to a list of them–892 of them: Map of Hate Groups in America. They are real and they would tear our country apart if they could. All lives do matter, every single one, for inside each of us is a soul striving upward and it is our job to help each other, not mow each other down. There is something of great value here worth fighting for.

To Resist Racism, Hatred and Fear

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Alton Sterling was killed by police

One thing we can do to resist the poisons of racism, hatred and fear is to look within at our own fear of those different from ourselves, and then reach out with respect and kindness. Our individual thoughts and actions make a powerful difference to the whole. Another thing we can do is to speak up when we hear stereotyping and racist ideas. It takes courage, but it cancels the dark thoughts projected as truths. We can and do make a difference in what happens in the world.

A report from ABC news: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/police-shootings-black-men-stir-fears-anger-blacks-40419618

The Spirit of America is Dying

RunnersI thought it was pretty awesome when President Barack Obama was elected: I was worn down by the previous administration’s policies, the divisiveness in Washington, the lies about nuclear weapons in Iraq, the wars, all the lives lost and massive numbers of injured soldiers and lives, and the billions of dollars the wars had already cost. Then came the crash of the stock market at the end of 2008, which led to so much loss for so many Americans. It’s important to note here that no one person could have taken the helm in January, 2009, and had all the answers for America’s problems. But add in absolutely NO cooperation in Washington, D.C. for eight years and here we are, a country breaking.

I was happy Barack Obama was elected because of the way he thought and that he could see potential for healing and the bringing together of all the American people. I was ecstatic that I would live to see that coming-together day.

Instead, voices grew sharper and are now so extreme, I often think, “That’s crazy talk!” If only those shouting the loudest realized that we cannot hatefully indict others of something unless it lives inside us, too. It is our own beliefs that gnaw on our minds, keeping us fearful and paranoid, causing us to accuse others of what we ourselves are.

Those of us who can see the good in others no matter their race, religion, country of origin, etc., need to speak up and call hateful speech what it is. We have one Constitution and it is for every American citizen, not just the privileged few, those who believe it exists for their race or skin color, their religion, or their sexual preference. Truly, the United States of America will cease to exist if hateful speech and actions win the election in November.

There are no perfect humans; we all have flaws and idiosyncrasies, whether Democrats, Republicans or Independents; Christians or Jews or Muslims; or black or white or brown. The spirit of our country is dying and we all need to open our minds and hearts to the solutions that will bring peace and prosperity back to our country and to every citizen.

Why? Because we are beloved spiritual beings in physical bodies that need care. Our Creator doesn’t see skin color or country of origin. He sees our hearts and souls and our hopes. He wants peace–He does not want us to hate each other. He wants us to help each other. We can call hateful lies and spiteful opinions ‘truth’–but that doesn’t make it so.

No Safe Place

No safe place artThe woman cradled her newborn son in her arms and knew she would never be the same. The world expanded around her and she momentarily saw into the future—his future. She saw his round face and bright smile that would light up her life. His eyes were clear and looked deeply into hers with limitless love and gratitude. “Thank you,” his eyes seemed to say, “for bringing me into this world. I waited a long time for the perfect family for me.”

The bubble around them closed and she was back in the hospital with her husband and young daughter. She looked at the tiny being in her arms and knew he was a special person who would make a difference in the world. She vowed then to keep her children safe from the darkness in her country that hunted them.

But the darkness was everywhere. She went for a walk with her infant in the stroller and her four-year-old daughter walking alongside her. A car sped by, obscenities spewing from it. She held her breath—she was too far now to get home. Thank God, they seemed to be gone. She heard the tires squeal and cringed inside. But she kept walking, her spine straight. The car screeched to a stop next to them and two young men with shaved heads and the same bandanas jumped out.

“Hey, (obscenity), who gave you permission to walk here? Get your (obscenity) ass outta here!” Continue reading