This is the Joy you don’t often get to see. I’m pissed off tonight. I’m angry that we can dismiss life, and throw people out like garbage. I’m outraged that the world can be so unjust. I’m angry about the latest in a series of unjust murders. I’m a white middle class female in California (You must be a fruit or a nut… go ahead think it.), and I’m mad as hell. This is NOT OKAY. I can’t watch the video of his murder, I just listened and that was enough. I won’t be able to erase it. (Go ahead and judge me, I dare you.) I don’t need to watch it play-by-play visually, to know that it happened and it didn’t need to happen that way. I have heard enough in social media to know that this particular event was WRONG.
You might want to unfriend me or not read my blog because this is too uncomfortable.
Listen to this song while you’re reading the rest of this post. Call It What It Is, by Ben Harper. When he wrote this, Alton Sterling’s name wasn’t in the headlines.
What is this tapping into for me? INjustice. Praying is important, but so is action. Words are one thing; solidarity and living a change is another. When I was a child, I lived in poverty amongst many victimized groups. North Tyler was a typical underprivileged area with mostly black people suffering the hard knocks of life in that community. Survival. Poverty. Lack of education and job opportunities were rampant.
As a social work major in college, my professor, said something like, “Righteous anger often leads to social change.” This was the first time in my life when I realized that anger isn’t innately BAD. (Growing up in a Christian home, I often equated subtly and overtly, that anger was wrong, a sin.) Anger can provoke change. Right now, I’m gonna tell all y’all, get ANGRY. Apathy is a sin that no one ever told me about. But I believe inaction and lack of compassion is wrong. Get up, stand up. Do something.
White privilege: we have it and we don’t even realize it. Many of my friends are white and I don’t have issues with that, but I think we live in a bubble. We can easily be naive to the struggles people face without the privileges automatically granted to us by our skin color and social class. Read this article about white guilt vs. white responsibility. It may change you, if you let it.
The Story Behind the Shooting of Alton Sterling. This is one of many articles circulating right now.
This epidemic isn’t going away. We can close our eyes, move on, and live our lives in the suburbs or rural areas. Meanwhile, life in urban areas surges on, injustices occur daily, and we close our eyes and put in ear plugs. It’s easier to ignore it… but it ain’t going away. We need to respond.
How? Help me. I want to respond. I want to live a life with meaning. This white middle class mama wants to DO SOMETHING.
I’m starting by adding my trickle to the lake by writing this piece.
This mama has passion and spoke her heart as a woman living, raising a family, and working as a police officer in an urban area. Listen to her preach and GET ANGRY. It’s okay. You have to start somewhere.
This was posted on Brene Brown’s Facebook page:
Elie Wiesel wrote, “Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe.” The center of the universe is our own backyard right now. I believe that healing racism will require honest conversations about race and class privilege – with our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, our families, and our children. Yes, these are hard, uncomfortable discussions and we can become paralyzed by the fear of saying the wrong thing or being misunderstood. But we have to be braver than we’ve been because the cost of not having these conversations is paid in lives.
Stand up wherever you are, you won’t regret it. I believe that we are stronger when we’re united, just like Nakia Jones said in her passionate plea.
Stand up and hold hands.
2 thoughts on “Call It What It Is…”
Thank you, Joy. You have somehow sucked the half articulated thoughts, cursing, and yes, anger out if my head and stated what I’m feeling better than I ever could have.
Oh, Tina. Thanks for sharing. So many thoughts. So much anger. Love the best you can where you are today. The world needs it.