The Love and hope in the chaos by my dear friend John Roberts
I wanted to share something positive and give people hope. The tremendous support for the Black Lives Matter Movement I’ve seen from family, friends, and people around the world has been inspiring. America is on the brink of change, slowly but surely. When the black lives matter movement started to resurge, I was angry and upset at the injustice in America that I’ve seen my whole life and just, at that point, was starting to be seen by others. The outrage I saw in my friends was the same outrage I’ve known for so long. I am aware that behind that outrage are the intense feelings of empathy for people in pain. And with that empathy comes hope. People in all 50 states and all around the world are showing how much they care about the world we live in and how they desire for it to be a safe and equal place for everyone. All around the world people are sharing information, doing research, making educational videos, donating to different organizations, signing petitions, registering people to vote, creating policies for police reform, and so much more, all to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Last week, I was extremely angry, upset and frustrated. I thought it was my job to force everyone to see my point of view. I was so sure people had to take my perspective, and if they didn’t, they were against what I believed. That was until I reminded myself that people have their own lives, thoughts, opinions, and perspectives. I don’t know what other people are going through or why they feel the way they feel. Just because Black Lives Matter has been the crystal clear truth to me my whole life doesn’t mean it’s the apparent and obvious truth to everyone. I’ve grown up with loving black family and friends my whole life. I’ve seen their beautiful hearts, minds, and souls, and I know that their lives matter. It took me a while to realize that people who have grown up in predominantly ￼white neighborhoods and schools might not have seen that or may have been taught the wrong things. Instead of blaming them, I choose to believe that they will learn how important black people, and people of all races, sexualities, and ethnicities are to the world.
Blaming people for their racial biases and misinformation wasn’t the best outlet for my energy. At first, I needed people around me to change immediately and to get with the times because enough is enough and the oppression of black people has gone on for 400 years. Now I understand that in order for me to make the biggest impact possible, I have to accept that people don’t change unless they’re willing to. Everyone is on their own journey. My journey has lead me to pause, stop, and reflect on how I handle things in my life. It has led me to a place where I am willing to change in order to reach the outcome I want to achieve. I plan on being more mindful about giving people time to change and focus on specific actions I can take every day to create the world I want to live in.
Peaceful protests are helping to spread awareness and the truth to others all around the globe. People who support the Black Lives Matter movement are so resourceful, empathetic, passionate, intelligent, and resilient. I have no doubt in my mind that the world will change. Because when people are sure of what matters to them and have a clear path, there’s nothing that can stop them from achieving their goals.
“NO JUSTICE NO PEACE”
If you want to educate yourself and get involved or donate, here are some websites to check out:
Black Lives Matter
The Innocence Project
The association of Black Phycologists
Black Girls Breathing
National Association of the advancement of Colored People
National Urban League
Rainbow Push Coalition
Therapy For Black Girls
Here are some books I recommend:
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Fist Stick Knife Gun by Geoffrey Canada
The Color of Water by James Mcbride
To the Promised Land by Jim Ziolkowski
Walk in their Shoes by Michael Honey
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Here are some movies:
The Hate U Give
We as consumers have the power to control who we give our money to and therefore the power to support smaller, sustainable, diverse companies over racist and greedy corporations. Let’s lessen the gap between the rich and the poor and stop supporting oppression, one purchase at a time. There is an insane amount of information at our disposal, so let’s use it to better our communities and become more aware. A peaceful way to fight against injustice is to stop supporting the people who enable it.
Here is a list of some of my favorite and AMAZING black owned businesses to support:
If you live in New York City, check this out: