In My Own Words

Say His Name

One thing I have never been accused of is being too quiet. And yet, I recognize that on the campaign Facebook page I have been too quiet over the past several days when it comes to addressing Geroge Floyd, the protests and the riots. It is not because I have nothing to say, but because every word needs to be meaningful right now. This is not the time for rhetoric.

PictureI also am afraid that people will see my posts as me pandering for votes. I can assure you, I am exactly the person I project in my blog and posts. I will not pretend to be someone different or compromise my values because I have dipped my toe in the pool of politics. As Popeye says, “I am what I am.”

Right now, what I am is angry, and frustrated and sad – very sad. Everyone wants to fight, it seems. Somehow, supporting the black community to some has become synonymous with encouraging violence and hating the police. For some reason, the freedom cry of the oppressed is seen as a war call. How has the real message become so diluted?

Let me be clear. I do not agree with businesses being destroyed. I do not agree with police officers being assaulted. I do believe that it is time for the white community to show up or shut up. It is not time for, “yeah, but.” It is time for, “how can I help you be heard.” 

It is also time to call out people who are blatantly and subtly racist. Last night a woman posted a meme in a group I am in depicting a black man with chaos behind him saying, “Ain’t nothing left here. Let’s head to the suburbs.” Below was a picture of two white men in camo holding guns. It said something along the lines of, “Me and my brother waiting for them to try.”

It was up for almost an hour and nobody had said it was wrong. A group with 2,100 members, and not one had said a word. When I said it wasn’t funny, I was accused of not caring about my family. It was hard to not fight with this woman. Instead I used the opportunity to explain that I want to protect my family and everyone else’s. I want to influence real change and progress. 

My mom asked me why I didn’t block her. I told her that if I did that, I would never have the chance to educate her. In reality, she probably won’t change. But you never know who else is watching and is open to growth. I can’t stop spreading the positive message because this one person is stuck on the negative. 

There are other ways to support this important movement other than marching. Vote. Support black owned businesses. Donate to one of the many organizations supporting this civil rights battle. Vote. Educate yourself on the realities of modern day racism. Use your privilege. 

Also, don’t forget.

Don’t let him be another forgotten slain black man.

Say his name.

George Floyd.