So the last two weeks I have been pretty quiet. I am a teacher and the school year is starting, so I have suddenly found myself busy with setting up my classroom and learning the names of my fresh-faced first graders.
But this post isn't about them.
Not really anyways.
Yesterday news broke out about protests that were happening in Charlottesville, VA at the UVA protests. My feed was full of posts about neo-nazis and white supremacists with purpose of "taking America back" – back from whom? Back from people wanting equal rights? An equal opportunity of a good life? From people who don't look like them? From people who aren't white. In one new's post it's mentioned that these protestors were shouting "blood and soil"- which dates back to the early days of the Nazis in Germany.
This is happening in America. America people. And yet we try to deny the racism in our country, we deny the hate. I think it is because we are too "proud" to admit that we are racist. The majority of the people on my Facebook page that shared the article and the news of what was happening…were not white. They were not people who I have sat in Church with. They were not people that I consider my friends. And my question is why?
Why can't you face the reality of what is happening? Why can't you face the reality of racism? Is it because you are too ashamed to admit and face your own racism?
I am ashamed of the people who look like me and refuse to speak up.
The fact is when you don't say anything or take action you are actually saying a lot.
You are saying this is not "your" problem, why because you're white and you don't have to face the problems that blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, and any other non Caucasian ethnicity have to face in our country?
In fact during times like this what I see are people posting that "All Lives Matter"- but that is a false ideology. In our country the only lives that matter are the ones who look the certain way, and carry enough money in their bill pocket.
Those of us with the "privilege" in this country need to use that to that to the advantage of not just themselves, but for the EVERY citizen of this country. We need to do more than just pray in our little white churches that everything gets better.
Because scripture even tells us to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9
God did not say only speak up for those who share the same skin color as you, only provide for the needy whites. Those who have a voice and the means to provide for others are to stand up for all.
In order to do that you need to confront your own demons, your own racism, and then learn from that. Learn the roots of your own prejudices. Stand up for justice. Realize that right now, All Lives DO not Matter. So the focus on Black Lives Matter should not be muted or just pushed aside.
We can't ignore the racism of our neighbors, family members and friends. Confront it. Talk about it. Learn about it. Grow from it.
Because if you just bury it deep inside of you, ignore the past, and ignore what is happening things will not change for the better of all in this country.
In fact the future of what this country could become terrifies me.
It terrifies me that my students are growing up in a country that doesn't speak up for them, and doesn't provide justice for them because of their skin color.
So in a way this post is about my students, but also their parents, neighbors and everyone in our country that looks like them.