Does my black life matter? These are the words that I’ve been repeatedly asking myself over the past week. Seeing the murder of George Floyd by police brutality is more than enough evidence to answer that question. It’s actually an overflow of evidence because it simply just keeps happening. The thing that always hurts the most is seeing the aftermath of these acts of hate. I’ve had rough sleep all week. I woke up a couple of times in the middle of the night and hugged my wife. I hugged her as if it was gonna be the last time that I would ever be with her. What if I get gunned down by a police officer tomorrow? George Floyd could’ve been me. Will the terror in my eyes steer them away from conducting the act, or will they still see me as a threat? My heart shouldn’t have to stop every time I pass a police car. I shouldn’t have to second guess wearing a mask during a pandemic. It’s supposed to help me, but I’m black with a beard. I’m in a season of delivering pizza on the side so I can give my family a better future. Most of the time this is at night, so with me wearing a mask, I often wonder if I’m setting myself up. In my eyes, I’m just dropping off a pizza. In their eyes, I’m looking for a car or house to break-in. I begin to realize more and more, that my black life really doesn’t matter.
No matter what is done, our voices are never heard. Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the anthem, and it was like he did the worst thing ever. It was a silent protest. He took a kneel to stand up for injustice. “Stop disrespecting the flag! Our veterans fought for our freedom, so you better stand!” People were quick to boycott, and the NFL was quick to blackball. Does my black life matter? Apparently a flag and TV ratings are more important. We’ve had other peaceful protests to tell people that black lives matter, but that goes nowhere either. “What about the white people? All lives matter, not just black!” All lives do matter, so you should feel pain when you see an innocent black person’s life taken because of police brutality. It’s simply a movement because we keep getting ignored by the world. It wasn’t until we displayed the problem, that you started having an issue. And the issue is always on the wrong thing. “More white people get killed by the police than black people.” Obviously. There are way more white people in America than black people. “But they committed a crime, so they got what they deserve.” On most occasions, no crime occurred. Even if a crime did occur, should death be the punishment? It’s not the punishment when we have mass shootings. More often than not, the killer lives and is handcuffed without even an injury. But a black man is still considered a threat even though he's handcuffed on his stomach with four police officers surrounding him? "But what about the black on black killings?” I agree that is an issue, but not the issue at hand. Stop deflecting.
Now since our voices aren’t being heard, we have turned to riots. I don’t necessarily condone this, but I’m also not mad about it either. The thing I’m mad about is that our voices still aren’t being heard. I’ve seen so many headlines talking about the buildings and businesses being destroyed, which I definitely understand can be very devastating. You spent all your life building the business, just to have to be forced to start over. The problem that I have is that this is overshadowing the main issue. I’ve seen people talk about this before ever mentioning anything about the event that started this. “This is a disgrace to our country! This is not what our country was founded on! Our forefathers would never behave in this manner! There are peaceful ways to protest.” So our country didn’t kill and destroy the Native Americans and their property? Our country didn’t capture Africans and enslave them? Colin Kaepernick kneeling wasn’t peaceful? Does my black life matter? Apparently buildings and businesses that can be repaired and rebuilt are more important.
I grew up in black churches and often wondered why there weren’t any white people in the building. I’m from the suburbs so I would see white people all the time, except at church. It wasn’t until college that I started attending churches with more diversity. It was definitely a great feeling since that’s how heaven is going to be—diverse. It’s great until issues with race and injustice come up. I’ve seen so many prominent people of faith, faith-based organizations, faith-based businesses, and churches remain mute on issues of race and injustice. The silence is deafening. These are supposed to be my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Does my black life really matter, or am I just a stat? Am I really going to hurt your business? Are people really gonna stop attending? Are you concerned about losing followers? Are you really going to lose all of your funding? Does any of that really matter? I thought we were supposed to love like Jesus. Does God not bless those who hunger and thirst for justice (Matthew 5:6)? Justice is something he loves (Psalms 33:5, Psalms 37:28). He’s actually more pleased with it than your sacrifices (Proverbs 21:3). He wants you to use your voice (Proverbs 31:8-9). And if you don’t understand it, you might not be a Christian (Proverbs 28:5). So stop being concerned about the negative impact that this may cause you. Even Jesus lost followers (John 6:66).
Does my black life matter? In the eyes of America right now, no. But in the eyes of Jesus, my black life matters a lot.
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