*We don’t know who this brother is, but I hope we will make every effort to find out. His words are real. His pain even more so.
Just yesterday, I was speaking with a good friend who is as passionate about the struggle of our people as they come. The words of the man in this video speak to one of the things that came up in our conversation.
My friend rehashed all of the ways “Willie Lynch” has damaged African Americans; and I, frustrated with hearing the same oh, same oh, rebutted with, “Yes. I know. But where do we go from here?”
He said we couldn’t go anywhere until we understood the damage that has been done.
That wasn’t good enough for me. And I told him so.
The brother in this video is doing his best to ‘help his community.’ He tells us that his father bought a house in the same community he now resides in 25 years ago.
Its unclear where his father is now. But we can assume he has either passed away or is unavailable; leaving the house in the hands of his son.
So that son has now turned the home into a community center.
The center has been the continuous victim of vandalism. And this time, upon learning who the culprits are, this man was beaten as a result.
“I ask them why,” he tells us in the video, as he breaks down. He describes that the pain black people feel is real. And tells us that, in spite of everything, he still “loves all of my people.”
And ends with “I love you.”
His pain is so evident. And though this is not about me, so is my frustration — and it was that frustration that spoke to my friend.
That frustration asks, Why do we continue to hurt one another? Why do we destroy “ours” because we are angry with “them?” Why do we not use the past as wisdom in the present and fuel towards a better future? When are we going to change a strategy that is obviously not working to a more effective one? And when will we realize that we can be the one to make a difference, by being our personal “best” — the “example?”
There is no easy answer. There is no one answer. But we have got to start with having respect for each other. Respect for each others’ opinions. And we have learn how to listen to each other. Not in the way that we don’t hear what the individual is saying because we are already waiting for the pause so we can jump in and give our perspective.
But really listen and hear. Absorb.
Growth comes from exposure. Exposure to new avenues of thought.
As black people, we have gone through some real deep shit. But if we continue to roll around in it, Willie Lynch wins.
No one said it would be easy.
As I told my friend: I do believe one person can make a difference. And this brother is the one making a difference in his community. Let’s support him, and be inspired by his efforts to think of ways we can be an example in our own communities.
As a people we have been left with a huge responsibility. And that can be overwhelming. But you are one person. Do what you can do.
Everything may not be “fixed” in your lifetime or mine, but rarely is anything fundamental.
And let’s stop putting us down. A demeaning action by one, or someone doing something that another would not do, should not be seen as a reflection of us all. This is manifested each day when things like, “As black people we always do this” or “We never do this or that as a people.”
Let’s not confuse the race struggle with the human struggle. Let’s become discerning and recognize that some of it is actually intertwined.
We can change our language, individually, and use words that are more complimentary to each other. This in itself will have an effect on our perspective. And open up avenues of enlightenment.
Most of all, never forget, the children are watching us more than they are listening to us.
Watch this brother’s emotional plea in the video below and if you want to help, visit the GoFundMe page that was set up.
Thanks to BOSS for making us aware of this video. As always, your thoughts are encouraged and appreciated.