Educate. Encourage. Sympathize. Uplift. Inspire. Care. Love.

After the decision was made last night, social media was almost unbearable. It was literally saddening to see the things that I saw on my timelines and news feeds. So I refrained from saying what I wanted to say… Until Now.

Before I begin on my thoughts about the actual decision with the Mike Brown case, I’m going to start with something much broader- “Us” as a whole. And yes, I use those quotations for a reason. We have to do better. Period. I think the biggest thing that makes me mad today is how we can do things to each other as black people, and get so upset when another race or group does it to us. Example, the word “Nigga.” And I’ll admit, I’m just as guilty as anyone else of this. We use the same term that was, and still is, meant to degrade us as a term of endearment.  Do you hear white people referring to themselves as “Crackers”? I know I don’t. This is the root of the issue.

Almost everyday, I tell Alex (the love of my life, my sugar butt, my baby, etc. etc.) to “pull his pants up” or “don’t curse so loudly” or something else that I feel will make him be seen badly by others. Because he is a “large, black man,” I know how he is looked at by people around us, especially since we go to a predominantly white institute. Anybody who knows him, knows he literally will not hurt a fly, yet I’m still barking for him not to do this and not to do that. I know who he is, but unfortunately we are very easily stereotyped, as many groups are. Many times we are not looked as individual people, but as a whole and categorized with every other black person. And we continue to further perpetuate this issue. We want to be respected, we want to be equal, we want to have our voices heard, but at the same time our voices are bellowing out harsh words, our equality is only demanded when we have been wronged, and we cannot respect ourselves any more than those who we are asking respect of.

I cannot count the number of conversations that one of my roommates and I have had about being black in a “white” world. With that being said, I’m not saying that the majority is racist or that we unfairly treated, but what I am saying is that ISSUES STILL EXIST, RACISM STILL EXISTS, AND WE CAN ALL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT (which I’ll get to). Going to a PWI, I have been the only black girl in a classroom with only whites more times than I’m even willing to count. Personally,  I do not find it to be uncomfortable, because I know that I am capable. I know that I  can run with the best of them, actively engage in and out of the classroom, and my GPA is higher than probably all but a couple people in that room. So, no I don’t find it hard. But what I do find to be very uncomfortable is when I see those of my same color doing something that we already get criticized for, or when I hear a white person say that they believe black men to be scary and aggressive, or when a professor expects me to be the voice of all black people, or when I feel like I have no other choice but to be the voice for all black people because of ignorance in the room. That’s when I get uncomfortable, because I know we can do better, and I know that other racial groups can as well.

“A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect.”

So become the system. Sounds easy, but many don’t  think it isn’t that simple. I think it is. Instead of encouraging our children to curse and sing the latest Bobby Shmurda lyrics, give them the tools that they need to become those lawyers, judges, police officers, etc. We are capable. But, here’s why it won’t happen -we’re addicted to things that suppress us. We are addicted to “turning up” and “Nigga this and that” and “Fuck bitches, get money”  blah blah blah. Money makes the world go round, but I don’t think Dr. King’s motivation was attempting to “get the hoes.”  I’m sure Ms. Parks didn’t get paid to sit on that bus. But we just want the new J’s and Marc Jacobs watches, and for our hair to be on “fleek.”

With that being said, I’m not saying that we need to sacrifice these things (if they make you happy, to each his own), but be more than that.  Educate yourselves. Teach your children, siblings, parents, families about history. Find ways that you personally can help better society, and ultimately YOURSELF. And that’s for ALL races, not just a particular one. Try to be the best you that you can be.The root of evil is ignorance, so let’s not be ignorant. Encourage our friends to not make that one racist comment (even if they have “12 black friends” or “a Mexican cousin”). Challenge our own brains to not go directly to stereotypes that we tend to do.

Finally my feelings on the Mike Brown case…yes, absolutely this was wrong. Darren Wilson should most definitely have faced some consequence. I mean Adrian Peterson can’t continue his career for disciplining his child (another story for another day). The Mike Brown case was significantly larger than that, so for that officer to walk freely, there’s something wrong. So NOW WHAT? Let’s not be bitter, but pray without ceasing. Pray for our children to be able to live in a better place like our ancestors prayed for us to, pray that we can help others and ourselves to get rid of ignorance, pray that our children have the tools to BE the “system.”  Pray that as a whole, we do better.

Educate. Encourage. Sympathize. Uplift. Inspire. Care.  Love.


6 thoughts on “Educate. Encourage. Sympathize. Uplift. Inspire. Care. Love.

  1. I think this idea is something that a lot of people are trying to ignore and push to the back burner but it MUST be addressed. I agree with what you said…”we” (BLACK PEOPLE) have to do better. We cannot expect police officers, or anybody for that matter, to respect or value us and our lives if we don’t live up to that standard ourselves. That makes us hypocrites. WE NEED TO SET THE STANDARD. Make them respect us by respecting ourselves FIRST. The truth is simply, like you stated, racism still exists. Black people, especially black men, are automatically seen as threats to society. A lot of black men are “criminals that never broke the law” (stole that from IG haha). WE KNOW THIS ALREADY THOUGH. They have proven to us time and time again (before Mike Brown) that we are not valued. so what do we do? everything that you said. Stop aiding in the perpetuation of these wrong thoughts and ideas that have been passed down by doing everything that we are “expected” to do. Stop making yourself fit into the stereotypes. stop this “snitches get stitches” mentality. we’re only hurting ourselves. just STOP IT!!!

    Now, even after examining ourselves and finding solutions for the problem within, there also need to be changes within the police community. There is absolutely NO accountability. They get these badges, guns, etc. and are able to do whatever the heck they want to do because they know the law is gonna back them up. They can go and kill people with no consequences. That is completely unacceptable!!! So, again what do we do? There needs to be some implementation of cameras on police uniforms to hold them accountable. And if they’re found without one or one that is broken, there needs to be consequences. The police can’t expect us to trust them to protect and serve us if there is no accountability.

    Thirdly, honestly I don’t understand all of the IG posts, FB posts, meetings, protests, walks, etc. People love bandwagons. That is not to discredit the people within the community that are constantly fighting for change. But all of this extra stuff is irrelevant at this point. we need to stop meeting for discussions and going on social media rants and start actively working on SOLUTIONS. Let’s be proactive about the problem instead of always be reactive.

    With all that being said, I don’t honestly know if these issues will ever change. all of this sounds good but I fear that the black community will never come together to see these changes. A lot of us simply don’t care enough. Also, everybody wants to be “different”. Everyone wants to be that one person that says the opposite of what everyone else is saying. I’m not knocking individuality but truth is truth. We ignore the TRUTH for the sake of being unique. So, it seems impossible for us to ever unify on anything. It honestly breaks my heart. We don’t like to be inconvenienced to cause change. We want to continue doing the same things and expect different results…..I believe that’s referred to as insanity. I just want to us to be and do better. However, it all starts with each person individually. We have to first care enough about ourselves before seeking to change the world. This entire situation has taught me so much. It’s time for me to work on myself so that I’m able to cause positive change within MY community. My community is depending on me. We’re all depending on each other. We’re all crying for help. We have to do better.

    Thanks for this opportunity to share Bre. Love you!!!

  2. The stereotypes you mention about black people are the ones I grew up hearing – and a lot worse I hate to say. I’m just glad that during these last four years, I realized how bad the problem is and how wrong the things I grew up hearing were.

    Lately, I’ve been really angry all the time because of the judging based on stereotypes going on. I agree, racism still exists, and I just don’t understand why people can’t see that no matter what color, religion, political party, country we’re from, etc, we’re all people.

    “Educate. Encourage. Sympathize. Uplift. Inspire.Care. Love.” Words to live by.

    • Thank you for your feedback! And I’m definitely sure you’ve heard worse; unfortunately, we all have. I’m honestly so glad that YOU recognized that the change starts with YOU. Thank you again for responding. Please let me know if there is anything that you come across that you would like to see me blog about.

  3. I share many of your thoughts you discussed. Last night I had a discussion with a white individual and they began to share there opinion regarding this current situation. As he talked, I soon realized that he was missing the same perspective we share as African Americans. I am in no position to judge anyone on their views of the world. However, I felt the need to educate him on a few things. Specifically regarding the “no indictment” verdict. The system was curved in favor of the policeman from the beginning. The lead prosecutor of the case is a known “pro-cop” individual (of course he wants the cop to get off). The prosecutor made it his absolute priority to send this case directly to a grand jury instead of a regular jury trial. A grand jury that was predominately white (maybe this was a coincidence). I could go on and on but let me get back on track. 

    Once I expressed my view, he then asked me “well what makes that slogan Black Lives Matter okay?” He thinks that the signs are racially charged. “Since we are fighting to end racism… why have a racist sign? Why not have a sign that says “All lives matter” versus “Black lives matter” .” I know how I feel and I know what is meant by the signs. Black lives do matter. What are your thoughts on this? 

    • This is the exact reason as to why I encourage people to educate themselves on our history. Personally, as I was telling you the other day, I really don’t feel as if someone who does not experience the things that African Americans do will not understand what “Black Lives Matter” means. Agreed, all lives matter; however, what he is missing is that Black lives have been devalued and deemed unimportant over and over again. Too many times we have been overlooked, suppressed, and made to feel as if our lives don’t matter. From chains to jim crow (purposely not capitalized) laws, we have been made unimportant. That is the point that the individual you were speaking with is missing, and if the conversation resurfaces then it might be important to bring up to him. As you said, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion but everyone’s opinion most definitely has some bias.

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