Years ago, I witnessed a beating of a senior citizen in Englewood, Chicago. Two kids came out of no where and the love that should have been in them was replaced by the horrifying & cruel action of beating & kicking an elder walking down the street, minding his own business. This moment had been one that has always made me feel powerless. A couple weeks ago, I had a dream where I was with someone who had the power to stop this beating, and we did. After we stopped it, I had, in anger, yelled to the person that did it, that I’d be glad to see them punished in hell.
The price of my soul in this dream was worth me seeing “justice” fulfilled.
In my dream, I saw this justice take place and it broke my heart. It was as if I were in hell.
I woke up realizing two things. The first is that we are not powerless, we must speak up. Thus, this blog entry. The second is that we have a choice. We have a choice to become who we are.
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a publication that asked me to write on Race. Clearly, they don’t know me. I have written the last thing I will write on race. It’s up to them to comprehend it. Alas, I thought of taking them up on the offer and I in turn was going to write of love. Each time a topic came up about race, simply write of love in the return article. But then, I realized, I have many things on my plate this year and I can’t afford to spend the time addressing in a lengthy blog post every thing that stirs me. Have you seen my Twitter feed? :-p…
However, since the incident I experienced was brought to my mind again, there was nothing more pressing against my spirit than the hate crime and recent kidnapping and beating of a teen in Chicago.
The truth is this – our parents generation created this restless and uncomfortable monster within us. In 2017, this notion that we are divided on the basis of our skin color and not the content of our character could absolutely be absurd if we allowed it to be. This mentality that we should only see the burdens of our past and conditions as crippling, is preventing us from seeing who we truly are and capable of as a generation. This resistance to change & growth has given birth to the monster we have to see everyday within the conditions of mental poverty and socioeconomic breaks in society… And now in our President’s cabinet. And while we didn’t create it, it’s now up to us to heal it. To guide it and shape it into what we as a people need.
While my heart hurts. While I’m angry and want to see nothing more than “justice”. There comes a point in time where we have to collectively learn that our idea of justice is no different than the monsters idea of justice. There comes a point where we have to be more and change others by changing the way we exist within this world with each other.
The world is merely a mirror. Be brave, be the change!
I made you. I’m sorry.
When life handed me lemons, that’s all I thought I was worth.
I didn’t take those lemons and make lemonade.
I didn’t give those lemons to those who may need them.
I didn’t sell those lemons to those who could make lemonade.
I just sat there quiet, looking at the lemons, not sure what to do with them.
Because they were bitter and sour and seemed to be abundant all around me, I did nothing but…
Stare in disgust.
Blame myself or the person throwing the lemons.
Fight that lemon thrower.
Sometimes, I’d pick up the lemons and put them in a barrel.
When I had my children, I just handed them the barrel and told them…
This is all you’re worth and ever gonna see. This is who you be.
I barely saw those lemons for what they really were.
Packed with Vitamin C to help me to change.
Tasty on top of the seafood I didn’t know existed.
So good in a lemon iced pound cake.
I missed out on all those things and when the new generation came,
I never told them about all the good that could come from lemons.
Because those who came before me did the same,
I did the same to you.
I am so sorry
I fed you.
I continue to keep you.
This is why you’re here.
This is dedicated to the Four Children in Chicago that have spent their lives thinking they were nothing more than a target for lemons being thrown. What they lacked in love and respect for themselves and others, I now want to give to them so they can learn from this and change going forward. I hope for them they seek atonement and as a result our society is better for it. My heart pleads with them to know, believe, and to see, they are worth much more than what they have done.
We are praying for the healing and safety of their victim and the separate victim we saw over 15 years ago in Englewood. We send our hearts to him and their family/friends in hopes that they know that we do not condone or accept what was done, we aim to make it stop. You have our deepest sympathy, apology, and pledge to work harder & put more love into the hearts of those who commit such heinous acts.