I’ve struggled to prepare a message about the killing of George Floyd. What can I say that I haven’t already said? What can I do that I haven’t already done?
I long ago realized that “hope and prayers” wasn’t working. Since the Summer of 2013 (after George Zimmerman's acquittal for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin), I’ve spoken publicly and stood up to friends and family privately about these matters.
I’ve challenged those who made racist and misogynistic comments, and tried to inspire those who cannot understand that this is about something bigger than white versus black, gay versus straight, citizen versus immigrant.
I’ve boycotted companies who support racist, sexist, homophobic, and white supremacist policies. I cheered for athletes who kneeled in silent protest and supported Nike when they backed Colin Kaepernick.
The truth is: None of these efforts have worked.
The people I’ve stood up TO don’t feel any different. They haven’t even budged. The people I stood up FOR are still being attacked and killed.
As the latest protests continue night after night, I’ve felt my rage intensify, and wrestled with the desire to once again speak out, even though part of me knows it is futile.
Yet, I HAVE to DO something.
One of my well-known quotes is “If you want something better, you have to be willing to do something different.”
Well, it’s time to do something different.
Please join me any Friday from 11-12 CDT in June or July for a “Do Something Different” Brainstorming. You can register here.
What I know to be true is:
- Racism is real. White nationalism is real. Don’t believe me? Researchers from Rutgers University, the University of Michigan, and Washington University in St. Louis tried to quantify the risk to black lives from law enforcement in a recent study. Their findings were stunning; black men, by far the most at-risk group, face 1 in 1,000 odds of being killed by the police over the course of their lives.
- Sexism is real. Homophobia is real. I could go on. Same problem as #1 above, just a different ‘ism.’
- We are all human. And, we’re better than this.
- The "Us versus Them" mindset will never work.
- Doing nothing will not work. More anger and violence will not work. Blaming the color of someone’s skin won’t work. The truth is: The color of peace is LIGHT.