Hit the Pause Button! There is a pink elephant in the room and its name is Pain!
I must hit the “pause” button! When I first started this journey, I set boundaries of what I would and would not delve into. Politics and religion were two areas I designated as off limits. So many varying opinions and so many qualified experts in both topics, I chose to focus on other areas. Areas of encouragement for those who need it. However, this season in time has compelled me to use my voice to share my thoughts. It has taken a moment to gather those thoughts. I always lean on the side of wisdom in these situations. Take a moment to harness emotions. Take a moment to process. Take a moment to listen, observe, reflect, pray, then respond. I take the reference to Lady Wisdom seriously. It is not just a brand; it is who I am. I pray this journey that you are about to take with me, will resonate as intended. I pray there is understanding. I pray you read with an open mind and meditate on how this resonates in your life, and how you will move forward towards your own inner healing. I pray this will move you to utilize whatever gifts you have been given, to assist in the healing of the land. As always, I thank you and so appreciate you being on this journey with Lady Wisdom. Peace and Blessings to you.
Pain hurts. If not healed properly it can manifest into a scar, a scar that is a constant reminder of the source of the pain. A scar, that if irritated enough, will reopen the improperly healed wound, and then will cause more pain…...and a reaction to that compounded pain!
I recall, as a little girl, the fear and anger I felt whenever I saw white men being disrespectful to my father. My father, a gentleman, a man with a master’s degree in Engineering. A man who was the head of our household. A man who took care of his family and made sure we had a roof over our head, food, clothing, and the best education available. Speaking to him and treating him like he was less than a man.
I recall riding home from the army base after picking my husband up from work. The children and our dog in the car. The police stopping us because for reasons I cannot even recall because of the fear that consumed me at the moment. My husband at the time, at the moment, in full military uniform, full insignia visible, full military stickers on the car reflecting that of an active duty field grade officer. “Lord, please do not let these officers shoot my husband in front of our children.” “Lord, please equip me with what I need to say or do to calm my husband’s spirit at the humiliation he must be feeling right now….being ordered to exit his car….being spoken to in a disrespectful manner….in front of his family….Lord I can only imagine the rage he must be feeling inside. Lord, please help him to contain his anger so we can all go home safely and alive. Lord help us NOW!”
The first incident occurred almost 50 years ago. The second incident occurred almost 20 years ago. As I am writing this, the anxiety, fear, anger, are rising again as I recall these incidents that occurred and these experiences that happened to honorable, responsible, men in my life that I love!
A young man, a young woman has been raised without their father, grandfather, uncles, etc. because the men in their lives have been incarcerated. Incarcerated for an extended period where the time being served is extreme based on the offense…or lack of offense at all. A young man, a young woman who witnesses that father, grandfather, uncle, etc. being brutalized by law enforcement. Those incidences being etched in their young minds and the emotions that manifest as they grow up.
And then there is the “what’s and HBCU?” “why do you need your own colleges? you are promoting segregation.” “Slavery is over, why are you people still complaining? “Black people are just whining.” I hope by now, that those who read this and maybe are not understanding the state of affairs, are beginning to gain some degree of understanding as to what is occurring across this country. VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION IS NOT CONDONED! Let me say that again VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION IS NOT CONDONED! However, the rage is TOTALLY understood! The rage that comes from layers of life experiences. Life experiences that have gone unhealed, unheard, unresolved. Like a callous, life experiences that have created a hard shell around the heart of the one that has been so deeply wounded emotionally and perhaps physically by those incredibly damaging experiences. Voices unheard, ignored, ridiculed, or muffled. Eventually, the inner soul erupts.
Ladies and Gentlemen, some of you may be saying “yes!” “preach!” Others may be processing and trying to understand. Others may be saying “what does that have to do with me?” “It’s not my problem.” Still others may be saying ‘My God, I finally get it!” Whatever your position, we are all arriving at the same place of having a front row seat to the result of years of suppressed pain. Again, I say…VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION IS NOT CONDONED! However, the rage is understood! I must confess, that as the violence was unfolding, my mind went back to those incidents with my father and former spouse. The emotions surfaced as I sat in my home watching this moment in history. Throughout the generations, the suffering, attacks, humiliation, deprivation, hatred, and prejudiced as evolved based on the times and what the perpetrators could get away with based on that moment in time.
Change must occur! Some may feel that since it does not affect their daily life directly, it is not their problem. We are beginning to see how it is now affecting the daily lives of us all. Some of us have co-existed with it for a lifetime. Some of us are just being introduced to this generational oppression. Yes! Pain, the pink elephant!
There have been so many brave African American men and women who have fought the good fight to bring awareness to this struggle and to be champions for change. Many have lost their lives in the process. There have also been brave men and women from other cultures and walks of life who have also stood by the cause. We must not forget them or push them aside. At times, their sacrifice was just as great if not greater as loss of life was visited upon them as well.
There are so many deeply rooted doctrines and experiences on both sides of the issue that has brought us to the points of historical clashing in the streets. Until we listen to each other, calmly, without judgement, until we can come to the table with the echoes from our past, communicate effectively, listen to each other, and work together to resolve the broken doctrines and devastating experiences from the past, history will continue to repeat itself. We will continue to take these proverbial 40-year journeys through the desert of prejudice, hate, violence, and brutality. We will continue to all sit with the pink elephant in the room named the Pain of Oppression.
Respect, love, acknowledgement, opportunity, fairness…. all these things have been brutally snatched from African Americans over time but especially African American men. When a man is robbed of his dignity, his soul is destroyed. THAT has been the goal of the destroyer over the generations.
My God, my God! I sincerely and diligently pray that in 2020, this will finally be the beginning of true change. This will finally be the beginning of reverence. This will be the beginning. If this is not finally the beginning of a new reverence for our fellow man, it will be the end of our human race. The pink elephant in the room. Let us acknowledge its presence and move from prayer, conversation, and posting to action.