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I don’t have the Privilege of opting out

I can’t sleep. I feel so helpless and outraged over the losses and violence in the last week. I don’t want to pray about it. I don’t want to blog about it. I definitely don’t want to discuss it incessantly with others on facebook or twitter while we sit safely in our homes.

I want to do something.

I want to help.

I want kids to stop being killed on our American streets: black kids, gay kids, cops… are we at war? Because we are tearing our own people apart.

I don’t actually feel like I have a card to play. I’m a white woman in a safe neighborhood. I have plenty to eat. I am certain I’m privileged in ways that I haven’t even thought about.

Until I was in high school, I was raised in a home with bars on the windows, guns shooting every night, across the street from the projects, all the kids in the community had to be inside by dark. We were the only white family around, but our neighborhood was so diverse, that I grew up without the concept of racial divisions. But this world is going backward. My mother said yesterday that this week reminds her of the riots of 1968 as tears rolled down her face. We are going backward.

I told my sister this weekend that I’ve been having nightmares about her upcoming vacation to FL ever since 50 kids out at a gay night club were murdered. She said that she and my sister-in-law have been cautious after dark, and try to stay around areas with police even if they are out to eat after the sun goes down. They are an interracial gay couple, and theoretically this America accepts them today. But if you follow the news, you know that they BOTH remain in danger, so they show up in my bad dreams.

There’s a whole lot of sharing right now about forgiveness, unity, and praying from white people like me, but where is the outrage? Where is the responsibility to DO SOMETHING?

I might be white, but I don’t feel I have the privilege of doing nothing right now.

We are ALL responsible, don’t you see? This our world.

Use the hands and will and talents God blessed you with to rise up and help when something terrible happens in our country. Give blood, go to a peace rally, set up a GoFundMe page for one of the families involved in the shootings, organize a fundraiser in your community for an ending gun violence organization.

Instead, a lot of people are saying things like, “all lives matter” not just “black lives matter.”

Listen, it’s easy to say that when you aren’t part of a disenfranchised community who is desperate for a voice. If you have said that, remember that you have children right by you who don’t have enough to eat, young women, men and children being sold into sex slavery right in your community, and someone within walking distance is home-bound for the rest of their lives because we haven’t received competent medical care. These lives matter, and there are groups concerned to raise awareness for these victims as well.

My point is that it’s hypocritical to give children with autism a voice who need it, and also say that the black community shouldn’t raise its voice also. To have an ALL LIVES MATTER world, we have to be equals, and ALL have an equally loud voice.

You don’t have to use a hashtag or join a group of protesters to help build equality. Compassion, empathy, and action are the missing links that can help build bridges that we are craving for unity.

I pray this video from poet, author, and life force of nature, Maya Angelou is a peace to your heart, and an encouragement for you as she is for me.

I may feel helpless today, but never hopeless for change. Please be safe. God be with you.

 

 

 

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