It’s is interesting that you bring this particular part of my entire post up. Most people who have an issue with what is going, pertaining to our cries to be heard, tend to zero in on this particular argument, without knowing the entire picture. For the record, the majority of protests have been peaceful, yet, this small part of the protests gets a large amount of attention.
When I spoke about humble listening, I meant that it should come from those who do not experience racism. Those, who don’t understand our experience and pain of being black in America and the world. I will flesh out that point within this reply…
First, I do not condone the burning and looting of business, but, I understand the heart and pain of those who have done so. It’s funny. The news won’t show you this, but, there have been business owners who have said that their products can be replaced, but lives cannot. Even small businesses, like an Indian restaurant in Minnesota stated that they understand, and that if it takes their building to burn for people (the world systems) to listen, then let it be, because it can and will be rebuilt and replaced. (What i also respected about their interview, was that the owner’s daughter said that she was angry at first. She didn’t deny her legitimate emotion. But, without any outside prodding, she and her father came to the conclusion that this store would be rebuilt. Lives cannot be replaced. They saw the systemic racism that blacks go through, and mentioned that in their interview.)
Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs are also some who have made similar statements. Many business are also insured. Remember, I said that I don’t condone the it, but can understand why they did it- because I sought to understand. And please note, that not everything that was destroyed/looted was done by the protestors. There are many agitators who have infiltrated the protests, and some have been caught on camera and stopped by the protests- but, depending on what you listen to for your news information, you won’t get that.
I would encourage you to read Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham jail, I’d you haven’t already, and google some
of his sermons which aren’t available. It might bring some perspective. The black Person has been crying out to be heard for hundreds of years. And the hypocrisy is, that historically speaking, white Americans upturned everything with their revolution against England (had a war), the Boston tea party, etc., all in the name of freedom from Europe, and yet, we who are crying out for justice are criticized for HOW we express our pain, and anger- how interesting.
If this situation were a math problem, and 2 (being systemic racism) + 2 (being unjust killings for hundreds of years) = 4 (protesting and riots), it would seem that everyone wants to discuss and focus on 4, but no one wants to discuss 2 + 2. The issues that got us to 4.
Please consider a few things if you’d be so kind- 1) Dr. King wasn’t so acceptable to the masses as history teaches. His daughter Dr. Bernice King reminded us recently that during his day, he was the most hated man in America. And even he said that the riot is the cry of the unheard. 2) Many of the businesses in those neighborhoods are not black owned. Black neighborhoods have a history of other cultures setting up shop in their neighborhoods, taking the money of the people there, and leaving. Not investing in the community. And not caring about the people. They can know your face for years, for shopping at their location, but, they see you as another minority. If you think I’m fibbing, look up the murder of a young boy named Junior, in the Bronx, which happened last year. He ran into a convenience store for help. This store has been in the neighborhood for years. He was chased by a gang, dragged out of the store front of the owners, and murdered outside. They didn’t not help him. Nor did they call the police. Many stores in black communities are indifferent to the people who live there, no mater how often we patron them. Black owned businesses in big cities like NYC, are not prevalent. 3) Many of these stores will eventually rebuild, and have their items replaced. Also, their communities who understand the outrage, are helping those who set up crowd raisers to do so. (The Indian restaurant was one of them. The owner is straight from India, and even he said that he participated in serious protests in india, and he understood what was going on with the outrage he was seeing. He has hit well over his monetary Goal, and will be helping the community more.) 4) We protested quietly, and no one liked it. Remember the NFL? Remember the Knee? Remember the Civil Rights Movement? But it wasn’t “right” , to those who criticized. When we fight for our people, it’s never “right” for anyone. Dr. King was ALSO demonized, and criticized for how he protested.
Watch the Movie Selma. You’ll get a small taste of that truth. 5) Jesus upturned tables too at the sign of injustice in the temple. He had a righteous indignation at the
blatant injustice he saw taking place in the temple, and that resulted in a whip and tables overturned. Jesus didn’t protest in an acceptable way. Those money changers Lively hood had been disrupted to get a point across. (They probably set back up again whenever the Lord left). 6) Many people died to fight for freedom. The movie Selma will show you that. But, we have been dying to be seen and heard for the longest time.
- when you see your people being killed so easily, and have been seeing it go on for centuries, what do you think the response will be? How do you want them to respond? What would make you feel comfortable? Do you want them to be orderly? Do it nicely? In a way that makes sure you feel comfortable, and your things and stores are kept in place? Do you want them to not make a scene? What would you
have us do? This pain and lack of conversation about our very real pain, has been unaddressed for over 400 years- 400+ years in the making.
What would you have us do? Should I see my black brothers get killed on the ground with a knee on his neck, and not feel my soul being gouged out of my body? What would you have us do? See our black sister get shot in her house and not feel horrified? See our black brother get gunned down for jogging, and not be galvanized in our souls? Remembering the beating of Rodney King and the way them police walked free, and not remember that this has happened before? And you want Us to think and have a dialogue about stores? Things that can be replaced? And companies which didn’t care for us and our neighborhoods, more for than our green dollars?
Like I said, I am not FOR breaking anything down, but I am here to offer perspective, and to understand the heart of those who do react this way in their pain. I’ve LISTENED to those who thought this was the best way to express their outrage, and I understand WHY. And apparently, other companies understand also. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? To listen to those who we don’t understand/agree with to see where they aren’t coming from, and not presume we know? Not tell them what they should do and how they should do it? It’s important to listen to people when you have never experienced racism. Never personally experienced the pain of it. Never had fo think about a world and system that doesn’t work in your favor. Never had to be judged based on the color off your skin. Never had to be afraid of an officer when they pull you over.
Instead of telling them what to think, and how to feel, take time to put your ears fo their hearts and listen to their heart cries. The goal is to empathize and sympathize and see what you might be missing in this picture. Not to criticize. People who are making themselves the greater or equal victims, because they lost property, will not be invalidated by their banks and insurances. but, people who have been dying, being slain, and oppressed, and fighting to be heard in a country, and church, that has been systemically oppressing them for hundreds of years,are invalidated every day, and may even continue to be, once the dust dies down.
There needs to be more humble listening on the side of those who know nothing of our pain. People who want us to pay attention to the loss of replaceable properly while we have been loosing our lives for centuries,
are missing the whole entire point of our protests.
It’s 2020 and a black man, a human being, was held underneath the knee of a civil servant for 8 minutes and 46 seconds…crying out to breathe, while other civil servants stood by. This isn’t hundreds of years ago. This is still happening to us. And yet, people want “equal dialogue” and consideration about their property loss…fascinating…and very heartbreaking…
And this is the deep pain, and painful lance of an argument that the black community gets from the church- even from those who are minorities who have been colonized in their Christianity, and are trained to be silent and dismissive about systemic racism and injustice, and its effects their very own people and community. How painful. God isn’t silent nor unaware of it. I take comfort in that, at least.
Please do your research, and listen to people who aren’t like you. Please avail yourself of the many resources out there that can give your greater perspective on this. Please take your concerns to God in prayer.
I will no longer reply to these kinds of posts anymore. The pain it causes, is too great. I am at a loss…