I rarely post political things bc honestly....ppl on the internet are babies. But I just watched a video and was SO PROUD of our former president for saying this. It was funny and necessary. He was well acquainted with pop culture and sitting on stage with the star of “Grown-ish.” Here are my genuine feelings about our “call-out culture.” It is SO good that certain things are being called out. Especially oppressive things that have been stuffed down for TOO LONG. Things that WAKE ppl up and challenge them to shift the ways they’ve always seen. BUT don’t be petty and poke at the ignorance of ppl who really care about a matter just bc they are not perfect. That only perpetuates division. Can I say this? Sometimes ...cough...*clears throat....sweat drops.... * we are making growth and unity impossible....
Sometimes it feels like so many ppl (not all) are so hell bent on being a victim that they will miss the heart of people who mean well and resist progress. They self-righteously want everyone to use some exact language and do all the “right” things according to their ever growing rules of politically correct conduct overnight, even limiting the free thought and individual expression of others who are on a journey and walking out their own recovery - discouraging progress. Instead of inviting people to understand, giving them grace and celebrating them for even caring at all (progress), we dog them, shame and accuse them, and make them feel like they’re not welcome in some exclusive club of _______(insert persecuted group here_____. ) There is no change without mercy. There is no unity without humility. I know it’s hard. TRUST ME. I grew up in a super racist, abusive community and am still recovering from the trauma I experienced. REAL abuse. Not only occasional slurs and micro-aggressions. OVERT and directly targeted consistent abuse. I get triggered more often than I’d like to admit. I am 31 and still shedding lies that robbed me of identity and rewiring my brain to love myself and others. It’s a process. I am not dramatic or playing a victim or stuck in the past. I am embracing my story healthily and developing my response.
The song I recently performed at the YWCA’s Activists and Agitators took about 6 years to write - Because of how hard it was to write words that validated my pain, told the truth and unabashedly exposed a real problem, and still took down the walls, offering hope and making room for reconciliation. I had to refuse to demand blood from others while bleeding myself. But I couldn’t for so long. So I waited and worked on myself. Because deep, down I knew that although angry black people would celebrate my “wokeness, “ white people would only be pushed away. I heard those pieces and grieved at the hate and hurt oozing from wounds still pulsing. I’m not saying those poems and songs don’t have a place, but there was a specific mission on my heart. I took notes from MLK’s sermons. I listened to his speeches over and over, cried and worshipped in awe of the truth, courage and mercy he demonstrated as I soaked it in allowing it to give me freedom in my creativity as I wrote my story carefully with the enlisted help of a new friend who was more than willing to add his own story - inspiring more rawness from me. We do that longer version together and we have performed at schools, the King Arts Complex and different stages. At first I would only perform with him but when he was super busy from school one day I had to perform my parts without him 😬😬😬. I think God did that on purpose lol. Uuuuuuncomfortable. But healing. When I first performed ”Dream” alone for a room full of white folk ...in WESTERVILLE...man ...I was so scared ... with like the irrational fear of being lynched or something. 😂 Soon as I started — their faces froze and their bodies grew tense. Sensing threat. But I kept going. I knew I’d written it to let them in and that if they truly wanted progress they would not cling to pride and comfort or allow their fragility to keep them from it. As they heard my intention, they slowly let down their guard and even teared up. I could feel them. We became one for a moment. A Spirit greater than I moving through my words. Everyone felt it. Everyone surrendered. I felt the power of love replacing fear.
I go to a mostly white church of upper middle class people. 😅 I know how it feels to wince at the ignorant things ppl say, constantly run into invisible walls getting the third degree and evoking suspicion just being normal. I know how tempting it is to take everything personal and start a race riot or simply run to the nearest black church and never look back. But I love them and love what they are fighting for and acknowledge the breakthrough they carry in other areas. I believe in them even though I’ve been hurt by things people have said or felt excluded and judged etc. They are human. They are also healing from things they don’t even know. I want to be part of that healing. I will continue to be vulnerable even if it means looking weak while I gather an effective strategy that will lead to lasting change. So my final thoughts are this: Baby steps. Be kind. Be strong. We can do this only with love and mercy. Aaaaand if you’re offended by this (black or white), please understand that I will not be arguing with you at all in the comments. I have actual activism to do. Love you. Have a great day. Watch the actual video here: