My good friend, civil rights leader Mr. Gerald D. Givens, Jr., who is also a retired US Air Force Veteran and longtime resident of San Antonio posted on Facebook a picture that really sums up the confusion that exist within America that is what love is and what is hate is and how love and hate are visible tools within our modern day protest. Black America we have a choice of Love or Hate - and truly there isn't any gray areas.
He writes, "I want to teach you all about the difference between men like this man in this picture and a man like me. One of us practices love and the other practices hate. One practices violence and the other one practices non-violence. One of can see and the other one is blind. One will die with hate in his heart for all people of color and the other one will die loving humanity.
This morning when I saw this photo of this man, I was reminded of a conversation that I had with a friend of mine yesterday. She told me that I have a compass that is constructed out of the racism. I responded to my friend that I will spend the rest of days on Earth resisting and fighting to destroy white supremacy and racism.
In this picture both of us are being arrested for what we believe in. He was arrested for beating a young man for being Black in Charlottesville, Virginia. I was arrested for demonstrating nonviolent civil disobedience against the North Carolina Republican state legislators by knocking on locked doors in which altogether 10 million state residents were locked out of together. This man is probably going to prison. All of the charges were dismissed against me.
Hate clouds your vision. You can’t see straight when you hate. You don’t think, act, or speak properly when you are motivated by hate.
Yet, love gives you perspective. Sometimes you look at life from a bird's-eye view, when you're looking down on life. You might be on a ladder, up along a hill, on the balcony of a very tall building. Sometimes you might have a worm’s-eye view, as if you were sitting on a chair, had to crouch down onto your heels or, even lower down, sitting in the grass. Most of the times we look into life while standing up, that’s our normal viewpoint, it's how we're accustomed to watching. It's what looks more real. When you can see, you can love.
Life if not about communism or democracy being right or wrong. As a black man we still got oppressed by both. Life is not about being a conservative or a progressive. As a black man we still got oppressed by both. Love is about equilibrium. Love sees that sunshine is good for some things and bad for others. Love sees that rain is good for some things and bad for others. Love is not about absolutes. Love is about visualizing the good and bad in all of us and working together in the best interest of all of us.
The ultimate goal of white domination and racism is genocide. It’s about the massacre, annihilation and extermination of non-white people. There are legal ways to kill a person. You may allow police officers to shoot down unarmed citizens with impunity. You can set an end to funding public schools in which most black and brown children attend. You cannot pay health care subsidies that you know will beat poor people; which you know this impacts black and brown people the most. White supremacy and racial discrimination is just not about how you feel, it’s also about what you do. Its policies, processes and legislation you vote for, implement and practice. A lot of people are confused about this today.
Simply because you’re okay with sitting next to me on a bus doesn’t mean that you’re not racist. Because you will eat lunch with me doesn’t mean that you’re not racist. Just because you and I can take a picture together doesn’t mean that you’re not racist. Who do you give your business contracts to? Who are you really hiring? Who do you live next door to? Who do you worship God with?
Love, the most powerful source in the world is about integration. The sun and the moon function together. The land and the seas both function together. The air and space both function in concert. Complete opposites working in a production for all. My compass in life is helping mankind of different religious beliefs, languages and ethnicities integrate. I encourage us to help share power, resources and responsibility.
That’s something that you can’t exercise if you are hateful. Only loving people can manage that." Great thoughts on this day for #BlackAmerica!