Friday, July 8, 2016

A Week Of Senseless Violence...What To Do Now?




If you did not know any better when watching the images in the media of a peaceful protest turn violent when a sniper attacked police on Thursday night, July 7, you would think that America was in the middle of the same kind of civil war that has plagued the Middle East for the last 50+ years. The scene in Dallas as police scrambled to take cover from the gunfire could have easily been a scene in Iraq or Israel. America, who is arguably one of the most if not the most civilized nation in the world, is in crisis.


 

 The chaos that has come to the surface as a result of the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota, two black men, as well as the killing of five police officers* in Dallas, Texas on this week has been brewing for a long time. Police shootings like that of Mike Brown, Tamir Rice and LaQuan McDonald, and the deaths of Freddy Gray and Sandra Bland in police custody, all occurring within the last two years, have stoked the fires of anger and indignation in African American communities and those individuals who sympathize with them.


At a time when technology and social media has made communicating around the world as easy as shouting across your neighborhood street, our nation is experiencing the worst of times with regard to how we relate to each another. Police brutality seems to be on the rise and even with the recent videos of police dancing with kids in communities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and North Carolina, it has not assuaged the feelings of discontent that many feel as a result of the unexplainable deaths of black men and women at the hands of police or while in police custody.

We need change and we need it now. It starts with each of us. William Henry Johnson said, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

Here are a few helpful steps you can take to get started bringing about the type of change we need:
  • No. 1 – Pray, meditate and/or do whatever you need to do to get yourself centered. Pray for a strategy. Pray so that God or your “inner spirit” reveals to you what action to take or what group you should unite with.
  • No. 2. – Get informed. Do more than just look at the news. Read and view information from several sources.
  • No. 3 – Do not resort to violence. You are your brother’s and sister’s keeper. Make sure they do not partake in violence. We cannot afford to lose another soul to violence.
  • No. 4. – Take Action: March, Write, Organize, Donate, Use Your Voice…Speak Out, etc.
  • No. 5 – Practice self-care. Care for yourself, your family and close friends. Spend time talking about what’s going on so that we give one another the opportunity to express our feelings and release some of the emotional pain that these events have caused us.

If things are going to change, it is going to be “us” who bring about the change. We are the ones…we are the Martin Kings, Ella Bakers, Thurgood Marshalls, Malcolm Xs and Fannie Lou Hamers of this generation. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the ones to rise up.

*The Dallas police officers killed on July 7 were:  Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarippa
For more information on the sniper killing of five police in Dallas, see: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/07/08/multiple-snipers-dallas/86839430/

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