I was asked to blog about the death of Michael Brown and what is currently happening in Ferguson.
My reply to the request, “I’m not sure I should voice my opinion? My thoughts are very strong. I have to make sure I don’t offend anyone.”
After careful consideration, I decided to share my thoughts. In order to do so I had to allow myself to go to a place so dark and so painful that is was beyond scary.
I closed my eyes and visualized my sons, Brandon Grant and Zechary Thomas being shot down, murdered, and left lying in the street like an animal.
Immediately tears streamed down my face, fear came over me, and then anger like nothing you can imagine erupted inside.
I imagined pain no mother wants to experience. I felt the need to wrap my arms around my boys, one who is a man and one is becoming a man. I wanted to tell them how much I love them, how I will not allow anything or anyone to harm them, I wanted to bring them back into my womb where the evil of this world couldn’t harm them. I imagined myself being a mother who held her son in her arms for the very last time before she buried him.
As I write, I’m sitting with my son crying. I’m telling my fourteen year old son he is my Prince and one day will be some woman’s King. I’m explaining to him how he has to watch himself at all times. He has to watch the way he talks, walks, dresses, and who he associates with.
Why you ask? Because he is a young black man. No matter where he lives, the school he attends, the level of education he obtains, there will always be someone who judges him by his skin color instead of his character. Some people in this world will always see him as someone to fear.
They will fear him because they don’t know him. They don’t understand him, nor do they want to take the time to get to know him.
Instead, they tell him if he speaks slang, he is hood. If he wears his hair a certain way, he is a “gangsta”. If he listens to rap music loud in his car, he is a thug. If he wears a hood on his head, he is a threat to society.
As I think of all the challenges my black sons face, I can empathize with the citizens of Ferguson. I don’t agree with the violence and looting, but I understand the frustration of those who feel it is the only way to have their voices heard. Is it right? Hell NO! It’s wrong. Those who are looting, fighting, and refusing to protest peacefully are playing into the stereotype society has placed on men and women of color.
We fall into the media’s trap to promote and broadcast stories of hardship, crime, corruption and murder within minority communities.
What if we were to finally come together as a race, standing strong with one another, uplifting and empowering our women and men, taking back our communities by moving into them instead of moving out of them?
What if we educated those who are lost instead of giving a shameful look? What if we shared our wealth within our own community instead of spending our dollars with everyone else? What if we provided jobs to those in need versus turning our backs to them? What if we embraced the color of our skin, bodies and hair?
What if we showed our strength in numbers, dollars, and our voices? I’ll tell you what. We would own more land, property and businesses. Our dollars would help build wealth not only for others in this country, but for our own. Our children would know and understand generational wealth versus understanding poverty and welfare.
Our young men wouldn’t be in grave danger of being murdered by black on black crimes or at the hands of another. Oh…and I did say black on black. There are more young men and women murdered in the country at the hands of one another. It’s beyond sad.
It’s time we stop the madness! A young man, Michael Brown, was murdered. I don’t know why. All I know is another mother has lost her son. She’s feeling a pain none of us can imagine. She’s feeling a hole in her heart. She’s fighting to make it through everyday she wakes.
Who are we to fight a fight she has asked us not to? Who are we to pretend we understand her pain? Who are we to make a mockery of her son’s life by stealing, looting and fighting?
We’re lost. Plain and simple. We’re lost. I’m praying for the day when my race will return to the days when family, community, pride and owning our own meant something. I’m praying for the day when we realize that like every other race has come together to build and empower, we should too! I’m praying for comfort and peace for a broken race and community.
Moreso, I’m asking that we all honor the wishes of Lesley McSpadden, the late Michael Brown’s mother. I’m praying for his parents. I’m asking God to allow justice to be done. I’m asking that they receive rest and peace.