All Lives Matter
As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace and blessings. I wanted to take the time to reflect upon my previous thoughts. The truth is that I was particularly focusing on my thoughts which referred to the Colonial histories.
After taking the time to reflect. I wondered how would readers of the Caucasian European origin feel when they read my thoughts? Would they feel like this was an attack against them? Would these invoke anger? Or would my thoughts act as a mechanism to engage in critical thinking?
I think that our histories are harsh. It does not matter the origins. There is so much beauty to be found within our histories. We can see these through the preservation's of historical sites that are existing today. Yet, our histories are harsh, it does not matter the origins, the struggles of our human histories can't be ignored. I remember taking an English Literature course that focused upon Post - Colonial studies. This course was very interesting. It was often a bit depressing as well, especially when we were discussing British Colonization. Yes, I remember sitting right at the front of the lecture hall. Thinking and often times when I did decide to contribute to the discussion, of course I noticed the glares around the room because of my British accent. Did I dare to speak? Yes I did dare because if there is a point of discussion or a question that arrived it must be attended to. After all this is what the institution of Education is about. To be able to think, ponder, question, learn and grow etc. I was sad to learn about the brutal histories.
In the same sense I remember taking a human rights course. In this course we were talking about "race" and "racial identity". It was interesting because the Professor was "White" She herself talked about how it felt as a white woman to learn about the brutal experiences of people of colour. And similar to my experience sitting in the lecture hall she too felt this sadness. In the case of the Professor it was about coming to terms with racist ancestors. It was an type of "unpacking" of these histories that she had to go thorough at the psychological / emotional level. She did not want to be a contributing member of her own racist past histories. She was successful because she would not teach a human rights if these histories did not unsettle her.
When we think of harsh histories it is easy to become defensive, it is. We must think of these as learning mechanisms and simply say "yes OK" these histories have happened. I am not happy about these. Now what can we do to prevent these from happening or re - occurring in the same sense as they have done? If we think through this lens there is no offense from the perspective of the reader and the writer. It is a process of learning together.
As much as these histories have passed, It does not mean that issues of race don't continue to crop up. Today we see these in the form of terror attacks. Or we can see these almost everyday in the form of shootings. Who are the victims? Primarily we see these to be persons of colour/, "Black" men. And what happens? These shootings are justified over and over again by the police officers who are "White" These shootings are more than just killings. These are revelations of deeper systemic issues that concern "race". These could in a sense be a simple modern day type of genocide. When innocent individuals of colour are shot. It is not just the 1 person who suffers it is an entire generation. A family, a wife, a sister, a brother, a son. Deeper questions arise, especially for those who are people of colour. Racism hurts. It hurts. It is debilitating. Populations and societies suffer. Everyone is left to ponder and wonder about the force of police who is opening fire so frequently to kill and shoot, should this be the last resolution, to shoot to kill? To the degree of the seriousness of the situation, yes maybe so. But the recent shootings have simply left societies openly questioning the shootings in Falcon Heights and the killing of Alton Sterling. These are just two cases that have left societies questioning, pondering and openly thinking. Who are they protecting? Whose interests are being protected? Were these shots necessary? And again we think about the weapon of the gun that is being used as though it is a reality T.V game show or a video game come to life.
Stop The Violence
I wrote the above thoughts on July 7th 2016. Since then we have witnessed more shootings. The killings of police officers in Dallas Texas. These were officers who were present during a protest of the shootings of Alton Sterling and Falcon Heights. These were 5 "white" police officers who were killed in the line of duty. These shootings too have left communities wondering and pondering again. Just because these were Police officers it does not mean that they did not have family. They too had family, once again, a generation has suffered. A mother, a brother, a sister, a wife, friends, family.
These killings have stirred up thoughts as if they were a pay back for the killings of "black" lives. Maybe yes, maybe no. But we have to take a moment and think. If as a society we are saying that All lives Matter then why were the killings of Alton Sterling or those of Falcon Heights left as pondering's whilst there were moments of silence, lowering of flags for the officers. We may say because these were police officer. Yes they were but they were also human beings just as the "black" men. These cultural conditioning's are simply a lens to show how in this modern day how we value one life over another based on skin colour does and still happens. This is a sad truth for the year of 2016.
Alton Sterling Shooting In Baton Rouge - The New York Times
A Killing A Pointed Gun, And Two Black Lives, Witnessing - The New York Times
Five Dallas Officers Were Killed As Pay - Back Police Chief Says - The New York Times
Thoughts to reflect
As much as we have learned these harsh histories and also the brutal killings that continue. Ask yourself what kind of world do you want your children to grow up in? What is everyone trying to prove. In the insanity of proving what - Everyone is loosing sanity. Think for a moment of the homeless, the one that does not have much, but still lives a life in gratitude. What are we trying to prove, when we have issues such as poverty and illness that should be tended to. Lets focus on the issues that really matter.
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to the lives lost. All lives matter. All lives matter. And to the ones who have suffered through our histories. Let us pledge to use these as learning mechanisms to create a better today and tomorrow for the future generations. My thoughts to share with love and kindness.
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand - written on July 7th 2016 and amended on July 10th 2016.
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Our thoughts, to invite and inspire. With Love & kindness. :)