Friday, July 8, 2016

Please see color right now.

I am white. I was raised to believe that there was no difference between white people and black people. I thought that we shouldn't see color. I tried not to see color. But it isn't possible. We need to stop saying that we don't see color, white people. Because our mouths might say that but our actions do NOT say that. This week we have seen the fatal shootings of two black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castille. 

The country is in an uproar and it is too late to stand up for injustice toward them and COUNTLESS others just like them. But it isn't too late to stand up for other black people who are still alive and living in confusion and fear. 
When I say "Black lives matter" I don't mean that anyone's life DOESN'T matter. Just as when I say that I hate cancer, I don't mean that I love all the other diseases instead. Or better yet, when I was grieving about having breast cancer, if I had said to you "I hate breast cancer." And you said to me,"well, lots of people have cancer and I hate cancer." I would have been hurt by your callousness because instead of looking at me as an individual and seeing my specific hurt, your statement would have been dismissing me and lumping me in with a crowd. 
I get it. It's a protective maneuver in some ways. Acknowledge so much hurt as a general whole, feel helpless about it and so say "Oh well, there is nothing I can do. It's too big for me." 
But when I had cancer, I needed people to look me in my eyes and cry with me and say "I hate YOUR KIND OF CANCER. BREAST CANCER. I hate THAT KIND for YOU. Specifically FOR YOU."
People, there is a SPECIFIC group of people hurting, grieving, angry, confused, and afraid. 
We need to be telling those SPECIFIC people that their lives matter. Don't lump their lives into other groups of lives. We all get it. Lives matter. Right now though, BLACK lives matter. 
If your son or daughter was bullied and felt like their life didn't matter, would you tell them to quit whining because if you are alive, bully or bullied, your life matters? Even if you are a mediocre parent, I would wager to bet that NO YOU WOULD NOT! You would tell them, "YOU matter! YOU MATTER TO ME! I see your hurt and I'm telling you that if anything happened to you, it would hurt me DEEPLY. YOU MATTER.
Friends, let's look at our black brothers and sisters. Not lumped into a people group with no color, but let's see them for who they are. Hurt people who have beautiful dark skin, and have the same souls as anyone else. We all know that. But let's say it. Let's do MORE than that. 
Let's speak up and try to change the minds of those who stick their heads in the sand so they won't have to feel.
Let's stand up and say "This is WRONG."
Let's pick up our phones and call those who represent us and beg them to take this issue seriously in our government. (Visit to find your representatives.)
Let's get out of our safe zones and hug someone who might personally feel this hurt. 
Let's look at individuals who are black, in the eyes, and tell them that we love them and that we are sorry. That we are sorry for not doing it sooner. For not seeing their color. For not recognizing their pain and their fear. For not walking with them through it. 
I just can't watch this any longer without speaking up. 

Also, about Dallas, I am so so sad. I don't want to dismiss it at all. I am sad for the police officers who were injured and killed and for their families. That shouldn't have happened. There is nothing to say that can brighten the darkness of this week in America. And personally I think we need to sit in this darkness and think about the state of our hearts before we open our eyes again. And when we do, let's target our love towards our black brothers and sisters. Let's target our love towards our black police men and women - who are feeling DOUBLE the hurt. Let's target our love towards the people in the police force who take their vows seriously to serve and protect the lives in their community. 

Don't make excuses.
Don't place blame if you are not willing to place it on yourself. 

Do make a stand.
Do make a call.
Do teach your children.
Do pray and pray and pray. 

To my black friends and my black nephew: God sees your color. He saw it when He made you and he made you in His image. And He looked at you and loved you and said OUT LOUD that his beautiful creation was  "VERY good."

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