Peace is for p*ssies?
Lawd... it keeps comin' today...
A friend said this to me as we were talking about whether or not all humans are ‘really human’ and if some aren’t, should we wish hell, damnation, or some other harm on them:
“What, then, is your response to these two murders? Would singing Kumbaya with the officers make Black lives matter? All snark aside, I really would like to know what you think we should do since over 2,000 people have been killed by police since Ferguson and it's not been two years yet.”
To this, I responded… [names have been changed for privacy]
Check out the recent post on my wall... let me know if that helps answer the question of one of the things I would do... :-) But let me also offer this…
Just because I refuse to hate, still consider everyone a being of light, and won't wish harm upon anyone doesn't mean my only plan of action is “singing kumbaya.”
I've spent and continue to spend way too much money and time educating myself to be that reductionist. I was raised by freedom fighters who worked with the Black Panther Party and Civil Rights movements. My mother, my family couldn't sit at the front of the bus, James. Erecting the strawman of "singing kumbaya" is a bit oversimplified and exaggerated, don'tcha think?
I practice love & peace as a choice, not because I don't know when or how to kick ass. To everything there is a season, you of anyone knows this. I also know that fire brings more fire. Pain brings more pain. Meting out death as a punishment leads to more death and absolutely no understanding of the fundamental problem, which means it will recur. I think it’s very dangerous to conflate justice with revenge.
Kumbaya.... yeah, we need someone or something to come by here soon and start using some logic to think and then act our way out of this. Oops! That’s our responsibility.
What we are seeing now is generations of compacted bullshit and wrong-headedness that we now all have to unravel - together. Black folks have been saying since the great enslavement that the proverbial chickens would one day come home to roost and America would have to atone for its 'sins.' Welp... here they are. There will be no silver bullet, there will be no magic potion. We need many, many solutions to come forward, because we'll need to use them all to untangle every level of this problem that has now grown bigger than anyone could have imagined. One of my thoughts towards solution is on my wall… what about you? I would like to hear one of yours, too. We need everyone’s well-deliberated thoughts and deeply-considered action. All of it, from everyone. Now.
Exclusion is part of the mentality that has brought this sickness on. Humankind is mind/heart sick from this game of superiority we've been playing for so long. This game can be seen in any organization of folks you can think of in Western culture (from families, to schools, to churches, to companies, to governments, etc. … it’s all there to be seen). At this point, we are all culpable. And, what I learned from my brothers on death row... we all are also capable of heinous inhumanity – every single one of us. No one is exempt. I go with Gandhi on this one as he has said, "we are all such sinners I think it best to leave judgement up to god." But, this also means that we are all capable of the greatest compassion – every single one of us. No one is exempt.
If there is anything we can learn from history, it’s that we don’t seem to learn from history. Germany should have shown the world once and for all what this type of thinking leads to. Hell, the US should have learned from the great enslavement that this type of divisionist thinking leads to ever greater violence, societal pressure, civil unrest, & dis-ease. But we didn’t… and now our Western brand of bigotry and ignorance has had time to mature… and our own blood is on all of our heads. Through all of our insanity, we still haven’t learned the power and depth of “we.” We are in this together, whether we like it or the people in it or consider them human or not. My folks were once considered sub-human, James. Still are, apparently. So, I think that type of ideology has played itself out, don’t you? Whether you say “your actions” or “your skin” make you non-human, it doesn’t matter. Dehumanization, thing-ification is the result. And you know what ‘they’ say… accusing another says more about the accuser than the accused. What about yourSelf have you forgotten to think anything in this Creation doesn’t belong here? that any human being is less than human? What rostrum do you inhabit that has your view so high above the rest of us? I, for one, will stand with humanity. All of it. Even the parts I wish weren’t here. Because in that way, I learn more about mySelf. I am not separate from this world; I came out of it just like apples on a tree. But unlike apples, you can’t just throw away humans you don’t want…oh…sorry we’re already trying that in our industrialized prison ‘system.’
This world is my very body. The whole human race is my home for just a little while. I am committed to leaving it better than I found it… through love. S’that too kumbaya for you? No worries. I don’t require agreement or approval. I know what I have seen/experienced that works and what definitely doesn’t.
So, we can continue to think that we can cut off our nose to spite/revenge/punish our face and that way "get rid of" the problem of human violence and oppression ... or we stop playing this game of pain and one-upmanship. Or...
When you’re really tired of the game… you find a way to stop playing. Let’s find all the ways we can stop playing this game.
Thank you for this lively interlocution, J. So much love!
And that was that. The conversation will continue...