I did not think the day would come that I would sit down to a computer and commiserate about the realities of being demeaned and dehumanized as a part of a community. My upbringing afforded me opportunities to be in psuedo-diverse settings that lied about me having equal standing with my counterparts. Truthfully, I thought that the concept was true until many experiences proved that it was a well-thought out lie.
As I am now a husband and father, I have two distinct responsibilities to accomplish daily. One, I must teach my son a complete scope of the world at large. Two, come home in one piece every night. With the continued exposure of brutality, political abuse, and lack of decency, my wife deals with the worry of me being caught in the cross hairs of unsavory people called to protect and serve. My son is now aware that some police officers do mean harm to the innocent. My mind is always considering what might occur if I am compliant with no cameras to prove my innocence.
Many people in our American context have taken to heart the need to fashion this country according to a convoluted perspective of greatness. Greatness for this nation is not measured by the ability to differ in thoughts or ideas with the goal of reaching balance, equality, and equity. However, people believe that the greatness of this nation is rooted in the disenfranchisement of groups of people.
The United States of America, in general, is the most proficient country in deflecting important issues in the world. We have entities that refuse to address the problems that are presented in our society. We have individuals who drink the punch that contains misinformation, lies, and manipulation. We are exposed to people who refuse to use love as a guidepost to treat their neighbor with respect and dignity.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are existing in a world that calls the teaching and works of Jesus socialist and leftest, while attempting to establish capitalism, wealth, and bigotry as the Trinity. It amazes me that we have become a community of people unwilling to address the issues that divide and extract the root cause of the division. We would rather find ways to get rid of the conversation than tell the truth. The truth is maligned people are not valued in this construct of a country.
Consider history for a moment. People with an immigration problem should take a step back and consider that this country was established with an immigration issue. Native people welcomed strangers from a foreign land. The foreigner only knowing imperial rule did not have the capacity to understand that being welcomed did not mean overtaking or gentrifying a land that was not their own. However, a nation of Native Americans have now been confined to small pieces of a country that they respected and cherished.
Consider the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. The wealth of the nation was not established by sheer determination. Wealth was built on the lack of labor overhead for the Southern economic strategy. Slavery was the most profitable enterprise in the country. An initial investment of a male and female slave could potential produce a supply of new slaves with no extra cost and possible financial gain down the line. Establishing that the C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) Principle outweighs the physical, mental, and emotional anguish of families being compromised on every level.
For all the surface gains that have been made, this nation has devolved into the foundation that made it horrific for so many years. People in this nation have had to yell, scream, record, and stream evidence that inequity is still present. We have scraped in order for people to acknowledge our existence as a whole person not just 3/5th or non existent (read the constitution). Now people want to prove that white supremacy, classism, sexism, and bigotry will be the formula to propel our republic into a new era of enlightenment and prosperity.
So here we are. Sports leagues willing to take away pay from players if they do not stand at attention for a flag that was not involved in the life of the game accept for the last decade at the expense of the Department of Defense. A league continues to monetize an issue at the expense of soldiers who fight for the country and players who desire to see the nation achieve the greatest form of its potential.
Here we are. Black men and women regardless of socio-economic class are still being shown that melaninized skin is a sign of evil. We cannot sleep in a study room because our intelligence causes fear. We cannot eat in certain establishments because it ruins the class of clientele that show up (even though Waffle House is definitely not IHOP). We can not worship God in the beauty of holiness because people have made the Gospel a suggestion, Jesus a symbol of colonizers, and Bible a weapon oppression.
The Bible I read promotes people of color as significant to the story line of redemption. The Gospel I preach addresses the empowerment of the maligned, the dismantling of injustice, and the welcoming of all to encounter the love of God. The Christ I serve is concerned with the wealth of the soul, strength of the spirit, and the efficient management of every blessing given.
But you know something? I get it. My worth to you is only about profit. Our worth to you is only about profit. So, I suggest that all who have faced the difficulty and challenges of being dehumanized and devalued reclaim the value of your dignity. Do not give anyone room to meet the “profit margin” on the back of your existence. Bankrupt the cycle by reclaiming your integrity and value.