|| HUMAN ||

I'm not sure how much you know or don't know.

I'm not sure if you turn off the TV because you just can't stomach it or because you don't care. I don't know if you have conversations with your friends or with the barista who makes your drink at whatever coffee shop you frequent because you’re just trying to find anyone who will remind you, that despite what you hear…it’s important.

Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, it’s quite unlikely that you have been able to completely ignore the way this world has currently been screaming out for a desperate and unmistakable need for change.

Up until this point, I have sat quietly. Inhaling and exhaling every article, every hashtag and social media record of protests all over the world. Tears have inevitably and uncontrollably fallen. I can’t pretend that I have much knowledge of justice systems, how they should or shouldn’t function. I don't know much about what each state considers a crime or how they go about handling it. I can’t pretend to be an expert on laws or anything of the sort…

But I do know this,

I do know that recently lives have been lost. Lives that for some reason aren’t always considered worth caring about. Lives have been lost and the grief being felt in response to them, continues to be swept under a that’s-just-the-way-life-goes kind of rug.

Like I said, I don’t know enough about laws and how the criminal system works enough to write a blog post spewing my views on all the twisted ways our world seems to function sometimes. And perhaps that’s the reason you’ve sat in the corner and covered your ears, because you don’t understand and you never will or because it has “nothing to do with you” but you’re wrong.

Because you’re a human with warm blood and the gift of life in your lungs, as am I and so were those who are no longer here on this earth.

 Despite what color is nestled in your skin, there is an alarming consistency between all of us; we’re all human. We bleed, we love, we hurt, we live, we breathe, we make mistakes and we all die eventually. There is nothing, ethnic or historical background no matter how different they may be, that can ever deny this human thread.

So what? You might be wondering.

Give me your opinions on who was wrong and who was right.

Let me know your distinct view on what was justice and what was not.

That’s not what I’m writing about.

I’m writing about how I feel that my skin color and who I am according to my cultural check mark, seems as if it is entirely more obvious than it was just a few months ago.

I cannot deny that hearing someone declare, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe” while his faced was pressed into the ground, made my own heart stop and my stomach churn.

I cannot not deny the numerous pictures and statements of a family who just wants to grieve without the rest of the world telling them who their loved one was or wasn’t.

I cannot deny that hearing about young African American boys lives being at stake automatically makes me think of my own nine-year old brother. His skin is a beautiful rich brown, much darker than my own. He is taller than a nine year old should be and has ears like my father, wrestles like a teenager and still is unashamed to cuddle with his sisters sometimes.

I cannot deny that the man whose blood runs through my own veins is a 6 foot something red boned African American male who I call my father. He seems alarming at first but is the most physical representation of safety that I know to be true.

These two large parts of my heart, family tree and sense of security, are who I call home and I cannot pretend that my heart does not shatter when I think about how they could be swept under a that’s-just-the-way-life-goes kind of rug. Outside of the two of them, there are many younger and older men who my heart hurts for because somehow this world and its corrupt and unjust tendencies looks as though they’re on its hit list. I don’t nor will I ever understand.

I’m not going to argue with you through twitter or comment soapbox opinions on your Facebook.

I’m not going to give you an opinion on judicial matters, my views on police and their jobs, I’m not going to tell you who is wrong and who is right.

I am going to beg that you refuse to remain complacent.

I am going to ask you to keep your eyes open and be aware.

Be willing to learn even in the midst of being uncomfortable.

Refuse to remain ignorant because there is already too much of that anyway.

I’m calling you to be in prayer, even if that’s not necessarily what you do.

This world definitely needs all the little whispers up to heaven it can get.

I guess I’m just asking that you actually feel something.

That instead of recklessly spewing your opinions in ways that just contribute to tension and hate, I don’t know…I guess I just want you to remind this world that yeah, this sucks. This is a horrible and strange time that doesn’t make any sense.

But there’s hope? Gosh, I have to hold onto little glimpses of hope. Because my father is not just another number. My little brother is not just another little black boy. None of them are. None of them should be.

This is not an attempt to make anyone feel guilty. This is not a black woman raging her anger.

But if it was any of those things… for someone who is grieving, confused, lost and perhaps quite angry, those emotions are theirs to have.

There are so many realities that contribute to this seemingly hopeless, desolate time in our communities, our world. One of them is coming back to the simple and very evident factor; these are human lives. These are people. Best friend, Neighbor, Co-worker, Brother, Pastor, relative or simply another face out of the millions you see each day.

In the midst of it all…I can only pray for hope.

For little glimpses that a future brighter than this is on the horizon or at least somewhere because we need that, my God do we need that.

Please don’t pretend these stories are far off from you. That somehow you won't be affected by this in some way.

You’re human, they’re human. Something that shouldn’t have to ever be a reminder.

But I suppose for now, it absolutely does.

Here are a few links to educate yourself on what’s going on. If anyone else has any feel free to share in the comments below in a healthy, positive and insightful way.