I have never had white friends. Not real ones. Every since I can remember I’ve always been drawn to what was comfortable for me. See another black girl in a new class? Go sit by her. Want to talk about what happened on BET last night? Run to the group at the lunch table to get the tea. Now this isn’t to say I couldn’t function in other groups. I feel like I am a very friendly person so I’ve always gotten along with everyone. Facebook friended them. Oh my gosh hey girl’d them. But when it came to who I trusted with my pain, my secrets, my life…they were black.
When I moved to Las Vegas last year I was forced to burst that bubble of security and form real relationships with people who didn’t look like me and I’ll be honest it was a challenge. I quickly began to learn that they too had never experienced real conversation and community with people who looked like me. It was sad to know that there is such a disconnect between people because they have now become some of my most valued friends.
Even still, this week has been one of the hardest weeks of my adult life because we have witnessed people of all races get murdered right before our eyes. I’ve seen so much hate and anger (including my own) on the blatant mistreatment of people like myself. I’ve seen people be silent (some of my friends) even though it has affected me to my core. It’s confusing. It’s hurtful.
But this morning I was reminded of my brave cousin, Thelma Mothershed, who was part of the Little Rock 9 in Arkansas. These nine students broke barriers in the nation and completely shifted the way African -Americans were able to experience an integrated education. How did she feel in times like this? Was she scared like me? What did she ask God for? Working with people of ALL races, she faced fear with courage and built a standard for my family that standing up for what you believe is always right. While I mourn the officers slain in my city of Dallas AND the beautiful black men that were also murdered, I came up with three things to give me hope and keep me focused on moving the world forward into peace and co-existence:
Stand Up For Your Beliefs
Say what you believe. Walk in what you believe. Live in what you believe. There are too many of us scared to live how we are. I was scared to wear my natural hair because I didn’t know how my white friends would take it. It’s so silly. There is always going to be someone who doesn’t agree with you but we have to stop thinking that being silent or RT’ing a hashtag is going to evoke real transformation. Be who you are. The people meant to love you will always love you and have your back.
Give Life Your All
No day is promised. I sit here in tears because I know that these events could have easily been a member of my family or my innocent 15-year-old brother. Life moves so fast. The time is now to live the way you have always dreamed. If you want to build homes in South Africa, go. If you loathe being in that relationship, leave. Life is too short to do the things we hate and the world needs people that are full of passion about what they believe. Please, I beg of you…start living today and stop surviving. And I give you my word to do the same.Life is too short to do the things we hate. The world needs people that are full of passion… Click To Tweet
Strive to Love and Understand Each Other
There is no change without acknowledgement. It’s time to have the conversation with all races, especially white ones, about the racial issues in our country. It’s time to hear each other out with respect and mend the broken ideologies that have been a result of the hatred and hurt of our generations. It’s time to start being uncomfortable and stop being cowards. It’s okay to talk about it. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT. We need to educate ourselves instead of sweeping these conversations under the rug. Loving people, despite of them is the best cure to any race cancer.Loving people, despite of them is the best cure to any race cancer. Click To Tweet
I still strongly stand with Black Lives Matter because I know that all lives can’t matter until we recreate the image of how my people are viewed. However, I have hope in this world because I have hope in Christ. I will continue to love everyone and not be afraid and if we all commit to doing the same, we can begin to walk in a chance for change. I love my black friends. I love my white friends. I love you too.