"Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up." - James Baldwin
June 25, 2020
One month ago today, George Floyd died in police custody. A bystander recorded his life literally being choked out of him as an officer knelt on his neck for nearly 8 minutes. This isn't anything new. I could list name after name of Black people killed by police and, after a couple days of outrage, nothing happens. But, this time is different. Is it because we're in the middle of pandemic that has taken the lives of 125,000 (to date)? Is it because we've been confined to our homes for nearly three months? Apparently, this is what it takes for white America to listen?
"Love is a battle"
Let's be honest, the battle has been ongoing for more than 400 years. But, when the video of George Floyd's murder was released, people became outraged. Since that day, there have been protests around the world, counter protests, buildings set ablaze, confederate statues removed, peaceful protestors teargassed and shot with rubber bullets, police arrested, Mrs. Butterworth's and Cream of Wheat rebranding, confederate flags, buildings, schools and military bases renamed or removed, talks of police reform (aka "defund the police), Black Lives Matter painted on the street by the White House and renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza, talks of defunding the police, white supremacists emboldened and the term "Karen" became mainstream. All while an inept president stokes the flames of hate daily.
"Love is a war"
I have seen the good, bad, and the ugly as people take sides, share their feelings and reflect on what they truly believe. I've watched my husband struggle to find the words to express his outrage. I've watched my daughter struggle with how to deal with racism in the workplace. How to deal with the little black square they posted in support of Black Lives Matter when, Black lives don't matter. I've watched business leaders release generic statements of support (noted), say nothing at all (noted), fuck up, listen and genuinely take steps to be better (also noted). I've watched my mother somehow become a victim in all of this and block me on social media (leaving this here for now). I've devoured posts, threads, books. I've been silent for days and had deep conversations on others. I've stayed in bed for days and worked non-stop on others. I've withheld food some days and binged on others. I have felt complete and utter hopelessness, and bursts of joy, as I allow hope to creep in to those dirty, dark old familiar places.
"Love is a growing up"
In reflection, I have been overwhelmed with the need to do more and also frozen in fear. I realize that I need help processing my feelings, but, help from who? My list of reasons of who I cannot trust has only been amplified.
I will start where I know how. My business. I have felt for a very long time that I should separate iCelebrateDiversity and Diversity Beans. I will put my energy there and trust that time will reveal the rest.
"Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does."
It's a journey that reveals new things every day. My only goal is to keep showing up.
(Photo credit: YES! Magazine)
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