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Don’t Be Distracted My Friends

 
Don’t be distracted my friends. Take a deep breath and remember your inherent goodness. I have seen many on social media envisioning 2021 would be better than 2020, and maybe this is a sign of a final breath. It’s not a final breath. This is a blatant, extremely excellent, horrific demonstration of white privilege. What would you be watching on TV if 1,000s of black bodies showed up, armed, breaking in windows and storming the capitol? Or 3,000 Muslims laid siege of the seat of our democracy while it was in session? Think about what you’d be seeing: hundreds more military and heavily armed SWAT teams, shooting and hand-to-hand combat and MANY more bloody bodies on the ground and running for their lives. AND would it still be happening hours later? Or would we be watching the “clean-up?”

Don’t be distracted my friends. Believe you are greater than you realize, you are more than know, and I got your back. We say we want an end to the structures, policies, systems, practices and beliefs that maintain oppression, inequality, violence – essentially our American caste system, so this is what the system does when it is threatened. Have we not seen that our history is a clear, tragic story showing us that privileged people and groups do not give up their privileges voluntarily? Let alone without resistance. Violent resistance is the norm in order to maintain their power and privilege.

Don’t be distracted my friends. Find someone you love and remind each other why you love each other. This isn’t all that unexpected when my nonviolent actions as a white anti-racist seek to create a crisis of sorts, and bring to life the creative tension that is necessary for one system to fail in order for a new one to emerge. As a white anti-racist, my work is to consistently confront white privilege, in all its permutations, to a point that it can no longer be ignored. Don’t ignore what you are seeing, please do not disengage. Be steadfast. Did you really expect anything less than a revolution to overthrow white privilege? May my actions of “overthrowing” oppression consistently be filled with revolutionary mercy, love and justice.

No one said deconstructing white privilege and our caste system would be gentle, nor without trouble. I just need to make good trouble.

Don’t be distracted my friends. I start with prayer, and invite you into a space of prayer as well, so that I may be an extreme nonviolent resister, guided by what I hold sacred. Let’s get our HOLY on! There is nothing wrong with my anger, frustration, rage, sadness, and every emotion that I might describe as violent discontent within me. But I remember the words of MLK, Jr., “…this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled through the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action.” So that is my work to continue. No one said deconstructing white privilege and our caste system would be gentle, nor without trouble – and sometimes reckless behavior and violence emerges by those we confront. I just need to make good trouble, to not be so quiet, but to make a little noise, to be a prophet of sorts. You do too.

Don’t be distracted my friends. Take heart, be hopeful, have faith. Stay the course, we have barely gotten started with our protests, education, and practices of antiracism. Keep using your energy for creative action, for extreme responses that will follow that arc toward a world of love and justice. As MLK, Jr. said, “So the question is not whether we will be extremist, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate, or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice, or will we be extremists for the cause of justice?” What we have been watching on TV, the insurrection and sedition we saw on January 6, 2021 is extremists for hate.

Any system that seeks to have one race oppress another race must be destroyed, and won’t change overnight. We are witnessing the roots of this system in broad daylight fighting for its life – don’t allow it to breathe.

Don’t be distracted my friends. There is a way of love, of reconciliation, because hate is too heavy a burden to bear any longer. Any system that seeks to have one race oppress another race must be destroyed, cannot be ignored, and won’t change overnight. We are witnessing the roots of this system in broad daylight fighting for its life – don’t allow it to breathe. Be strong, be persistent, seek out your own extreme, nonviolent actions. I have to believe another world is possible, that it is already emerging. In the words of John Lewis, “You have to believe and you can never, ever, give up on any possibility. It’s part of it, as I said, from the beginning. It’s already done.” We are finding a way to make it real and that includes ugliness. We are making a new world real, this is how it begins – if we don’t get distracted.

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