Hands Up: Our Silent Cry

hands up

I look upon the civil rights issues we face as a country today in regards to police brutality and am thankful that there is such a heightened awareness. I appreciate, even more so, the restlessness-turned-to-action during a time in my life where I care about the events that are going on around me.

Just a few days ago I was a part of my first protest march in Columbus, Ohio. As we marched, the rhythmical chanting matched with the number of belting voices created a spark in my soul. While displaying the vulnerable, yet opposing, Hands Up gesture, I wanted to cry, chant louder, and hug somebody as my spirit needed a constant outlet to escape the limits of my physical self. It was a blessing to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. One march-leader mentioned that we may not change anything, but we at least have the knowledge that there is a community who stands with our beliefs. That stood out as powerful to me. Although there may be things that we cannot control, the fact that there is a brother or sister next to us makes us fight for hope anyways.

But still, as I look around me, I see so much hurt. There is a searing pain within communities and individuals. A pain that the media is preying upon in order to emerge a racial divide in our nation that many of us have previously laid claim to be oblivious to: black versus white.

No matter how much we evolve and age as a country, we are not beyond a post racial society, nor will we ever be. Our society is founded on diverse races, cultures, ethnicities, worldviews, etc. The fact that we are a racial society is one of the reasons that make this country as strong as it is. The knowledge that is shared amongst peoples is so rich compared to so many homogenized societies, why would we want to act like we are past that?

Like a strong marriage, or any significant relationship, there will be historical baggage that creates a rage towards the differences of the other; however, that anger does not stop one from finding love for the other because, ultimately, each individual knows they are a better soul as a result of their counterpart. Likewise, we as a nation are better because of our diversity, and we cannot let the justice system or the media skew our perception of our strength as a unit as they emphasize the differences between us.

This is not to say that we should not be angry. We should. But we should be angry at the right thing and the right people. Too many individuals are angry and frustrated with their peers of another demographic: blacks angry because whites just don’t understand their struggle while whites angry because blacks are just finding another thing to complain about. These frustrations are legitimate to the people who hold them, and quite possibly there will never be a time in which cultures will fully understand each other. However, there is a larger crisis than the race issue: higher authority figures are killing unarmed human beings in our communities.

I just saw a clip today where a male cop punched a woman in the face for little reason and broke her eye socket! As KRS One said, “You [Police] were put here to protect us, but who protects us from you?” With the system that we are currently living under, none of us are safe. One may think it’s the problem of a specific demographic until the system’s unjust structure affects you, your home, and your family.

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