It is my turn to speak out against the recent death of George Floyd and many other innocent black men, but one thing you must know first is that I refuse to meet hate at the door. For those who know me, you know that I already have a family background riddled with narrow-minded thinking. For those who don’t know me, take a peek at this TEDx talk to learn a little more.
The officer who killed George Floyd deserves to pay the price for taking his life. What he did was against the law and against morality. He showed a total disregard for human life. Justice must be served.
What is frustrating me now is how a few protesters are ruining everything for the bunch. I went to college for political science and then graduated from law school. I believe in the political process. I vote in elections, and I believe in the right to peaceful protest.
I have four children, three of whom are future black men. Frankly, I am afraid for them. For years now, my husband and I coach them on the “right” way to dress, speak, walk, and how to interact with law enforcement.
I am not naive. I was born into a family that hid me from their friends because I am black. Some might think that I should be angry about that. Because I believe in grace and forgiveness, I was able to thrive past that truth.
I am more angry about what continues to happen to black men, going on runs, walking down the street, resting in their homes.
Through it all, though, I refuse to meet hate at the door.
My mom taught me to never use the word, “hate” and, instead, use “dislike”, because hate is a very strong word. and it elicits negative thoughts and emotions that can cloud our judgement. She also told me that we should always take the higher ground, never stoop to someone else’s level, and to judge people by the content of their character. These teachings walk with me every day.
What teachings are walking with you? What teachings were walking with the officer responsible for George Floyd’s death?
George’s tragic death is a reminder for us all of how much we disregard human life and dignity, how we suffer from a lack of empathy for our fellow humans, and how much people hold negative perceptions of people with brown skin.
I know that last one all too well, but no matter what: I refuse to meet hate at the door.
I love my enemies and those who look down on me. Why? Because I know that much of how we show up is the filter we brought from our past. Ignorance is the fuel for racism and hatred. I know better. I will not let hate win the day!
What that officer did to George Floyd is a tragedy. It’s a scary reality for black men and their families. This reality is in our schools, our workplaces, and in our government.
I learned long ago that we are all fallible. We are all imperfect, but we must seek justice for the wronged and steer clear of hatred.
Let’s continue with peaceful protest. Let’s show up to the polls to vote in the primary and general elections. Let’s run for public offices. Let’s teach in our schools. Let’s make sure that we raise our children to respect human life, to believe in justice, and to forgive more than we remain angry.
I refuse to meet hatred at the door because we have a choice to step outside of anger and into a place of prayer, peace, and unity. We choose how we show up.
I am not a black man, but I am raising three future black men. I pray that when they grow up, they refuse to meet hate at the door.