Gotta Do Something by Chellyz View

Black woman screaming

Gotta Do Something by Chellyz View

I would be telling a story, but I guess this is what blogging is about telling stories. Right?  Anyway, I would be telling a story if I told you I was feeling like a Champ and everything smelled like fresh roses.  From social injustice, police brutality, crime in the neighborhoods, COVID-19, systematic oppression, overcoming depression damn…. I just got exhausted typing this all!!!  Last week, it felt as if the walls were caving in on me.  I was pissed.  I was angry.  I was suffocating.  Mentally a Sistah was weak.  I was about to faint.

Lately, the whole world has been in an uproar.  Daily marches and protests, virtual meetings, and discussions, social media flooded with feelings of frustration, and the news chatters of another incident, another death, and another life lost too soon.  This pain is piercing like the nails of a crucifixion.  I heard the squeals of a mother on repeat who is saddened by losing a child.  I saw the tears of children who are grieving because they keep trying to comprehend why their momma, daddy, or someone they cared about won’t be returning home. I experienced the hopelessness from families, friends, and the community losing their grasp because they are too weak to keep holding on from the attacks we face as a Black race.

warrior

This struggle started before I was pushed out of my momma’s womb.  Racism, poverty, and discrimination have been causing labor pains before my great, great, great, and let me add another great grandmomma even graced the earth. Heroin, Crack, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, broken homes, and gunfire have plagued these streets like the Bubonic wreaking mad havoc.  The stench is strong.  As soon as the black community gets a whiff of what it feels like to be stable the Earth shakes and knocks us down on our backs.  There’s smoke everywhere and it ain’t from the riots. We are being smothered by hate, destruction, and violence.

Though I felt weary last week, I know I “Gotta Do Something!”  So, from time to time I must power down.  I haven’t participated in any protests or marches but that doesn’t mean I won’t do anything.  Many of us have been doing what we can for a long time.  The weight of the cries, heavy hearts, and sorrows cannot be carried alone.  We all “Gotta Do Something” in our own time and in our own way.  We volunteer.  We speak.  We pray. We donate.  We organize.  We move.  We are always moving in hopes of better days, better tomorrows, better years, better decades, and better centuries.

I ain’t giving up but every now again I must pause so I can contribute to the cause. Your actions may be subtle or you may attack the issues while roaring like a lion.  Either way do something. Yes!  You “Gotta Do something!”

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

“Today’s Amerikkka” by Butch Ford

Amerikka

“Today’s Amerikkka” by Butch Ford

Today, I experienced something very disturbing and disheartening.  My own personal bout with racism.  We’ve all read about it, have seen it in the headlines, and watched live posts on social media.  But the feeling is totally different when you go through it personally.

Initially I was startled…followed by feelings of disbelief, confusion and then extreme rage.  I quickly remembered I was at work, as I gathered myself.  But couldn’t believe it was happening to me.  Mind you, I drive commercially for our region’s primary suburban transportation service.  And I had just finished dropping off a passenger at his home in a modest subdivision in an older neighborhood in Farmington, MI.  I parked at the end of the block to review my paperwork and to go over some notes when I noticed an elderly Caucasian man in my rear view mirror backing out of his driveway a few houses away.

I didn’t pay it much attention because I was working and minding my job-related business.  He pulled alongside of my vehicle, gestured for me to roll my window down and demanded that I leave immediately.  He said I wasn’t allowed to park on the street.  I looked away while halfheartedly replying “okay.”  He obviously wasn’t pleased with my response and lack of compliance.  So, he angrily pulled into the next driveway, turned around and headed back towards me.  He got my attention once again and informed me that if I wasn’t gone in 10 minutes that he’d call the police.  I told the gentleman that I was a commercial driver parked on a public road.  And although not obligated to, I reiterated that I had just dropped a passenger off and had every right to be there.  Besides…I wasn’t breaking any laws.  He again yelled angrily and aggressively, “I don’t care!  You can’t park here!  Leave now or I’m calling the police!”  What was the root of his anger?  I’m still not quite sure.  My vehicle was marked and visibly distinguished who my employer was.  I wasn’t making any noise or disturbing the peace, nor was I bothering anyone.  The only conclusion I could draw was that this man didn’t want anyone African American in his neighborhood any longer than they had to be.

Professionalism outweighed all personal feelings at the time.  Thank God.  Because things could have taken an ugly turn.  I thought back to my grandparents and the stories they told me of entitlement, inequality, social injustice and other similar instances.  I remember their deep disdain crystal clear.  But as a child I didn’t fully understand.  Maybe I wasn’t meant to at that time.  And for decades things seemed to have taken a more positive swing.  At least here in the north.  I don’t recall ever being a target of anyone’s prejudices, but it was extremely unpleasant to say the least.

Throughout the day as I reflected on this incident, I felt a myriad of other feelings.  Sadness, shame and pity came to mind.  I thought about the younger generation and the things that they will have to endure in their lifetime.  Especially with the climate of today’s society and the insensitivity of the world today.  Yet again…I’m back to the same question…what can we do to make it better?  Things must change!  I want to see my kids and grand baby grow up to live happy and productive lives.  “Today’s America” is not what our forefathers fought and died for.  I have stronger thoughts and opinions regarding this occurrence, but they’re better left unsaid at the time.

Thanks for taking a second to listen,

 

Butch Ford

 

Photo Cred:  Matthis Volquardsen from Pexels