I honestly don't even know where to begin. I think I have typed and deleted my opening sentence about three hundred times now. Also, I think I have stared at a blank screen for about thirty minutes. So, I think my aforementioned statement is a true reflection of how I feel right about now. My thoughts and feelings are all over the place. I’m mad, I'm sad, I'm disappointed, but I am also motivated and inspired. What I mean by that, is while a Trump presidency is one of the worst things to happen to this country, it made me feel feelings I have never felt before. When I sat and reflected on this year, specifically this election, I felt a sense of renewed purpose. It showed me that we have work to do. It showed me that the progress that America has made, if it has made any, was only temporary at best. It’s going to take education, it’s going to take unity, it’s going to take sacrifice of time, it’s going to take love, it’s going to take God. We may never see the full progression of America in our lifetime, but to know that I have left it in a better place than I found it, is more than enough for me to feel as though I lived a purposeful life. So, instead of asking how/why Donald Trump was elected, or feeling sorry or helpless as a people, let’s do more! I don't have all the answers, but I wanted to touch on a few things that I think could help.
Social Media Activism vs. Real Activism
If you were like me, or any socially aware millennial, (I hate that term btw) you were tuned into the circus also known as social media, where everyone either majored in Political Science or African American studies. I witnessed people who probably went to a Malcom X middle school, where they were required to read a James Baldwin book, act as if they're Cornell West. Look, I’m here for all of my “woke” brotha’s and sista’s. My problem is that it stops with the status updates and retweets. These individuals urge people to vote, but they themselves don’t vote. They talk about uplifting and teaching, but haven't done anything but retweet Shaun King or Deray. We should be in the streets of our communities donating our time, teaching, and mentoring the youth. Change starts with the youth. They are the next leaders. They need exposure. They need less Cardi B’s, and more Michelle’s. They need to know that we care.
For whatever reason, we have the hardest time, as a people, getting on the same page. My biggest pet peeve with us is the self hate we have for each other. I have seen way too many people putting down, or belittling othersjust because they aren’t as educated on how the voting process works as they are. I challenge you, instead of talking down on your fellow brother or sister, use it as a coaching and development opportunity. I think we have developed this elitist attitude, where we think because we have material possessions, and have obtained a certain level of success that we are better than others who haven't reached that level. Let me be the first to hit you with a quote by a famous philosopher by the name of Kanye West who once said, “Even if you in a Benz, you still a nigga in a coupe.” I say that to say, it doesn't matter how much money or status you obtain, you will never be seen as an equal to them. We also need to get on the same page as it relates to police killings. I heard someone say, “You need to not resist arrest, and just do what the police say and you will be ok”. I wonder if you asked Philando Castile’s girlfriend what happened after he complied, and did what the officer told him to do, what her response would be. We have to stop having this house nigga mentality. Last but not least, our Black lives matter. Stop letting the media feed you the narrative that we as black people don't care about our lives, because if we did then there would be no black on black crime. Now, I'm not naive to think we don't have problems in our community that need immediate attention, but I wasn'tborn last night either. You would have to be a dumb ass not to factor in geography and basic demographics. Of course black on black crimes happen, just like white on white, or brown on brown crimes happen. It’s based on population clusters. We need to stop with the self hate, the colorisim, the elitist attitudes and find a way to unify.
Educate Yourself When Voting
It’s one thing to vote, it’s another thing to be an educated voter. On twitter, I saw someone say they voted for Hillary, but after that they just selected the most blackest sounding names on the ballot. At first I thought it was funny, then I wondered how many people might actually be doing that. You have to know who is on the ballot and what they stand for. If you don't educate yourself you're not only doing yourself a disservice, but you're doing your community one as well.
Put God First
You have to put God first and have faith, but also we have to put the work in to yield the results we want. We can’t just be out here praying and hoping for the best. That’s like asking God for an A on an exam, but not actually studying. Take it from someone whose transcripts are a direct result of praying and not studying. I’ll be the first to tell you that’s not the move at all.
Like I said, I don't have all the answers, but I know that I have a platform with the BMG. If I don't use it I'm just adding to the problems. I usually don't write lengthy posts, but I felt compelled to say something. I just want to leave you with this: we have work to do.