I am struggling this week. I’m not angry or sad, but “I’m feeling some type of way.” An indescribable kind of way. It’s 2021, I’m in my 65th year on the earth, and race, violence, terror, and hatred continue to dominate too many conversations.
Too many random killings. Too many senseless acts of somebody having a bad day. Too many people dying because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Too many parents weeping and wailing over their dying children. I cannot and won’t call what I’m feeling outrage because that doesn’t heal those who are suffering from the senseless deaths of eight people in Georgia March 16. I cannot wrap my mind around Asian citizens being targeted, mistreated, and killed simply because of who they are.
I just read an article by a friend, an African American pastor who was serving in a predominately Caucasian congregation and living in the church parsonage. As he was heading home on his bike, he was stopped by the police. The officers told him a neighbor said there was a suspicious African American man and since they’d had some burglaries, they should investigate.
At the next homeowners’ meeting, my friend asked when they started racial profiling in the neighborhood. Some neighbors were appalled that he thought the police call was racially motivated. The Presbyterian pastor-neighbor made the call but apologized profusely. He said if my friend had been Caucasian and riding his bike, he wouldn’t have given him a second thought.
That story reminded me of similar incidents that happened when we were one of two African American families in the neighborhood. Nobody called the police, but I got lots of friendly questions when I went walking.
After the highly publicized deaths of George Floyd and too many others, the $27 million settlement in the Breonna Taylor case, after continued differences in racial treatment in arrests, expectations, language, explanations, and conversations about whose lives matter most—black or blue–I thought surely we would be in a different place, yet here I am, heartsick and speechless with a deep need to scream until the foolishness stops or until someone helps me understand how any of this makes sense.
Today, I am begging people of good will, those who love justice, equity, and fairness, to stand up, to speak up, to challenge the hatred and chaos that seem destined to take us over. We really are better than this. We must say hating and hurting people because of their color, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and diverse thoughts is wrong on every level. We must work all day, every day, to show mercy, love kindly and walk humbly with our Creator.
Together we can heal our nation and our world. Together we can be the catalyst for change our world so desperately needs. As spring blossoms all around us, let us let today be the last day we tolerate strife and disorder, chaos, and intolerance.
I dream a world where we build bridges of hope and love–then hate will flee like the morning dew. I dream a world where peace is as common as the air we breathe, a world where no child goes to bed hungry or homeless.
I dream a world where all people are treasured and cared for like the precious gems they are. I dream a world where dignity and respect come as naturally as spring follows winter, but I can’t dream alone.
Today I will wake and do all I can to stop this warring madness. Will you join me? Give a shout out at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.