Black Out Tuesday

Seeing #blackouttuesday take over social media this morning of course immediately caught my attention and got me thinking. It put me in an internal bind. I honestly don’t feel like I need to post to my social media to show people what kind of person I am, or where I stand on the issues of police brutality and social oppression. I think this trend can be boiled down as a way to virtue signal to your followers. But, this is where my final decision comes in. I believe that the good in bringing attention to this movement outweighs my personal strife of someone judging me just by not posting a black square on my social media feeds.

Every interaction I have is one where I try to judge a person by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I remember learning about MLK growing up and watching the film ‘Our Friend, Martin’ in the second grade. Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech permeating through my young, 8 year old brain. MLK is a hero who’s mission and lessons are of the most important in our nation’s history. His words and actions cannot be forgotten and the steps we take to honor him and civil justice have to be done out of the goodness of our hearts and not the guilt in our minds.

Now, I’m not going to say that I am ‘colorblind’ or ‘don’t see race’ because those are the type of self righteous talking points that has largely led to the systemic racism and oppression that we see in the first place. I simply just want everyone to get along and I want to work together to find actual solutions that can create change. I don’t think posting on social media solves anything without laying out specific plans of that change and the subsequent call to action that follows.

To me this can’t become a red vs. blue issue, or even a black vs. white issue. It’s needs to be a belief in people issue. Where we work together to implement programs and practices to bring good out in everyone. It is on us as a society to give everyone a chance to succeed. To feel they are equally protected under the law. To know that their neighbors and countrymen don’t hate them based on their race, ethnicity, or religion.

I haven’t seen any prominent people say that the murder of George Floyd doesn’t deserve ultimate justice. And the 3 other cops need to be arrested and charged. These are some of the actions that I think we, as peaceful protestors, should demand. Police departments shouldn’t be trained to use lethal chokeholds. There needs to be action taken to largely strip down the police force and correct the glaring flaws in our law enforcement policies. It’s on our leaders to finally make this change. Enough is enough.

Deep down in my heart that when I meet someone I try to make them smile, I try to make them laugh, and I try to connect on a personal level. No matter the race, gender, ethnicity, or religion. I’m lucky to have grown up in a community where hateful ideas didn’t play a role in me or my friends’ decisions. I want to get along with everyone and anyone.

And personally I don’t feel the need to post on social media to prove that.

I’m a pretty outspoken person and love to have conversations about serious issues in order to learn, grow, and then solve real problems.

Throughout my young life I have not been a fan of many of social media movements because all too often I think that people manipulate and weaponize them as a way to passively protest or virtue signal a problem. Many times they have their preconceived mind made up anyways. I also see how people are saying these posts are diluting the actual important news/posts that are being put online and getting them lost in a flood of easy and arguably ineffective way of protest, a black square.

Black lives matter. And as Israel Adesanya recently shared from Andrew Schulz, “it’s not enough to be not racist anymore, you have to be anti-racist.”

Anti-racism isn’t throwing bricks at a cop. It’s not inciting riots and looting businesses. It’s not setting buildings on fire and watching it go down in flames. It’s the acceptance that we all need to collaborate and celebrate our diversity to bring this country to the forefront of freedom, liberty, and justice for all.

It’s time to use our diversity as a real tool of progressivism.

In regards to these people are that are creating dangerous chaos in our streets, they need to be stopped. I don’t care if it’s ANTIFA, white nationalists, or just straight criminals. The riots are horrible for our country. We live in a democracy. We have to follow our basic rules and protect each other’s health and property.

I saw a quote on Instagram today pointing to an example of white privilege. It says: “It’s horrible a black man was killed, but destroying property has to stop, and instead people need to exclaim, It’s horrible that property is being destroyed, but killing innocent black men has to stop.” I don’t think either of those are wrong so let’s fix the statement.

How about this to preach unity:

“It’s horrible that property is being destroyed, AND killing innocent, black men has to stop.”

Why does every single issue need to be a dichotomy of right and wrong? Some of the responses to this horrific event are not productive to our society. Every side has good and bad people. I know it’s not easy to say but it’s the reality of the world we live in. Racism needs to be destroyed and we also need restore law and order to succeed and move on as one United States of America.

We can’t live in a country of martial law either. It’s incomprehensible to me that our military will be deployed on who are citizens. But at what point do you need to go on the attack? At what point does watching a police precinct burn down become treason? At what point are the state and local governments powerless otherwise?

America is the greatest social experiment in the history of human civilization, and we know she is not perfect. But that is why the framers laid out steps to fix her, civilly. American voters are the ultimate jury.

Overall, It’s good we are having these conversations amongst us. It’s good that people want to create real change. It’s good that we live in a country where we can express our thoughts and can create our own futures.

So, I guess for me the black square worked for me in that I was able to think out some serious human issues, and I can donate to important causes. But remember to not lose sight of the ultimate goal and create a real change that we want to see in the world.

Freedom will prevail, it always does. But it’s up to us to pave that path.

Stay safe, and I’d love to continue the conversation online. Follow below.

@jacklesser_ & @thoughtless44

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