*I was about to write something close to a factual report on the corruption and state of America with cited history and proven indisputable evidence to get the oppressed party’s points across. I decided against doing that. Instead, I figured that I wanted to take a more human approach. I want to connect. This is not a formal piece. I want to let you into my mind instead of actively try to change yours because frankly that isn’t my job—It’s your conscience’s. I simply want you to understand the feelings of someone like myself and hopefully get you to have a new perceptive on the situation at hand. Again, not changing your mind- only how you look at this. These are just my thoughts for your understanding and not an argumentative essay.*
Yin and Yang flow together; they synchronize while reflecting upon each other. There has to be both. There has to be order and chaos existing together because without this one side will obviously take over. When there is only order, it can lead to a seriously dangerous way of life we have seen throughout history. It always begins great but slowly consumes itself and evolves into dominance. With Chaos, things get out of hand quickly and everything becomes a free for all. This is also disastrous because civil life as we know it will be destroyed and humans will most likely have to start over and over continuously. Both of these sides have catastrophic potential on their own, but when they are together they counterbalance. They keep each other in check. Nothing has ever been gained in life by peace or chaos alone, if we look into the eye of the storm we will find the balance.
Initially my beliefs of the George Floyd aftermath had me embarrassed to be a black man. I was disapproving of the Target trashing and was instantly viewing the day as a step backwards. I was always told peace finds more peace and violence begets more violence and so naturally when I began to see the numerous videos online that show the black community thrashing about; it had me bent all in out of sorts. But I slowly came to a realization. I have never lived in a time of true conflict until now. I have always been too young to really understand some things or too far removed to be truly effected. I never had the sit-ins, the lynchings, the bombings, the camps, and so many more atrocities others had before me. I’m a mid 90’s kid lucky enough to be born in a time where the internet became public, people of all races somewhat got along most days, and I got to go to school with any type of person. I have to say though, I am disappointed by those who grew up like I did and refuse to take a role in this moment in time. Those who refuse to acknowledge this without using all the power they have to make a change cannot call me friend. I believe it is perfectly fine to think for yourself and do what you need to do in your life for your own gain-we only get one shot at life and I totally get it. But this movement is the same as a political race. If you didn’t participate in the time for change; we don’t want to hear anything from you. You decided this wasn’t your fight already, and don’t pick sides after the battle.
We all know things are easier said than they’re done and from time and time again we prove that statement to be true with even the most rudimentary actions in our lives. I keep hearing from these same people preaching about peaceful protests and how that’s the way to solve these issues and believe me I wish it worked, but its not like raising a hand in class. This hand never gets picked on. It gets ignored and is expected to keep up with the rest of the class. When peace is the first response to oppression nothing is solved.
Whenever I hear folks say that protests need to be peaceful and maybe they will work; I know people are talking about the side of the people and not the police. Peaceful for who? Is it only peaceful when the citizens aren’t considered hostile? Peace is universal. It includes all parties involved. In my own backyard in Indianapolis just recently there were “peaceful protesters” and they were greeted with gas in their eyes. Many times in the Black Lives Matter movement there have been peaceful protests. Every time the message gets either ignored or criticized. If there is a loud crowd wanting to be heard; people want them to go away because of the volume. If they want to be heard in the media, people say all they do is complain. And if they take a knee its seen as disrespect towards the country. When I say people with the movement are ignored, I am saying a lot of people with the ability to change things for the better always acknowledge that something is wrong and needs change but take no action. What do they actually do? It’s like if someone asked you a question and they look at you but don’t say anything back. These people sit on their “acknowledgement” for a couple weeks and then have it slowly fade away into obscurity until the next situation arises. It is a “get back to it later” attitude that needs addressing. The worst is that the focus always seems to shift every time this same exact issue resurfaces. When they knelt during the anthem, it was about not standing up for a country that doesn’t value all of its citizens anymore and has lost its way. It was never about not being thankful for the service members we have, but that is what everyone made it out to be. This time around, the focus was on the verge of shifting again from corruption to the riots. It’s almost like America is too scared to admit that we aren’t ‘all that’ anymore so they rush to its defense without any inner analyzation. We don’t have our sh*t together as much as we want to believe we do, and it is time for reform.
I thought about these things and it made me for the riots and antics we have been witnessing.
Here me out.
The more videos I was becoming aware of online that displayed corrupt and violent behavior, the more I became enraged and said, “To hell with it.” but at the same time I came to the conclusion that the message is rolling this time. People are listening and the riots are a big part of it but it IS time to stop them. The riots did their job. They woke everyone the hell up and realized if they don’t get this ball rolling we are in for one hell of a time. The riots made people who assumed this would blow over again start to evaluate their role in all of this. So I am thankful for the riots and I am thankful for that opening act….but only that. STOP THEM NOW. Attention has been grabbed and now it is time for the peaceful protests to begin and for act one to pass the baton to the second act. Reform can’t be focused on if this continues. Let the destruction pierce their chest and let our words pierce their hearts.
Unlike yin and yang, push and pull are two separate actions. They are constantly fighting each other for control and therefore are a detriment to each other’s existence. There is a ‘give and take’ culture that comes with push and pull and is very individualistic. There have been times in history where this has been fruitful for sure. You scratch my back then I will scratch yours. Seems easy right? Then there is always those who claim they scratch a little bit more without receiving the same treatment. This is where a cycle of burden and angst begins. Instead of working together push and pull ideals only promote the self and are not suited to guide a community. With this mindset, every time you take a step forward you get pushed a step back and end up where you started. The more this happens, the more frustration builds. This is not growth. It is self destructive.
Thanks for making it this far, hopefully you’re picking up what I am laying down. I am here for a discussion. I am here for understanding. I do not have all the answers, I barely have a few. I just know the boat i’m in and what I believe in. Know your history and understand your present. This country is a rock and always has been. But its not a pretty rock you find on the beach. Its the old and rugged one that has seen its more than fair share of storms. At the pace we are moving we won’t make it. This rock will be struck and broken down until all that is left are pebbles; and it is up to us to use those pebbles to make a path. Will it lead to a peaceful rebuild? Or will it lead to further separation?
“We differ from some other groups simply because we understand the system better
than most groups understand the system. And, with this realization, we attempt to form a strong political base based in the community with the only strength that we have, and that’s the strength of a potentially destructive force if we don’t get freedom.”
-Huey P. Newton