Time To Learn

Forgive me but I refuse to subscribe to the common narrative that exists these days. I am sorry but I cannot and will not give into either side. I will not side with anyone, just to prove a point.
As far as I can see, right is right, wrong is wrong, and I don’t care which side of the cafeteria you’re from. The fact remains that we are all searchers. We are all people with wants and needs. We all have our doubts and concerns and everyone has their own list of fears to contend with. We all came from somewhere and we all chose a side when it came to sitting in the cafeteria at lunchtime in school.

Stripped down to skin and bone, this is us. We are skin and bone. Take away your status and take away your skin color, privilege, or the lack thereof; take away your right to breed, live, think for yourself, or think freely, and take away your ability to decipher between truth and the dishonesty or someone’s agenda and where does this leave you?
I apologize, but I cannot and will not be part of any party that points fingers. I cannot and will not be connected to anything that does not care about the greater good. I am tired of this.
I am tired of the people in the spotlight that shout from the podiums and look for their check at the end of the week. I’m tired of them acting like they mean something.

The truth is we are all hurting right now. The truth is violence in the streets is not a solvable equation without a unified system. And that’s not what we have right now. The problem is blame who you want and find all the fault you can but none of this will un-kill anyone. There needs to be a better sense of synergy but no one is willing to work together or work with “the other side.”

No, we have stigma. We have judgement. Same as I am judged for the color of my skin or the history of my background, so are you. And to what avail?
We are all judged by one means or another. 

I was asked if I was racist.
I said, “No, I’m Ben,” but my answer didn’t fit the question.
“Is Ben a racist?” 
My answer is no. My answer is racism is taught. My answer is reverse racism is still racism. My answer is the separation I see between brothers and sisters and neighbors and friends is truly incredible to me. Another answer I have is racism has been ingrained in us all. We are programmed, which means if it were possible, I wish we could all be reprogrammed and then move forward.
We have been living with race wars for a long time now. And let me ask you, is there ever a winner? What have we done? 

Please forgive me but I will not point my finger in any particular direction. I will not say every cop is bad. I will not say all white people hate black people and all black people hate white people. I will not say there is no such thing as peace because there is. 
I was told by a group of people in a sober coaching class that I don’t know about racism. They told me that I couldn’t possibly understand. But then I showed them a picture of a car accident. My daughter was in that car. I told them about the details of the case and how no one would help me find my daughter. She nearly died. They still didn’t care until I told them my daughter was bi-racial. How does this help us?

I watched a man gunned down on television (again.) Shot 7 times. I heard there was a reason. I heard there was a history with this man. And there might have been a reason and there might have been a history.
Hey, know what? I have a history too.  Does this mean I deserve to be paralyzed or shot in the back 7 times. Should this act be punished. Absolutely. But no one can condemn everyone because of this.

There are people saying we need to de-fund the police. There are people saying we need to retrain the police. And I agree with this. Updating our thinking and updating our training is always a good idea but the problem is an asshole is always going to be an asshole no matter how much you train it to be something else.

The other day there was a report of 96 people shot in NYC within 6 days. None of them were shot by police. None of the 96 people were shot by legal gun owners. None of the victims were white. None of the shooters were white. This is all the narrative of separation.

I have heard people say we need to ban guns. I have heard people say we need new laws, which, okay then. Fine. Let’s say we make guns completely illegal. Then what? How are we going to get back the millions of firearms that are out there now? Are we really going to depend on the honor system?Secondly, on a scale from 1 – 10 with 10 being the most illegal, where would you put murder? My guess is murder is pretty illegal so I would put this high on this scale. I put murder at a 10, and yet as illegal as this is, the law, the crime, and the punishment is not a deterrent.
If murder itself is not a deterrent then why would having an illegal gun be a deterrent? My point is lawbreakers are willing to break the law by any means. So what difference does a law make.
By the way, I read a few times that there are still more stabbings than deaths by gunshots. No one talks about this though. Why?

I’m sorry. I’m just tired.
I’m tired of watching my City plummet from her dignity. I’m tired because our sense of unity has become separation.
I’m sorry there are narratives and instigators that change, pirate, and hijack equal rights movements to use for their own platform.

I’m tired.
I’m tired because politics have become the new religion.
I’m tired of people judging which life is worth fighting over.
The other week a 5 year-old was shot in the head and there was more of an argument about race and social importance and less of a mournful response that a 5 year-old boy was shot. Of course, he had to be mentioned as a white boy. Of course the shooter had to be mentioned as black. I don’t really give a good goddamn about the color of either skins. All I care about is a child that will never be a grown man or have the chance to learn about the right ways to live. 

I’m tired of the news. I’m tired of politicians that dictate what racism is. Trust me. I have seen racism, up close and personal, and there is nothing as ugly.
I’m tired of people trashing my country. I’m tired of people telling me what they hate and what they want but yet, they never do anything but complain. I am tired of people that scream for unity but preach from a standpoint of separatism. And they say they don’t preach this but yet, they really do. 

I quoted Malcolm X yesterday. That’s right. A person of my color skin; a white person has read Malcolm’s work. I have heard what he has said. I know about the affiliations of so-called hate.
In fact, I used to subscribe to a few of them. I know that there are things that I have said in my life that are terrible. I know that if they ever came to light; I would be more than just humiliated. I would be dishonored.

I do believe that all lives matter. I do believe that black lives matter. And furthermore, I believe a movement to create unity has been hijacked by agitators with a different agenda. 

I’m tired of the holier than thou.
I’m tired of the arguing and the politics.
I’m tired of the tension.
I am tired of people that think they are owed.

The only person that owes me is me. I am responsible for me. This means I am responsible for showing up, working, living, doing, and making it to the end of the day. My job is to successfully get through the day and face myself in the mirror with a constructive conclusion before I go to sleep at night. 

Forgive me but I am not concerned with a vote or an election. I am not a fan of either side, left or right.
If I see something that I do not like, then I will work to change it. And no, I might not succeed. That’s fine. But no one can ever say I failed because at least I tried. At least I cared enough to do something.

I tried speaking with some of the people that work with a homeless outreach program in NYC. I offered to be helpful and volunteer. Know what I heard? Absolutely nothing. One could argue there was a reason. One could say this means nothing.
Know what I say?
Never turn down an ally or a friend.

To people like this I say don’t tell me about unity until you’re ready to be unified. Until then, I’ll be over here on my own, planting a tree or cleaning up something left on the ground.
Know why? Because I care. Because otherwise, garbage just stays on the ground unless someone comes along to clean it.

So I say go ahead. Go over there and argue, fight, and complain. I’ll be over here working and trying to better this thing we call life.
Who knows? Maybe one of us will fix something.

(I hope)

One thought on “Time To Learn

  1. ❤ truly from the heart. I wish we didn't have to divide each other into categories surely a white and a black death are both equally sad for all involved.. how can we not feel sad when a fellow human being is being hurt?

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