It has been 13 days since George Floyd was killed just north of my neighborhood! It has taken me 13 days to write this because really there is NOTHING I can say that my sisters and brothers who are Black/African American, Indigenous and Communities Of Color have not already said, written or produced for film and/or theater. Their voices have been strong for generations; time and time again—whether peacefully and calmly taking a knee, or loudly, with raw and spent emotions manifesting in anger; a result of being oppressed for centuries. Anger that comes with the crash of a storefront window. What they have been telling us is that our system does NOT work equitably for all.
We, that means ALL of us, need to listen and hear one another. We must be ready to learn and reflect. We all have to become more aware of how our experience within this societal system has impacted us, how we internalize it and act out of it everyday. Reflect on the direct and, oh so, subtle ways we have not only benefited from this system but how we have perpetuated it—then we can be ready to walk alongside all our community members. Walking together does not mean we will agree on all things. It does mean we see each other as a sister and brother in community; a community where everyone is afforded the Rights to all the benefits our system should guarantee. Isn’t that what we all want?
I know when I have been wronged, I want someone to LISTEN. I did not want someone to tell me I misunderstood what happened to me or take over and lead for me. I wanted to be heard and then together work alongside others to ensure that what was done to me would not happen to anyone else, especially our children.
So let us take time to listen, learn, reflect and be willing to walk as a community of brothers and sisters. Let us have the courage to stand up to individuals when they are treating our brothers and sisters without humanity. Equally, if not more importantly, we need to re-examine our institutions; where we work and those we access daily. Do they operate in a manner that inherently gives some more access than others? TOGETHER we achieve the promise to ourselves of a stronger community; a community where ALL have the opportunity to receive the benefits this country has to offer.