From the streets of America a voice cries out. A young kid is on their streets running around thinking, “is this what life is all about?” Destruction, murder, slander, division, hatred, anger are only a portion of words our nation is faced with. For decades and for generations there has been the cry and plea for justice. People wanting to be treated equally. People wanting the same respect as the next man and woman. In the heart of our urban cities there lies a lot of unheard voices. Whether it be troublesome youth, uneducated men and women, the poor, under privileged, under developed, under resourced, great grandmas and grandpas reliving out the 60’s again, these are the voices of inner city America.
The root of the matter is a system of people who misused their power, voice, minds and hands. A system that has destroyed a nation and a people for generations. Tracing back to America’s roots were a group of people coming from Europe to a new found land. A people who were being mistreated by the great Britain. A people who claimed to have great Christian values. Their cry at the time was to serve their God freely. But what happened to the good intentions of starting over? Of being free? Where did their hearts grow wrong?
Greed, selfish desires, wrong use of power, manipulation, building empires, mistreating people, taking what is not theirs, murder, drunkenness, poor communication, no communication and a dominant yet excessive mentality to build by force. To use groups of people (mainly blacks) to build a land that was not theirs in the first place. So where did it all go wrong? It was wrong when Europeans were still in Europe. It was wrong when they arrive to a new land. It was wrong when they forced the natives out of their land. It was wrong when they began slave trades. It was wrong when they began to murder. It has always been wrong.
But these are America’s roots. Here we are in 2015 and we are still asking the same questions we’ve been asking. Why are we so divided? Why is our nation still racists? Why are so many people upset, mad and angry? Why are a group of people still being treated as 1/3rd of a person? Looked down upon as animals? Why does it seem like their lives do not matter? Why is the justice system not fighting with them and for them?
These are not easy questions to answer but our people deserve some answers. Therefore, we see an uproar of the restless. A generation that says, “injustice, bad treatment is not going to continue to happen on our watch without doing something about it.” I certainly do not condone violence but I do see why certain individuals are rioting. It’s being done out of anger, out of hurt, out of rage and out of pain. I deeply hurt to sit by and watch this take place.
I likened the riots to a child who’s father that has been in and out of his child’s life. Mistreating their child, abusing them, running over, degrading them, not listening, telling them what to do and not do. One day that child will grow into a teenager and then into an adult. The once young child is going to stand up, speak up and act out against their father. They will not be able to take the treatment from their father.
America, these are your children. What you are seeing is years, decades and centuries of voices speaking out. Some in good ways and others in not so good ways.
I want to close this writing with a paragraph of writing from Dr. Martin Luther King. I broke it up into two paragraphs. I believe his writings sheds light on what’s happening today in America. He says from his speech, “The Other America:”
“Now I wanted to say something about the fact that we have lived over these last two or three summers with agony and we have seen our cities going up in flames. And I would be the first to say that I am still committed to militant, powerful, massive, non-violence as the most potent weapon in grappling with the problem from a direct action point of view. I’m absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results.
But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King 1967
No matter if you are black, white, hispanic, latino, jew or greek, everyone has to do a better job at racial reconciliation. We all have a role to play in this. Everyone has to own up and take responsibility. We have to do a better job at being proactive in our relationships. We need more people in positions of power with the hearts of peace, justice and hope. We need people that can build our inner cities. We need people that will listen. We need strategic planning. We need action. We need people to come together and not divide apart. We need faith. We need prayer. We need God. Most importantly… America, we need answers…
P.S. Here is the link to Dr. King’s full speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3H978KlR20
Please feel free to share your thoughts. Any inappropriate comments will be deleted. Please be respectful in your responses. I do understand this is a tough subject matter and has caused a lot of different emotions. Thank you.