It’s Time To Stop History From Repeating Itself, Again

jlhairston
jlhairston

“Give me liberty or give me death,” a simple statement with so much power. A simple statement that so many fought for. A simple statement that the United States of America was founded on.

Our nation is falling into this idea that we need to segregate ourselves. Whites are afraid of people of color. People of color are afraid of whites. There are lives being taken. Riots being held and a whole lot of unnecessary violence taking place throughout the nation.

With that being said, I know people will automatically start to ridicule this post because I’m just another white girl who grew up with everything she ever wanted and more. Guess what? You’re right. I did and I am.

The difference though, is that my parents taught me compassion. My parents taught me empathy and most importantly my parents taught me to look past the color of a person’s skin color.

They taught me character is more important than physical traits. They taught me compassion is more important than jealousy. They taught me hard work pays off and they taught me the importance of teamwork.

With all the chaos in LA, MN and now Dallas, we as a nation, have an obligation. We have a chance to make a difference. We have an opportunity to change the way people are thinking and the way people are acting, but we must be a team.

Anger consumes a person. Anger destroys logical thinking. Anger is contagious. Selfishness. Frustration. Grief. These are all emotions that cause us to act before we think.

Looking at the videos of Alton Sterling, my heart breaks. Watching the live stream video of Philando Castile, my heart breaks. Listening to the news this morning to find that at least 5 of the 12 officers shot in Dallas have passed away is absolutely devastating.

Watching all the heartbreak, I remembered a quote from a movie that couldn’t speak more to the situation we are in that is easily understandable. Denzel Washington portrayed Coach Boone in Remember The Titans and the statement took place while he had the high school football team at a camp as he forced his team to get to know each other.

“This is where they fought the battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died right here on this field, fighting the same fight that we are still fighting among ourselves today. This green field right here, painted red, bubblin’ with the blood of young boys. Smoke and hot lead pouring right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men. I killed my brother with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family. You listen, and you take a lesson from the dead. If we don’t come together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were. I don’t care if you like each other or not, but you will respect each other. And maybe…I don’t know, maybe we’ll learn to play this game like men.”

Friends, we can’t stand back and allow the anger to unite. We can’t stand back and allow the revenge to consume our communities. This quote goes farther than a movie. This statement goes beyond a football field. This is our reality. This is our country.

We are fighting the same fight that the world has forever fought. We are killing our family members. We are accusing friends of different races about not understanding what it’s like. We are putting up divides and creating our own segregation out of a disagreement in opinion.

I have a news flash for all of you. Whether you realize it or not, over 1.1 million Americans have been killed in U.S. Wars. That’s just the wars we get to learn about in our history books.

Whether we want to admit it or not, there is another war going on in our nation today. It’s not Racism. It’s not homophobia. It’s Hate in general. Hatred is destroying our nation. Hatred is destroying our communities. Hatred is destroying our family.

Let’s be realistic, police officers have jobs. They are required to protect us. They are required to protect the communities and civilians they serve. Are there bad cops? Yes, and that is unbelievably unfortunate because we are trained to trust them. And we should. Not all police officers want to use their guns on civilians. In fact, most of the officers I’ve had the honor of meeting have been the people I’m sure would jump in front of you to protect you from a bullet. They’d risk their life for us.

How many of us can say we’d actually do that for a stranger? How many of us leave our family worried because we are trying to help protect everyone else’s families? How many of us know the pride a child has for their dad being a cop, catching all the “bad guys?”

We should have the ability to get pulled over for a minor traffic violation without getting shot. I agree. But, these specific events are no longer correctable. The system we currently have in place will have to provide justice.

It is not our job to correct this. It is not our job to seek revenge. It is our job to realize we are not in control of this outcome. It is our job to come together to love one another. It is our job to respect each other.

In light of all these situations I recently saw a post on my Facebook feed stating “Your prayers are not enough.” That person is right. My prayers are not enough. But God is.

Galations 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

No matter what you believe, we came from the same place. If you believe in God, you know He created everyone.

If you believe in evolution, mankind evolved—if you believe in something else let me know how humans happened. I’d love to hear your opinion about whether every color was derived from something different, or if mankind was created/developed from one thing.

If we do not unite with love and most importantly respect towards each other we will fail. The field of Gettysburg is growing, that blood is staining our sidewalks.

Can we admit that we don’t have to like each other? Can we admit that in order to move past this we need to remain calm and act like the adults we are? Can we admit that we are all in the wrong? Can we admit that right now, we are allowing history to repeat itself?

If so, maybe…I don’t know maybe, there will finally be a way we can stand united with liberty and justice for all. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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