I Am Wrecked…Again

Once again I am wrecked by what I see happening in Atlanta, Virginia and Minneapolis. I keep believing that one day, I will wake up and not hear about another person of color being victimized by the actions of a person filled with hate or a person quick to judge. But sadly, that seems like a dream. But hey, I am a dreamer.

So I will continue praying for my brothers and sisters of color. Praying that as you walk down the street, people will not clutch their purses or bags a little tighter. Praying as you visit a place of business, you will not be hassled. I pray if for some reason you are pulled over by the police, you will be treated with respect. I am saddened that I have to pray this prayer every day for my brothers and sisters of color. But I will not stop praying. I will not stop speaking out against injustice. I will continue to stand with you. ~OC

My Prayer: Take Off The Blinders

As we witnessed the civil unrest at the Capital in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, there was a lot of discussion about hate groups and racism in America. Some in the white community (Breaking News: I am white), screamed on social media that racism is no longer an issue in 2021. Really?

When I engage some white people in the topic of racism, they often will challenge me to prove that racism still exist today in America. So I present them with a challenge. My challenge to them is to simply listen.

I am a storyteller, so I will share stories that my friends of color have shared with me about being racially profiled. I will share legit studies that have been done on the subject of racism. I will share videos showing racism happening to a person of color. I will encourage them to read articles or books on the subject of racism. Most importantly, I will challenge them to reach out to a friend of color and asked them if they have ever experienced racism. I think to myself, one of these suggestions will get through to them. Right? Sadly, a good majority of the time I will hear the following excuses:

*The data is biased.

*I don’t have time to read any articles or books.

*The person in the video was overreacting.

*My friends of color (if they actually have some) don’t want to talk about racism.

*I am tired of hearing about racism. Can’t everyone just get over it?”

I have had these types of conversations with my white friends and complete strangers too many times to count. But then after years of being frustrated by people who do not believe racism is still sadly alive and well, a beautiful freeing thought came to me. I don’t have to proof racism still exist today. The burden of proof is not on me. The burden of proof is on those who refuse to believe racism is still a major issue in 2021. There is no reason for me to walk away from these conversations feeling frustrated. The debate is over. This truth has set me free.

To those who continue to believe racism no longer exist, prove it. Show me some actual evidence. Show me some factual data. Just as my evidence proofs racism still exist in 2021, your evidence better support your argument against that fact.

As I close, my prayer is that God will change the hearts and minds of those who still deny racism is a clear and present danger in America. I pray these deniers will take time to read a book or article on the subject of racism. I pray they will check out the many videos that sadly show racism is still wide awake in our nation. My prayer is that my white brothers and sisters who still believe racism is a thing of the past, will reach out to a person of color and have a real conversation about this stain on America. I pray the blinders will come off. ~OC

Thank You, Dr. King

On this day, we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Long after his death, Dr. King’s words and actions continue to inspire us. They continue to challenge us.

Today we take time to remember this amazing man of peace. Dr. King truly lived out the words he wrote and spoke. His words live on, some of the most meaningful ever spoken.

During this time of unrest in our world, I encourage you to stop and reflect on Dr. King’s words. To put those words in action. To come together and live out The Dream. Thank you Dr. King. ~OC

Lean In…And Get Uncomfortable

As I scroll through social media and watch the news, I see a lot of pain and injustice in the African American community. I see my brothers and sisters hurting. It breaks my heart. At times it can seem overwhelming. I asked myself, how in the world can I make a difference? Can anybody relate? Even though I cannot do everything, I can do something. So, I have decided I will continue to stand up and do everything I can to help end racism in America. I will continue to lean in..,and get uncomfortable.

I will continue have real conversations about racism in America, with people wanting to truly make a difference in this world. Not just talk about the issues, but take real action. I will surround myself with others who want to fight the sin of racism. I will continue to get educated. I will continue to listen to my brothers and sisters of color, as they share their experiences. I will lean in..,and get uncomfortable. I will continue to take the time to see the pain of my brothers and sisters of color. I will not pass them by with a “I’ll pray for you.” No, I will stop and pray for them in that moment. I will not allow my brothers and sisters to walk through this unjust world alone. I will lean in…and get uncomfortable. I will continue to have uncomfortable conversations with my white brothers and sisters who believe racism is not a major problem in America today (That is a whole other blog). I will proudly stand up and say #Black Lives Matter. I will continue to challenge my white brothers and sisters to step out of their comfort zones, and sit down with people of color and truly listen to their life experiences. I will encourage them to study African American history and visit African American museums. I will continue to confront racism when I see it. I will continue to speak out against injustices even when it’s not popular. I will lean in…and get uncomfortable. I encourage you to join me. ~OC

Monuments of Hate

Lately, as I watch the news or scroll through social media, I see some people are upset about some monuments being taken down. I hear people making the argument that people are trying to erase our history in America. Especially Southern history. Let me share a little about the history of Southern monuments.

Most people think these Confederate monuments have been around since the end of the Civil War in 1865. This is not the case. The vast majority of these monuments were built between 1895 and the 1950s. Why were so many Confederate monuments built during this time period? Well, it had nothing to do with celebrating these dead soldiers. No, the building of these monuments had more to do with hate and intimidation. Let me give you a little history lesson.

1895-1915: Jim Crow laws are alive and well during this time period. There is a resurgence of the KKK and other white supremacy groups. A large number of Confederate monuments are built during this time.

1915-1955- Jim Crow continues to rule throughout the South.

1955-1970- The Civil Rights Movement kicks into high gear with the Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision. In the South, racist groups begin a reign of terror against African Americans and start erecting Confederate monuments again. The motivation was to continue terrorizing African Americans. Most of these monuments were placed in the middle of town and at courthouses.

So, when I hear my fellow Southerners complaining about “Our” history being washed away with these monuments being taken down, I wonder if you truly know the history behind these monuments. These monuments are not about history. These monuments are about hate. That is not the kind of history I want to celebrate.

Here is another history lesson for you. If you travel to Germany, you will not find monuments celebrating Hitler. If you travel to South Africa, you will not find monuments celebrating Apartheid. You will find museums remembering the victims of these horrible crimes.

Let me share one last thing. I do not believe people should be destroying these monuments. That’s just dangerous. Someone could get hurt. I think these monuments should be taken down by city workers and discarded. We need to stop celebrating a history of hate and intimidation. Those were not the good old days. ~OC

When The Media Leaves

Today’s a new day! Here are some question for the Church and the Nation:

*When the media leaves Minneapolis, will you still be standing up and speaking out for the rights of our brothers and sisters of color?

*Will you still be having conversations about racism and injustice in America?

*Will you remember all the African-American men and women, who were simply murdered because of the color of their skin?

*Will you just go back to regularly scheduled programming? ~OC

Justice For All

Today’s a new day! I will continue to pray this prayer and post on social media until there is justice for all in America. When a person of color cannot jog through a neighborhood without being killed, we all need to stand up and demand justice for all. If we care for justice, then we need to pray and speak out against all injustice.

Praying for my brothers and sisters of color. Praying that as you walk down the street, people will not clutch their purses or bags a little tighter. Praying as you visit a place of business, you will not be hassled. I pray if for some reason you’re pulled over by the police, you will be treated with respect. I am saddened that I have to pray this prayer every day for my brothers and sisters of color, but I will continue to lift this prayer up each day. I will continue to speak out against the injustices in this world. ~OC

I Will Stand Up. I Will Fight.

As I watch the news and scroll through social media, I see a lot of pain and injustice in the world. At times it can seem overwhelming. How in the world can I make a difference? Can anybody relate? Even though I cannot do everything, I can do something.

So, I have decided I will continue to stand up and do something. I will Fight.

I will continue have real conversations with other people wanting to truly make a difference in this world. Not just talk about the issues, but take some real action. I will surround myself with others who want to fight. I will continue to get educated. I will continue to listen.  I will Fight. 

I will continue to take the time to see the pain of others. I will not pass them by with a “I’ll pray for you.” No, I will stop and pray for them in that moment. I will not allow people to walk through their own crazy beautiful journey alone. I will Fight. 

I will continue to fight for the victims of human trafficking. I will continue to bring awareness to this horrible crime. I will continue to listen and learn. I will never believe I am an expert. I will continue to speak out. I will fight. 

I will continue to fight for civil rights. When I see injustice I will speak up. I will continue to listen and learn. I will take a stand even when it’s not popular. I will fight. 

I will continue to share my story and faith. God has blessed me with a story to tell. A story I must tell. I will never be ashamed to proclaim Jesus as my Savior. I will continue to respect the faith of others. I will fight. 

I know some of the things I believe in and stand up for are not popular with everyone. That’s okay. I gave up trying to be popular a long time ago. I am more concerned about living a life that is pleasing to God. Living a life of service. I will continue to Fight. ~OC

400 Years After 1619

In 1619, slavery came to America. In December 1865, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in America. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 2008, America elected the first African-American President with the election of Barack Obama. America has come a long way in the 400 years since 1619. But have we come far enough? Yes, this post is about racism in America. For those of you tired of me writing about racism in America, you can skip over this post if you would like. But I hope you don’t.

When most of us think about racism in America, we think about the days of slavery. We think about the 1960’s and the Civil Rights Movement. A lot of people think racism ended with the passage of the Civil Rights Act. I wish that was the case. Sadly it’s not. In 2019, racism is sadly still alive and well in America. Let’s take a look.

In 2019, hate groups are on the rise in America. The latest report shows there are 1,020 active hate groups in America.

In 2019, some police officers are still stopping African-Americans for simply driving while black.

In 2019, people of color are still followed by some business owners when they enter a store.

In 2019, African-Americans are still held at gunpoint by some white people for simply being black. Even when that African-American is a police officer

In 2019, some white people still call the police on Africa-Americans for simply living life.

So how can we take steps to improve race relations in America? Here are some suggestions.

Do not be afraid to have conversations about racism in America.

Stand Up against racism when you see or hear it. Don’t be Silent.

Make sure your place of worship is having real conversations about race.

Visit and invest in African-American owned businesses.

Know your history. Visit African-American museums and civil rights site.

Pray. Ask God what you can do to help improve race relations in America.

These are just a few suggestions. Feel free to share and implement your own ideas. We have to continue having these conversations. Silence is not an option. At least not for me. ~OC

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