I recently read a book called Calling Me Home. A thirty-something, black hairdresser, Dorrie, is driving one of her most loyal clients turned friend, Isabelle, from Texas to Ohio for a funeral. She’s a spunky 89-year-old woman with a story to tell. Along the way, Isabelle reveals she was once in love with a black man when it was not just uncommon but deadly for both of them, and shares her life story with Dorrie. It was a wonderfully insightful book and a heartbreaking love story.
While I was reading in the backyard, my six-year-old asked me what my book was about. When I told her, her exact words were: “well, daddy is black” (he’s not) “do people not like that you’re with him?” Thus led us to a conversation about how far we’ve come in America (and all over the world) and how much further we still have to go. And my realization that I cannot merely teach my children to be “colorblind” because there is no such thing.
- Because I believe in Christ. This is the number one reason Black Lives Matter, and why I will make sure my children know. I believe in God, and I believe that Christ rose from the dead after dying for you and me. “You” being whoever is reading this; never mind the color of your skin. He didn’t give his love freely to others, but withhold it from you. He didn’t make some work hard for His love because of the color of their family while giving it on a silver platter only to those with ivory skin. We cannot praise Moses for saying “LET MY PEOPLE GO!” only to continue not to support the black community trying to be freed from stereotypes and oppression.
- Because no one should fear walking down the street in their own neighborhood. In Calling Me Home, the small town Isabelle lives in has a sign at the city limits that says anyone of color in town, after dark, basically has a death wish. They could work for them during the day but needed to be gone by nightfall. This broke my heart. Schools teach you about Martin Luther King and all of his peaceful protesting, about sit-ins, and Rosa Parks but they never get into the nitty-gritty of the before, let alone the after. There are censors over the truth, over anything REAL. To protect the children from the scary realities. What about the children that lived through it and their kids, and their kids, kids? How can we tell them everyone is equal when the very people who are raising them know that it’s not because they’ve lived it? And what about when they witness first hand that it’s not? The fear or the disdain they were taught becomes justified and usually before they’re even old enough to understand! How do we continue to preach the absolute success of movements from more than half a century ago when there are people, people, still living out what we claim is fixed? I will not teach this part of history to my children with a sense of finality. I will teach it only with an open end.
- Because equality does not look the same. Unless The Giver becomes a reality (Lord help us all), there will not ever be a day people are “color blind.” We SEE IN COLOR, but in doing so, we should not assume one color is better than the other. A child knows their friend is lighter or darker compared to their skin, they just don’t pay it any mind because it doesn’t matter to them. They’re children with no agenda other than play. I will teach my kids a pound of apples and a pound of oranges are equal but not the same. Society tells children to embrace their uniqueness but does not always practice what they preach.
- Because Black people are not dead. I am not a sympathizer. Black people are not dead and gone. This is not a funeral where you hand out cards of sympathy and condolences. They need support. Whether it be standing in a picket line, being the first in your family to openly admit and agree that Black Lives Matter, or teaching your children the truth and not the watered down, textbook version of Civil Rights. The BLM movement is not a group of people claiming race superiority; they’re a group of individuals seeking support not just from within their own race, but outside of it as well.
Support for Black Lives Matter stands for real equality. Stands for real change. And stands for real information. The real question should be why the majority of us are not supporting our future? If your only thought after reading this goes to the BLM extremists, please consider whether or not Westboro Baptist, too, represents all Christian beliefs.