Shawneda

Book news, opinion pieces, and random stuff I post... Yeah this is that space. 

God Inspired Girl Power to Change the Conversation



Facebook trends is part of my daily life as a marketing professional. Today the topic of Tyree King's death landed at the top of the trending items list as I checked for new marketing topics for me to read over for the day before taking my daughter to school. Some of the comments were scathing, biased, volatile and most disgusting. I've learned to curb my need to chime in on topics online most days but I couldn't hold it in anymore... one of the people tried to share a comment I found unproductive so I ignored them because they missed the entire point of my post. Which was we should change how we respond to these unfortunate events and not just spew vitriol.

Nothing would make me happier than to never read about another shooting of ANYONE by ANYONE else. Since that is not going to happen why don't we address the root of the problem so we can stop the unproductive, volatile, unnecessary bickering. Let's give the traditional media an opportunity to find something else to feed on that doesn't have the potential to whip our country into a further divided, negative frenzy.

I appreciate and respect his decision to educate the "unlearned" or loudest media pundits who oppose his views, and despise watching Roland Martin engage in "blistering" check sessions with people who DON'T WANT to AGREE or care about his view. No one he has been lauded for "checking" or "sonning" is interested in what he has to say. These people only want more exposure, to continue to stay relevant and to be told their opinion is correct. Exposure and relevance are reinforced when he gives his attention and shares his platform with them.  His intelligence, passion and skills are wasted on people who don't want to see outside of their perspective. Much like the woman who commented on my Facebook post... I ignore negative people I don't know... responding to them is unproductive... being unproductive is one of my least favorite things in life... I digress.

Here is what I posted on the Columbus Division Police Facebook page.

"Since I don't know this child I won't assume he was or wasn't anything other than a child. Since I don't know this officer I won't do anything other than assume he was doing his best to protect and serve. Until EVIDENCE of Tyree being in a gang comes out to assume he is in one lends itself to appearing to be a racist. Until EVIDENCE of the police officer being habitually biased or racially biased when interacting with people is presented to assume he is would mean I've bought into the assumption most officers are racist... which I have not and will not. Our country has a problem which will require some uncomfortable conversations and undesired revelations about how it was formed and what happened as a result of the actions of some and the silence of many. We can continue to allow the past to shape a very dismal future or we can come together, have the hard conversations, create productive resolutions and move forward. At the end of the day we have a man who shot a child and has to live with it for the rest of his life and a child whose life ended. No matter what happened or why it happened those are the facts and they are tragic for everyone involved. This is not a war between citizens and police, or black people and police, or minorities and police, or poor people and police or black people and white people. This is a tragic event. All of the facts haven't come out but one fact is true... both the officer who discharged his weapon and the loved ones of Tyree King need prayers and support. Let's try something new with the loss of life and potentially volatile incident and support those who need it instead of injecting opinions and biases without credence into the already unfortunate situation."

I stand by the sentiments I shared in this post. 


Women's lives matter. Black lives matter. I'm black and a woman so I'm going to notice things that happen that may have negative impact on women and black people. Noticing these things doesn't discount the fact that I also believe: White lives matter. Mexican lives matter. Jewish lives Matter... do I really have to continue because to be honest I don't even know the names of all the different ethnicities but they all matter. So yes... ALL LIVES MATTER. 

Problems arise when there is a mathematically traceable and provable inequality in the way certain people are treated. Should white people hate themselves  for the actions of their ancestors? No. Should black people hate themselves for the actions of their ancestors? No. Do we all need to come together and have a discussion about the impact of our ancestors actions? Yes. 
Those who want things to be better for everyone in our country moving forward... we should be interested in seeing this very difficult conversation happen. 

Why do I keep saying this conversation is going to be uncomfortable? It will be... and not just for white people. This conversation will be uncomfortable for everyone because it will create more conversations. This ongoing reconciliatory conversation will also be a spring board for other conversations. Necessary conversations.

White Americans and Black Americans need to talk to each other. Black Americans will have to listen to White Americans and White Americans will have to listen to Black Americans.  Then White Americans who want to see change will have to talk to other White American... and many of them won't agree on how to move forward. Black Americans who want to see change will have to talk to other Black Americans will have talk to other Black Americans... and many of them won't agree on how to move forward. 

I'm not sure what is going to happen moving forward but I hope we can begin to change how we respond to these unfortunate incidents. My hope is one day the statistics, climate and relations between different cultures in America change for the better. The first step in making that change is in how we respond to potentially racially charged events in the future. Polarized defenses haven't been productive... let's consider and try something different. All we have to lose is the divisive, negative energy that rolls across our country in waves with each poisonous post. Let's change the conversation. 

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