I desire peace.
It’s what I’ve tried to formulate my life around. I am in a perpetual state of seeking balance so that I have … peace. Why is that so hard to ascertain? And it seems the older we get, the harder and harder it gets. As we grow, we become pulled in many more directions and it becomes harder to maintain that balance. That peace.
Recently, my biggest magnet has been activism in Ferguson, MO. This is my home. Ironically, there are peaceful protesters, disturbing the peace of others, and with just cause. In the last 103 days, three young black men in St. Louis have had their peace taken from them at the hands of police. Due to that, I feel like I’m fighting everyday to raise awareness, to affect change in this community, city, and country.
I can’t have peace if I’m constantly feeling like I have to fight. I have to fight against the militarized police state of this city. I have to fight against the racial profiling that runs rampant in every subdivision’s police department. I have to fight against being profiled by non-blacks, which has only increased since the happenings in Ferguson. I have to fight against a mainstream media that would rather direct the narrative and portray me as a black savage. I have to fight to remind my white coworkers that although I fit in here, I am still very unapologetically, a black man.
Many make metaphorical comparisons between life and the rain. Thunderstorms happen, rain falls and washes away the old, wiping the world clean and providing a new slate in which nature and life have a second chance. It just isn’t that similar, not with matters like these. When will justice rain down on our people? When will lightning strike down the bigotry against blacks? When will the rains come down and wash away all of the people’s pain? Because all it feels like it’s doing right now is watering the poplar trees that are bearing their 21st century strange fruit.
How does this narrative end? Does it end in peace? What does that peace look like? That peace looks like mothers not worrying about their sons making a quick run to the corner store. It looks like police deescalating a tense situation without firing their sidearm. It looks like blacks not being afraid of anything more than a driving citation when pulled over. It looks like blacks not being looked at as weapons simply because of the melanin in their skin. These are our wants, our needs, our desires. We desire peace.
“Change gon come,” as Sam Cooke would say. The rains have to come eventually, right? Right?