We all get excited when we get a new car, new clothes, new shoes, new TV, anything new. It has the "New" smell and we enjoy it, we brag about it and we show it off to anyone that would pay attention. As time passes, a week maybe two, it is not as exciting and we don't talk about it as much or show it off that much. Then we hit week three and beyond and now it is old news. We have gotten use to it, the "New" smell is gone and the desire to show it off it also gone. It is now just a car, just a TV... whatever it is, it is no longer a big deal. Then we get something else new and now all of our focus goes to that and we repeat the cycle of "New" smell and giving it all of our attention.
Guess what Black community, that is a lot of us. We are all in an uproar about injustice that has occurred to someone in our community but when the "New" smell wears off we are back to normal. When it first happens EVERYBODY is talking about it. The news, the internet, us in our local circles... nonstop conversations. Give it about two weeks and the news isn't covering it that much, if at all, the internet has slowed down their coverage and we don't really discuss it anymore. Then we hit week 3 and it is back page news or a footnote somewhere and we go back to normal as if everything is fine again but IT IS NOT! Nothing has changed! The injustice that has occurred still has not produced any convictions or any lasting legislation being passed to make sure that this doesn't happen again or most importantly, closure for the family. This is not the way we should behave but I feel that our government officials expect this of us. They figure that they can wait us out because we are only going to be interested for a short period of time, then we'll forget about it and they don't have to do any real changes. They can TEMPORARILY show some support for our Movement but then go back to normal as soon as we do. We give back our power without getting anything for it.
This post came as a result of a protest march that I went to today. I was excited and my daughter was excited too because there is still work to be done and we want to be a part of it. So we went downtown to Washington Park to participate. The event itself was nice and well organized but the attendance wasn't what we were expecting. It wasn't that people weren't there, it was that there was not a large presence of Blacks there. To be honest I think we may have been 25% of the people. Now don't get me wrong, I am happy that people of all other races are supportive and have become allies of our Movement but we can't let them spearhead it. Now before that is taken the wrong way, I am simply saying, if we start something because of things that have happened to us, we can't just hand it over to someone who doesn't experience the same thing. That is unfair to the Movement and to them. So what I saw today is what I had been saying in conversations that I have had when this Movement started and that is, let's see where everyone is when the newness wears off. When the coverage isn't that great and the momentum seems to have slowed down. Will we walk away from it or still march and protest and demand changes to be made. As the sayings go, this is where the rubber meets the road, where you put up or shut up, where your actions speak louder than your words. This is no longer being done because it looks good on TV because there is no coverage. This is now where the grassroots work is being done without the fan fair of everyone patting you on your back. You are doing it because you want to see changes.
So here is my challenge, let's not do what they expect us to do, which is to let it all pass by and we go back to normal. It is time to hold people accountable for what they said when they appeared to be supportive. Let's keep marching, protesting or whatever you do to support the Movement. We can't stop because there are still changes that need to happen and people that need to be held accountable for their actions. Come on Black people, continue to rise up and press for change. I Love You All