EDITOR’S NOTE: “Justice looks like …” is a special series in the Voices column. Readers will have the opportunity to consider justice from numerous viewpoints. The series is based on each writer’s understanding of Scripture and relationship with Jesus Christ. Writers present their own views independent of any institution, unless otherwise noted in their bios.
You are encouraged to listen to each writer without prejudgment. Then, engage in conversation with others around you about what justice looks like to you.
I am tired, and I need you. Since COVID-19 has ravished life as we knew it, it seems as though the racial and socioeconomic plight of Black and brown communities has been placed front and center. Not because we’ve done it, but because COVID-19 has shown it does not care which box one checks on the 2020 census.
Sad to say, COVID-19 isn’t the first pandemic Black and brown communities have been fighting. Black and brown people have been fighting racism more than 400 years. For more than 400 years, Black and brown people have struggled to have their humanity seen. When it is seen, it is usually seen in a negative, twisted light.
For years, Blacks have fought for a piece of the “American Dream,” only to be told we will never obtain this alleged dream, because our hair is too coarse and our skin has been kissed by the sun.
From the day I could remember, my parents had to raise me to understand I am a Black child who will grow up to be a Black woman in a world that may or may not accept me. Can you imagine having to grow up with the weight of your people resting on your shoulders?
My parents would go on to say: “If you are accepted, make sure you open the door for others. And if you aren’t accepted, continue to lean into your faith, because it is in your faith you will learn how to cope with being Black in America.”
Did I mention, I am tired?
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Why I am tired
I am tired of those who co-opt Black culture but refuse to speak up for #Blacklivesmatter, because the sanitized version is #Alllivesmatter.
I am tired of being seen, but not heard.
I am tired of having to fear for the life of my husband and daughter.
I am tired of fearing for the life of my father, my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, my uncles, cousins, nephews, neighbors and parishioners.
I am tired of seeing the hashtags and t-shirts of a life cut short at the hands of reckless law enforcement.
I am tired of being the token Black woman so a company can check off their list the box for diversity and inclusion.
I am tired of being followed in a store, because someone of ivory hue believes I am there to steal.
I am tired of my credentials scrutinized and the perception of my people and me dramatized.
I am tired of wondering, “Will I be next?”
Did I mention I am tired?
How I need you
I could go on and on about my racial fatigue, but I will refrain. Instead, I will tell you I need you.
I need you to facilitate race-related conversations with your circles of influence.
I need you to ask questions and expect answers.
I need you to ask your congregations, denominational leaders and others to pray and also to pair actions with their prayers.
I need you to ask why there aren’t any Black or brown bodies in the room.
I need you to ask yourself, “When was the last time I read or cited the work of a Black or Hispanic theologian or author?”
I need you to ask yourself, “When was the last time I celebrated Black History Month or National Hispanic Heritage Month?”
I need you to address the racism within your circle and ask yourself: “Why do I feel this way? Where did these feelings of hatred come from? Why am I insensitive to the plight of others? Why do I have malice in my heart?”
And I need you to ask the ultimate question: “Why am I so afraid?”
I need you to have these conversations. After all, I and many others will never be afforded this conversation, because I am “too emotional.”
I need you more than ever. I need your voice. I need your persuasion. I need your influence. But most of all, I need you.
As you seek God in what you should do, I ask you to remember my eternal fatigue and your brothers and sisters of ebony hue.
Above all, I ask you to remember the humanity of all people, not just some.
Pastor Kan’Dace Brock is the lead pastor of The Message Church in San Antonio. The views expressed are those solely of the author.
Click here to read the full “Justice looks like…” series.