What do you see when you see me?

A kid sleeping on the couch in my Nana’s house

7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones

What do you see when you me?

A teen walking down the street

17-year old Trayvon Martin

What do you see when you see me?

A brother going for a jog around the neighbourhood

25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery

What do you see when you see me?

An uncle begging, I can’t breathe

43-year-old Eric Garner

What do you see when you see me?

A sister asleep in my apartment

26-year-old Breonna Taylor

What do you see when you me?

An Auntie getting ready for work

57-year-old Alberta Spruill

What do you see when you see me?

A mother who is about to be made homeless

66-year-old Eleanor Bumpurs

What do you see when you see me?

A Grandmother in my home

92-year-old Kathryn Johnston

What do you see when you see me?

A Grandpa attending my grandson’s football game

68-year-old Eurie Stamps Sr

What do you see when you see me?

A father who will never see his daughter achieve her dreams

46-year-old George Floyd

What do these people all have in common?

Yes, they are black but most of all they are human beings and their lives mattered.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

If you believe yourself to be an individual full of compassion and decency, then I must ask how you could see what is happening all around you in the world today and not say anything at all?

How can you say I love my son, daughter, sister, brother, auntie, uncle, father, mother, nana and papa, then not understand the pain others feel when their loved ones get murdered and the culprits never face justice?

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.

John 13:34b-35

If you call yourself a Christian then how can you remain quiet right now while your brother and sisters are killed just because they have a different colour of skin?

Jesus told you to ‘Love one another, as I have loved you.’ So ask yourself if you are upholding one of the most important tenets of Christianity which is to love your neighbour as you love yourself? We are not perfect but who is? He who has not sinned, let him be the first to cast the first stone.

Do you believe Black Lives Matter?

Many people have a misconception of what the Black Lives Matter movement really stands for so let me just clarify that the movement does believe ALL lives matter, that is undisputed. What we are asking for is for everyone to gather and support BLACK lives in their time of crisis as they face systemic oppression which is costing lives! Only together can change be made and so if you genuinely believe all lives matter then you should be supporting black lives matter right now.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

I just want to live in a world where I do not have to tell my kids they are different or tell my kids that they will be treated differently because of the colour of their skin. A world where I don’t have to tell my kids to be very careful when dealing with the police or that life will be harder for them because we still don’t have equal opportunities. So let me ask you this, don’t you want to live in that world too?

We urge our brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, mothers and fathers, nanas and papas, regardless of their race to stand with us as we fight to make lasting change. You might think this is not your fight but to stay silent is to be complacent and complicit, so which side of history do you want to be on?

Photo by Iyin Onaeko on Unsplash

Now we’ve come full circle and I leave you with more powerful words from famous civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr. and I ask you one more time, What do you see when you see me? and I hope the answer is a life that matters.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Not only we will have to repent for the sins of bad people, but also we will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash