© Allison R. Bethune

I'M TIRED!!!

I've been saying for a while that I was going to get back to blogging. It helps me relax, it helps me to process events, issues, joys, and pains of being a mom, wife, nana, and a plain ol' woman. Well today I AM OFFICIALLY TIRED! Today's blog is a straight forward in your face expression of my feelings. So let me apologize now. I'm sorry if you are not mature enough to respect my position of how I feel about being Black in America.

 I am tired of waking up to the continued violence towards African Americans by the hands of those who are sworn to protect and serve. I am tired of having to explain my "blackness", I'm tired of seeing the President of the United States of America being continually disrespected by millions of white-yes I said it! White people, who are just mad because a black man has been the president for the last 8 years. I'm tired of having to defend my professional and educational status to ignorant white folks. I am tired of calling my sons every time the murder of one of their male counterparts makes national news to inform them to please stay inside or do not go anywhere alone, and for God's sake please don't wear a hoodie at night. I'm tired of so called Christians who use the bible to support hate and racism. Is that really what Jesus would do? I'm just sick and tired.

White people start your petitions now. Blast me on social media, unfriend me, block me, loose my number, or whatever else you need to do; because frankly my dears I DON'T CARE! All of the behaviors I've just mentioned are passive, they require little effort, just gestures to illustrate how much ignorance is rampant in our society. It's easier to create a petition to have Jesse Williams fired from a fictitious show, than to actually acknowledge the elephantine racial disparities within our society. Mr. Williams saturated his speech with numerous amounts of statistical data to support the premise of his oration; which means he did his research. Believe it or not Jesse Williams is more than Dr. Jackson Avery, he is a college educated man. I mean Mr. Williams did graduate with a double major from Temple University; and not to mention he can be considered a resident expert. Yes, his mother is white, but he is a BLACK MAN by definition of the 1/16th rule initiated in the 1890s. And guess who instituted the rule? *SPOILER ALERT* it wasn't us black folk. How about for once in your Caucasian lives you learn the TRUE history of this country and stop clinging to the HIStory. Furthermore, how is he being racists?? Does anyone know the true definition of this word?

Many of my white counterparts are probably a little scared right now because they may think I've gone into the "militant" zone. Let's talk about this, shall we? Why when a person of color is passionate about the mistreatment, the misrepresentation, the misinformation, and the murders of our people, we are labeled militant? So, the First Amendment doesn't apply to us? But when the supremacist groups hold passionate rallies and passes out their passionate literature, it's okay? They are lauded and supported by some members of society stating it is their First Amendment right to do so. If making me militant let's you sleep a little easier at night, then so be it. I know there are some of my friends who know me and try to understand to the best of their ability where I'm coming from. These friends will be the first to admit they have no idea what it's like to be me in America. What it's like raising young black males in America, what it's like being a black educated professional in America, they acknowledge the fact that they don't know. To these friends I say thank you. Thank you for reaching out when I speak up, thank you for knowing this country isn't set up for all to be great, thank you for having the ability to amicably agree to disagree.

Let's have a real raw in your face grown up discussion, shall we? First and foremost this country was founded off of thievery.  The America y'all want to make great again was STOLEN. Point. Blank. Period. How can you take the native's land and then "give" them pockets of land back to live on? How do you knowingly rape, slaughter, infect, and steal from people who taught you how to survive on this soil? How do you acquire the audacity to label them as savages? How does one erase the significance of Native Americans from American history? Answers? Anyone? Bueller???

Now let us address the 151 year old elephant in the room-Slavery. No one wants to acknowledge the atrocities of slavery.  No one will admit how the black family was strategically dismantled. No one will admit how our black men had to watch as the "masta" raped his wife. Because if he defended his wife's honor, it meant death. No one will admit how slave masters literally treated another human being as a piece of property to be be dealt with any way they saw necessary. No one wants to talk about the emasculation of our strong black men. No one wants to talk about how babies were ripped from the arms of their mothers and sold. No one wants to talk about how my people were stripped naked, placed in chains, put up on auction blocks to be sold based on the presentation of their genitalia. No one wants to talk about how slave owners/masters deliberately separated the darker skinned slaves from the lighter skinned slaves. No one wants to talk about introducing alcohol to black men and then inciting them to violent, sometimes deadly brawls against each other after they'd been masterfully inebriated. No one wants to talk about how the slave traders intentionally deceived the African slave owners into thinking they were selling their people into a better life. No one wants to talk about how black women were used as live guinea pigs for gynecological experiments. No one wants to talk about how slaves were murdered for speaking up for themselves, for their families, for their people. No one wants to talk about how slaves were whipped and beaten for "disobedience". No one wants to talk about when a slave was returned to his master he was hanged. No one wants to talk about this. No one wants to talk about how black people were portrayed as stupid niggers, as baby making machines, and cock strong laborers, just to name a few. No one wants to talk about how this mindset has been passed down through generations. No one wants to talk about how black people are still reeling, feeling, and living the repercussions of slavery. Why not?

Sadly, the decision to enslave Africans was based off one bible scripture Colossians 3:22. This is not what Apostle Paul meant when he wrote this letter to the early church of Colosse. I have three words for Christians: Inductive Bible Study. Many scriptures were written within the contextual precepts of the culture, of the laws, and of the familial hierarchy indicative of the time in which they lived. Then and only then will you understand the context in which these scriptures were written.White people took the word of God and used it as a stamp of approval to enslave other human beings. Then used this same word to further enslave the mindset of black people. "It's in the bible", they said. "You don't want to dishonor God do you?", they asked. Many churches funneled money and slaves through their doors in support of the slave trade. Even though many people knew slavery was wrong, they stood silently and allowed it, why? Because of the lucrative offerings the church received from the slave owners and the shipping magnets. I can guarantee you, Jesus is not pleased.

Let's fast forward to today July 6, 2016. Another unarmed black man, #AltonSterling murdered in the street while lying face down on the ground by white police officers. The Black community knows there is a slim chance in hell these officers will be convicted. And if this chance reigns supreme it's only because the video surfaced on social media before it was given to the authorities. The media will focus on #AltonSterling's past. The media will say #AltonSterling must have been doing something he had no business doing. The media will say #AltonSterling provoked the police. I'm quite sure these officers "feared for their lives". In my world we already know the drill, attack the character of the victim to excuse the actions of the murders. Please ignore the fact that he was a human being, he had a family and friends who loved him, he was apart of a community. How many more hastags of young black men and women will we use before we "talk" about it?

You see not talking about, not acknowledging the history of this country is why we are in the same spot yet again. Some white people will deny every credible fact I've written and these white people are the problem. These are the ones supporting Donald Trump, these are the ones who let's just say the slogan as they mean it-who want to make America white again. But how can you make something again that never once was? These are the ones who still look at my skin color and question my abilities as a nurse. These are the ones who feel I need to give an oral dissertation of my curriculum vitae to defend my presence in the classroom. These are the ones who feel my husband and my sons are criminals and thugs. These are the ones who feel my daughter is only good for satisfying sexual desires. These are the ones who blatantly disrespect the President of the United States, because he's black. These are the people who want to defend the Constitution against a man who holds a degree in constitutional law from Harvard. These are the descendants of those who started the false indoctrination of my character, the character of my people. These are the people who believe when we speak #BlackLivesMatter we are spewing hatred of the police. These are the people who believe we created our own problems. These are the ones who still believe it is ok to oppress, suppress, beat, and murder black people into submission. These people are politicians, police officers, pastors, neighbors, co-workers, colleagues, and maybe even our friends.

Not addressing the issue of race within the church is a major problem. Does your congregation reflect all of God's children? Is your congregation truly accomplishing the Great Commission? Is the true love of Christ overflowing out of the four walls of your church into the surrounding communities of where you worship? IF you answered yes to every question, I have a bonus questions for you. Then why is Sunday morning still one of the most segregated times in America? Can you explain how the  Klu Klux Klan was founded on the premise of Christianity? How is it these people use scriptures to burn crosses on the lawns of black people? How can one declare the teachings of Jesus, yet beat, maim, lynch, and murder those who just wanted to be free from oppression? How do you create "Christian" schools just to keep your children from learning with black children?  Finally, how can one apologetically speak ill about the radical faction of another religion? I must commend those pastors who are not afraid to grab the church's role in racism by the horns and talk about it. One of the most revolutionary presentations I've heard via SoundCloud was given by Pastor Dennis Rouse at an ARC Conference earlier this year. Pastor Rouse honestly and explicitly details how to build a solid, Christ-centered, life giving multi-cultural ministry. Pastor Dennis and his wife have been the lead pastors of Victory World Church in Norcross, GA since 1990. Their congregation and staff reflects the true image of God's kingdom, people of all races and colors. Pastor Dennis broke down the history of racism within the church as well as explaining how this affects everyone sitting in the pews. One of the most poignant statements in the presentation was white people have a 200 year head start over black people. He blew the doors wide open on the racial divide. In order to grasp the depth of this revelation; one must be ready to denounce the ancestral mindset of white supremacy, to acknowledge the undeniable truths of this country, and be willing to worship alongside everyone who doesn't look like you. I have yet to find scripture which references the white, black, brown, and yellow sections of heaven. Maybe it's in Two Corinthians.........

The women in my family used to say you won't make a change until you're tired of being sick and tired. Usually this was the sage advice given to another relative/friend going through a tough relationship. Guess what? I'm tired of being sick and tired. I'm tired of the relationship I'm in with society. I can no longer sit by quietly as we are forever being mistreated, misused, misappropriated, and misunderstood, my change as come. I will speak when wrongs are being committed, I will also speak to help create solutions. I will speak pride into the generations after me, I will engage in those difficult conversations with love, respect, and understanding, and I will strive to be the living example of 1 John 4:11-12. Being this living example will come with some challenges. Trust me I know, it's taken me five hours to bring out the love in this post.

In the end we must possess and demonstrate agape love. John wrote "Whoever claims to love God yet hates his brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother or sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." 1 John 4:20-21 NIV. Don't take it up with me, take it up with the Lord.

Allison