Perspective: Charlottesville Response

I won't talk about my experience in Charlottesville but have some harsh encouragements. 

1. Everyone

Own your part in what led to this, and let it be a barometer for what not to do moving forward. It's uncomfortable, but we all own this, even POC's. If you aren't sure what led to this, let's talk. I'll give you an objective summary. 

2. Politics

This is no longer a left vs right issue. If you're hesitant to make a choice because of political leanings, you need to look at this with fresh eyes. Because here's the assumable reality now: If you turn a blind eye, you are saying you're okay with blood being spilled over skin color. 

3. White people

Action is more powerful than sentiment.
Stop saying sorry. If you're about that life, ask "What can I do?" Your sorry, new perspective and wishful thinking may feel good, but you know what it doesn't fix? Taking a pipe to the face because of dark skin. 
I'm not saying you have to dive into the throng of a riot to guard people, but we all have an active role. Find a need, find your role. (Hint- it's not what's comfortable) 

4. Christians

Faith without works is dead. Sing about how good God is, and ignore what's going on, and no one will ever take you, your faith, or your God seriously. Go ahead and do your prayers, say amen & get to work. 

5. Conversation

"Every closed eye ain't sleep"
Yo... you can't wake anyone who wasn't asleep.
Be wary of a wolf in sheep's clothing. Don't waste your breath with these people who feign ignorance, know where to spend your time.

6. Support

Support isn't convenient. It requires sacrifice (Looks different for everyone). If you can't deal with the inconvenience of the timing, just refer to #2, and proceed with whatever you want.

7. Don't disengage

Retreat, sure, but don't disengage. The moment you do, they win. Because they live their ideals. Live yours outs. There are ways to positively engage these issues in a restful manner. 

8. Affirmation

Finally and most importantly POC's - Know this: 

Your value isn't defined by those who were in an uproar about a QB taking a knee, but stayed silent in the spilling of blood in ugly hateful violence. 

Your value isn't in a churches silent acceptance of the current situation. 

Your value isn't defined by how 'unacceptable' your culture is.

Your value isn't in how the media says you walk and talk and think. 

You aren't the sum total of all the 'justified' deaths of young men and women who look like you

You aren't a stat.

You are you.
I love you, your culture, your skin, your eyes, your hair, your nose, and everything that makes you, you. Not because of anything you've done or a style you've achieved, but just because you're you. I'll gladly eat a pipe again to ensure you get to live American because that's what love is. 

Brandon Williams