I didn’t grow up in the US (I migrated from Trinidad, one of the islands from the twin republic of Trinidad and Tobago) so I didn’t really experience racism until I lived here. I’m not saying that discrimination does not exist in my country but it’s not systemic like it is in America. I did not have to be aware of my ‘blackness’ as I am now because in Trinidad the majority of people look like me and I also did not know a lot of African American history so some of my views were very ‘white washed’.
When I initially came to America, I was one of those people who made it known that I was not African American for two reasons. One, I was proud of my culture and wanted people to know about it and two; I didn’t want to be identified as ‘them’. You know the ‘them’ I’m talking about; the stereotypical black American, the one who is lazy, loud and ghetto and just loves to live off of welfare. What’s even more embarrassing is that at some point I used to think “Get over it already! Slavery ended years ago!”
I have been in this country 15 years now, long enough to know that even if black people wanted to get over it already, and I know we tried, the system does not allow it! Racism is so ingrained in the fabric of this country that it used to go unnoticed or at least ignored. I have never experienced explicit racism firsthand, thankfully, and because of it, I guess I was comfortable not doing or saying anything on the matter. But no more!
I am black! So how can I sit back and let my brothers and sisters be treated unfairly and be killed in the streets and in their own homes like animals? How can I not be outraged by what is happening in this country? The thing is, I am a child of God first, so I have be careful not to let my outrage lead to hate or lead me to do anything that goes against His principles or will for my life! But I still need to do something!
With everything that’s going on, I started to feel bad because I was not on the front lines protesting and being extremely vocal on my social media platforms and the Lord lead me to this scripture,
Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God works all of them in each person. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
It gave me such peace in the moment because it made me realize that even though we all have a part to play in this season and in the movement, we are not all expected to play the same part! So whether you are called to protest, to boycott, to buy black, to create businesses, to write letters or books or blogs, to sign petitions or even just to educate yourself and others, know that it’s the same Spirit leading you and you can make a difference. Be prayerful and intentional about what you do but don’t feel pressured to do what everyone is doing!
Just doing my Father’s work!