Tonight in my church leadership class we were asked to craft a personal mission statement. I’d done this before when reading The Path, but tonight’s exercise was good too. Though this version is wordier, but I like it. Here it is:
I am a flawed but forgiven person called to serve the Lord and lead people to Jesus. I have a creative and passionate heart that is manifest through hard work and indomitable spirit. I am called to love God and to love, support, and defend my neighbors so that we may grow closer to God. My life is best when focused on honesty and integrity, but lived in vulnerability.
I posted this on Facebook today with the picture above. It is a rant no doubt, but it is something that I felt needed to be said.
To all of my ignorant friends who generalize blacks, the poor, urban communities, etc. I am black, my family has been poor, and I come from those urban communities. In fact, I am the face of those communities.
You might see me differently but I promise you the police don’t. I may not be one of “them” in your eyes, but “they” are my family, my friends, and more importantly “they” are human beings who deserve love and respect. Though some people’s actions may not be deserving of respect right now, you cannot judge a city, a community, or a race by the actions of some. Much like the ignorance that labels all Muslims as terrorists, blacks are being painted with a broad brush as lawbreakers, looters, and rioters. Even my wife (who isn’t black) has heard very racist comments from her peers who either don’t know or don’t remember that her husband is a black man, and that her kids are half black as well.
So what’s my point? My point is that I need you, my friends, to check yourselves before you say something offensive or just plain stupid, and then to check others when they say it. We are not all rioters and looters. We are not “thugs”. We are not “animals” (these are real world examples taken from Facebook). I am more than what you, your memes, your news networks, and your ignorance would like to make me out to be, and I show it everyday. (Imagine that I judged all white people based on Honey Boo Boo and you’ll get an idea of what I mean and how I’m feeling.)
You probably won’t even notice if I delete you, so instead I’m going to speak up and call you out on your crap. Before you post or make another ignorant comment, think about who you include in that statement. Think about who you’re hurting. We are all called to love each other, so operate in love, not in frustration or generalization.