Marvin Gaye

We continue to arrive, with gross repetition, to this place of cultural disbelief. Another young man taken from us. An explosive outcry against oppression, violence and killing. Brothers and sisters march through the streets, and eye one another with suspicion. We are like wary foxes in open fields, ears lain flat against delicate skulls as the concuss of heavy footsteps - racial inequality, hate, social injustice - vibrate up our legs.

In the 400 years since the origins of slavery in America, there are wounds that have remained oozily open by the perpetuation of false truths and inherited fears. This insidious pathogen of hate has been carried in the bloodstream of the most outrageous of the Klan, and by the most submissive timidity of a nervous housewife. But as we stand at this place of economic wealth, intellectual acceleration and societal recognition; no longer can we lay blame on our past. The past is PAST. There is far to much damage long done, with scar tissue far to thick to allow for new beginnings. 

I am a white woman raised in an abundant household. I never went hungry, or kept awake by the danger of my situation. I have never been forced to choose between saving my life or bowing down to someone more powerful. The acute awareness of my fortuity can feel like shame. The lack of conviction and justice for the systemic, calculated killing of those who have not been allowed to move through life as I have been allowed is inconceivable. But it is our reality.

What must we do to heal? Whom do we look toward for leadership? How to break these patterns, and these chains that tether us to an existence that simmers with quiet rage?

The answer is not bloodletting, nor the hunting out of a created nightmare. We can no longer lay the blame on our past, or wait anxiously for others to simply hand over our future. It is time to create our present. Happiness, safety, health and peace. Believing in the deservedness of Loving Kindness for all our Brothers and Sisters. We must clearly see the struggle borne of economic destitution and the suppression of an entire people. It's not just the lifting up of a class - it's the recreation of an entire class system. Speaking up for social justice, carrying the flame for those who have been lost, taking on the burden of change. Do not rely solely on our civic leaders. The system is too broken, and the cataclysmic shift exists only in us.

Start small and be a warrior, in your own life, for love. Extend your hand towards others. Speak to your children and your contemporaries about acceptance, about equality, about race. About the ways we may seem different, but - at our core, are the same. BREAK THE PATTERN. This is no longer our story! Though we may stumble through this red, heated haze, on the other side is the opportunity for the truest change our world can know. Do not sit down and wait. Stand up, make the choice to speak out, listen hard and bear witness.