Many times in my life, I have heard people use the popular saying, “this is not a hill worth dying on.” In some instances, I believe that statement to be true. However, considering the current political, economic, educational, and societal trends, I am looking at the hill very differently. First and foremost, let’s consider the climb. As an African American Man, too many times, I have been made to feel as though I don’t deserve to be where I am. It doesn’t matter that I have more education than many of the people who connect with me. It doesn’t matter that I operate from a place of purpose and passion rather than politics and evolving popularity. It doesn’t matter that I actually care. The only thing that seems to matter is that I am a tall African American Man in a room full of people that have probably never experienced this side of Blackness. For those who believe it to be true, let me correct the lie; affirmative action has never given my people a free ride. Some believe that it is the only reason that some of us sit at the table, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth of the matter is that we sit at the table because we are deserving of the chair. Many of us came from nothing while desiring something greater. We aren’t just dreamers, we’re also planners. Therefore, we worked our plans until our plans worked. Some of us worked two to three jobs in order to make our dreams real. Some of us raised children without love or support in order to make our dreams real. Some of us dared to plan when everyone around us tried to convince us that we’re not smart enough, strong enough, light enough, or unworthy. Yes, we climbed. My Mother’s climb positioned me to see a side of the hill that she couldn’t see as a child. I’ve tried to do the same for mine. Now, I wish it to be known that this is not a plea. This is nothing more than an explanation. Again, the hill. If there are those who seek to destroy me because my presence is greater than their expectations, I will not shrink in order for you to understand me. I will not speak when I should be silent, and I will not be silent when I should speak. In the face of racism, there is no way to be less emotional in order for racists to feel better about their racist beliefs and practices. You want to hear the truth? Here it goes. Just about every policy and institution in this Country was designed to protect the institution of racism. This is why CRT or Critical Race Theory is so frightening to so many people. Why are they afraid? They are afraid because they know the impact that the truth could have on both their children and our children. For our children, it would empower them to know that they are more than simply the descendants of slaves. They would learn things that would inadvertently break the shackles of apathy, poverty, political hopelessness and usefulness, and socioeconomic understanding. For their children, the myths about George Washington never lying and his cherry tree would be demolished. The sympathetic stories about Thomas Jefferson and his undying love affair with Sally Hemings would be demolished. Honestly, she was his slave. Did she choose to have his children, or was she forced? As I have written before, Love is a verb right? If he truly loved her, why didn’t he set her free? His story became history. Her story? Well, because she was forbidden by law to read and write, the stories that she told was lost in folklore. It is a mystery just like my story. The only time that any group of people would be afraid of the truth is if they are consistently benefitting from the lie. No more. To my people, I say that the time has come to no longer walk in fear. In all things related to us, please tell the truth. Our silence is hurting our children. Yes, there is crime in the inner cities. However, the limiting of options and the blaming for choices shouldn’t be done unless the options are greater. Funding for schools is directly associated with zip codes across this Country. Liberty and justice for all…. The time has come to stand up. To my people, I say that the time has come for us to stop fighting one another. We should not be enemies. We are Brothers and Sisters, and we are stronger together. To our leaders, you must speak with us in order to speak for us. Your presence in our communities shouldn’t require media outlets. To our musical artists, can we please get back to transparency, vulnerability, honesty, and love? It’s okay to feel. Its okay to be beautiful beyond anything that can be bought or sold. To our White Brothers and Sisters who sincerely understand that the struggle is real, please continue to work with us. As I said about my Brothers and Sisters, I will say to you. We are stronger together. The time has come to stand up. Let’s do more than protest. Let’s do more than march. It seems that protest brings media attention while racism seems to change policy. We need to correct that. The hill. Is this a hill worth dying on? Yes it is. I’m willing to die on this hill so that my grandchildren don’t have to live on it…..Patrick
This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. As always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything.