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I will freely admit that this entry is deeply personal. Because of COVID-19, like many of you, I often find myself in front of my TV or on my phone watching all manner of videos. There are clips of music concerts, TikToks of people dancing, animal voice-overs, and unfortunately, clips of violence. The latter reminds me so much of the violence from the Civil Rights Movement, because I learned about that period from loved ones who lived it. But, as day follows night, there are also clips of marches and protests - some from 2020 and yes, some from the 1960s. It's like some endless cycle that repeats itself every 60 years or so: first, a push for opportunity and growth for all people; next, a vicious backlash from a group that needs to feel superior; then, behavior suggesting maybe someone overreacted, followed by a period of quiet with a few laws sprinkled in for the appearance of making progress. But, just when we start to believe that we've come a mighty long way, we come to realize that what was thought to be established law wasn't, what was thought to be progress was temporary, and institutions that were thought to be sound, separate and equal were just tinder waiting for a flame.

This is a vicious cycle that leaves me scratching my head, because I don't subscribe to insanity. I follow the train of thought that says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result. To that end, I am certain that what I'm witnessing today is more of the same. We tried Reconstruction, got 12 years of productivity, and were rewarded with Jim Crow. We had the Civil Rights Movement, got tremendous progress including our nation's first Black president, yet wound up with these last four years of pure, unbridled chaos. Our technology has advanced so that we see in real time examples of peaceful resistance on the sidelines of sporting events, while simultaneously seeing the reasons for the resistance on full display from policing all over this nation, yet the spin we are fed is that the peaceful display is the problem. And, y'all, I'm tired. Real time tired. I'm tired of the disinformation. Tired of the blatant lies. Tired from this load of excrement that is so extremely foul and heavy. And if you don't know me by now, I'm one of those people who is a fervent believer that anytime I am brought to my knees, I pray. After I pray, I walk, because faith without works is dead.

We are all beings created in the image of our Father and as heirs to His throne. I would like to use this entry to remind you that you have permission to breathe. You have permission to the freedoms He has bestowed upon each of His children: life, air, water, protection. You have permission to move and have your being on the face of His earth. You have permission to walk, to march, to run, to pray, to worship and praise. You have permission to sing, to act, to dance, to celebrate, to write, to protest, to demand. You have permission to live and die with dignity. You have permission to love or to leave anyone you want or need. Love all who lift you in love, light, peace, health and prosperity. Leave all who wish you harm, who can only feel you when you are beneath the balls of their feet like some troublesome pebble, who wish you dead and defeated. The grace of God gives you permission to leave anyone on a hill he or she wishes to die on that you cannot or do not desire to climb. Not everyone wants to be saved and it is okay to leave them where they are. None of what is here is punishable by death, not one thing. Don't you dare settle for another life cut short, because you heard he or she "didn't follow the rules." Vengeance is the Lord's, justice is man's, and both are on the way.  Do you want change? Then vote like your life depends on it! Make sure your fathers and brothers are registered to vote and have a ballot on the way. Make sure they fill it out and drop it off once completed. Correct a loved one when you hear her say something that doesn't make sense. If sis is firm in her belief, leave her where she stands. The air is toxic and crazy is catching. Your talents and energies are best served with those who are seeking it and needing it. Even if you don't believe in you, I do and so does God. I need everyone to act like you're living for something or someone greater than you. Living for something greater gives you purpose. You have a purpose. YOU HAVE PERMISSION! 

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Da-Renne Westbrook
Da-Renne Westbrook
Oct 31, 2020


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