These past couple of weeks have been hard. I mean, really hard. I personally have so many emotions running through me, that words have failed me. But, to whom much is given, much is required; and I was obliged to push through my personal pain to say something in this moment. Also, because I am an introvert who is quite aware of her mental and physical limitations, I will be brief.
While we should be celebrating the peaceful transition of one presidential administration to another (and many of us still are and will be), we have been hit smack-dab in the face with this country's full-throated racism. It is the wound that has never healed, because this country was built on stolen land by stolen people, and because the abused and their descendants have been vilified for every fight we have made to gain the "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" that is rightfully ours. I could tell you to do some research about this, to find the truth for yourselves in either textbooks or Google, but due to the last four years, trust in some of our most sacred institutions, including some robust journalism, has terribly eroded. We are going to have to begin again. To quote our country's next Administration, we'll have to "build back better."
How do we do that? First, we celebrate the incoming administration. I am confident in the work that President-Elect Joe Biden and Madam Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris are already doing to reposition this country back onto the world stage. Make no mistake, we had fallen off. It will take time, but I am prayerful that the United States will return to a position of power with wisdom and grace in tow. I won't write about hope, because hope by definition requires me to have an optimistic mind that works towards a positive outcome. The last few days have shown me that I can't place too much on the shoulders of men, and to that end, I can no longer put my trust in man. I will leave hope to the hopeful and will put my trust in the Lord. Next steps? We must do the work needed to propel us forward. We must become intentional in our connections, aligning ourselves with people and groups who believe in equal protection under the law (including the oath that no man is above the law), education and pay equity, uplifting the poor, healthcare for all, and free and fair elections for all. This requires us to consider the words of one of the most beloved characters in the Harry Potter series, Professor Dumbledore, Hogwarts' most famous headmaster. He once advised his student body to "choose between what is right and what is easy". You may not agree with everything that is outlined here, but to embrace ignorance, fear, hate, brutality, and chaos over truth, justice, wisdom, courage, and love, puts us at the exact precipice that brought us to the tragic and historic date of January 6, 2021. Want to dig deeper? Consider a lesson in how the government works. Think about a class or an academic program that breaks down how programs work to impact your community, and if that impact is for its health or detriment. Consider running for office with the outcome of improving your community. Too many people have run and won offices for their own personal and financial gain. Take time to truthfully consider if you have a grasp on the fact that policies affect people or that you have a record demonstrating a healthy understanding that governments should have officials who are selfless, able to admit their mistakes and want to make them right, and believe in facts and science. Being prayerful means that I have put my trust in the Lord that people in positions of power will do the right thing, or that those people will know who they can turn to when they need help to do the right thing. I pray that you are in a good place, because right now our nation is not. If, however, her people are in a good place, we can set this country up for success. I am prayerful...
Be blessed and a blessing, Kenyana Briscoe #GullahGriot