In the world today the treatment and killing of African-Americans by police has sparked a world-wide revolution. People are hitting the streets with signs, chants and weapons to bring awareness, and hopefully change, to the way individuals of color and minorities are identified, profiled and mistreated. Those chants and signs are calling out for an end to the racist way human-kind looks at one-another. “One” is better than the “other.” The “other” doesn’t have the same opportunities as the “better ones.” Still “others” are being oppressed and treated with contempt, while many simply ask the question, “why can’t we all just get along?”
Without diving into a dissertation on historical racism, let’s all understand that this problem has been around since “day one!” Even though, it still remains intolerable, that racism exists, we as people have a problem showing “love” to our fellow brothers and sisters, instead we have a tendency to be racist, and that stems from the heart. But is showing love the answer? Yes, I believe it is. OK, then how do I do that? How do I show love in a way that will affect radical change in the human heart, and subsequently eliminate racism and oppression in our society?
Surely protest, signs, chants, demonstrations, speeches, political activities and such all have a place at the table of change and reconciliation. Communication, knowledge, truth and love are all a part of the recipe that the world is searching for. But, when we let our emotions fuel bitterness and hatred for one another, the goals become lost. The goals behind our actions against racism become convoluted, that’s why ….. #isupportalice.
My mom grew up in Savanah Georgia. She lived in an area that was quite poor and offered very little in the way of a desire to be there. My knowledge of her early life comes from the deep conversations she and I shared while she was still alive. In Savanah, she and her siblings grew up in a very impoverished area with very little money and a large family. Her dad was a simple man, hardworking and loving from what I have been told, even though I have never met him. It’s strange, but by the time my mom had turned 13, both of her parent had died. She and her siblings were alone. That’s where Alice comes into the scenario.
My mom’s dad had a small sole propriety business of repairing things. He was kind of a handy man that took items in for repair. I really don’t know much more about his methods of supporting the family, but I do know that the family needed “extra hands” from time to time. Enter Alice.
Alice, at least that was the name they came up with, worked for my mom’s family for many years. Alice did not know her real name, did not know where she was born or how old she really was, and reading and writing were totally out of the question. I do remember my mom telling me that Alice came to live with the family, and care for the kids, directly from a plantation of some sort. Alice wasn’t just a “hired employee,” she was part of the family. Deeply cared for, and not seen as “different.”
When my mom’s parents had both passed away, it was Alice that cared for the children and provided a state of stability. Even though Alice was uneducated and struggled with various challenges in her life, her loving heart and willingness to sacrifice for the sake of “her” family was what brought my mom and her siblings through this very difficult time. That’s why … #isupportalice.
This wonderful African-American woman, that I never met, serves for me as the embodiment of the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the other movements that promote caring, dignity and respect for all of God’s children. All! Alice “chose” to love a white family that was in need. The family “chose” to love a nameless older African-American woman from who knows where. They all “chose” to love each other even as a cross burned in front of their home one sad summer Savanah night.
Yes, #isupportalice because she showed her tremendous worth as one of God’s children in the chosen selfless caring for a white family that had been devastated by the loss of both parents. Friends, without riots, without signs, without placards, without shouting, without burning and looting, without name calling and without concern for herself, Alice chose to “love.” Alice chose to “be” the change, and not just talk about it. For me, Alice, is the kind of person that I aspire to be like, one that lets love dominate any desire to lash out.
Can you say … #isupportalice
Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”