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Wendy’s Window
By WendyGladney Dean
Published December 4, 2014

The holidays are a time when our hearts are supposed to be filled with joy and glee.  However, it is also a time when many are feeling heavy hearted, sad and alone.  As a mother of two young black men and a grandmother of four young black grandsons, my heart aches whenever I hear about another young black boy who has been killed.  But to be honest my heart aches whenever I hear about any child that’s been killed or hurt.  The outcome of the Michael Brown case is still fresh for all of us and my heart goes out to his family and all the families that have experienced pain, sorrow and death. 

 

When a situation such as Ferguson happens, it causes the community to become outraged and angered.  I understand these emotions, but we also need to have discussions around real solutions that don’t include looting, burning and destroying businesses and properties.  Years ago I heard the phrase, life is 20 percent what happens to you and 80 percent how you handle it.  In life we can’t always control the things that happen, but we can control what we think, say and do about them.  Civil disobedience with a purpose and a plan can bring anyone or anything down to their knees. Football player Benjamin Watson released a statement on social media that caught my attention.  He shared about his anger, frustration, fears, embarrassment, confusion, and how he felt hopeless, yet hopeful and encouraged behind what was happening as part of the aftermath of the Michael Brown trial. He shared how it was not a skin problem, but yet a sin problem. 

 

I totally understand Mr. Watson’s expressions.  I too feel some of the very same emotions.  On Thanksgiving Day several of my family members were at my home and around the dinner table we had an open conversation about what is happening regarding the killings of young black men.  I come from a multi-cultural background, my father is African American, my mother is Caucasian, my cousin is Latino, and my sons are African American.  As we sat and discussed our feelings about what is happening, we agreed that boys and men of color (including Latino) seem to be at a more disadvantage than their Caucasian counterparts. How do we help protect them?  How do we make sure this doesn’t keep happening?  What role do we play as a family and as a community?

 

As we demand equal treatment by those in authority, especially police officers, we must also teach our children how to protect themselves.  They too must be responsible for the choices and actions they make.  Fear plays a role in part of the problem.  White police often pass judgment when they see young men of color, and oftentimes boys and men of color feel like a target.  Systems must be put in place to change that perception (and reality). The question is how can we promote forgiveness, love and healing?  

 

When my children were young I taught them that right is right if no one is doing it and wrong is wrong even if everyone was doing it.  Dr. King also once said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Are we willing to be that light and show love?

 

Healing Without Hate:  It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!

 

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Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

Categories: Family

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