In 1963, just two years after I was born, Sam Cooke sang a song called a “Change is gonna come.” It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die ‘cause I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky…there been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long, but now I think I’m able to carry on. It’s been a long, time coming, but I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will. Sam Cooke was encouraged to write this based on things from his own personal life, centering around prejudice and injustice. Fifty years later we are still singing the same lyrics.
Today, people are writing new lyrics and sharing their personal stories based on what is happening in their own lives, but the words are still the same. We currently live in a society where there is no sanctity for life. Some police officers take the lives of Black and brown people as if they are disposable. On the flip side there are everyday citizens that feel they have the right to take justice into their own hands and kill innocent police officers who are just doing their job. I know there is injustice in our society, but we cannot be vigilantes taking the law into our own hands, trying to right societal wrongs. There is a system. If we do not do things the way they are supposed to be, things will get worse. We must go high when others go low.
Part of the problem is the lack of respect people have for one another. Not honoring life, humanity, or mankind. This is detrimental to the stability of society. How can we expect or hope for a better tomorrow for our children and grandchildren if we do not do what is necessary to ensure equality and justice? A change must come if we want to make sure the pendulum swings on the right side of justice, good people are going to have to stand up for what is right and true. No matter the cost.
When it comes to the problems of police brutality, it is real. But that does not mean all police are racist and unfair. The history of policing in America ties back to slavery in America. Research shows that historically the development of the police force had ties to legal, political, and economic conditions. Slavery and controlling minorities were part of that process. Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behaviors of minorities and slavery and that mindset continues to this day.
Policing contributed to systemic racism that still exists here in America. The abuse against people of color continued and provided a legal format to do so. This activity was not limited to just the South. Northern colonies enacted laws to criminalize and control slaves as well. In some cases, police harassment simply meant people of African descent were more likely to be stopped and questioned by the police, while at the other extreme, they have suffered beatings, and even murder, at the hands of white police. Sounds familiar?
We know that a White man would not be treated the same by law enforcement as a Black man if stopped for the same reason. A solution must be agreed upon to bring about equality and justice. I think it is going to have to start with protocol and undoing the way things have occurred previously. A change is going to come. It must or things will only get worse. People are not protesting and marching for nothing. The message is loud and clear.
Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!
Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.