By Terry Loving
“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees,”
New American Standard Bible
“He who hates disguises it with his lips, But he lays up deceit in his heart.”
Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long;
While there are others living about us,
Never molested, though in the wrong.
Sometimes I wonder why I must suffer,
Go in the rain, the cold, and the snow,
When there are many living in comfort,
Giving no heed to all I can do.
Often when death has taken our loved ones,
Leaving our home so lone and so drear,
Then do we wonder why others prosper,
Living so wicked year after year.
This gospel song has different lyrics, either added or subtracted. I chose this version because it speaks to how I am feeling in the midst of what is going on in America – and has been for a very long time. Whenever I feel weary I lean on this song because it brings my heart a little comfort. This is the chorus:
Farther along we’ll know more about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.
Blacks in America have been trying to “live in the sunshine” for centuries. But the dark clouds follow us generation after generation. The hunting of black people to harm did not end when slavery “technically” ended. I say “technically” because in America black people are still viewed and treated as less than human – murdered by whites who never will acknowledge our humanity. In our minds we feel like human prey – always on guard – because the molesters of our souls never cease. We are in the 21st century and still mistreated and murdered. We are not free – not really.
When you cannot enjoy a day at a craft store with your grandchild without some white man trying to pick a fight – we are not free. I have never in all the times I have shopped at Johann Craft stores seen a white man shopping there. Perhaps some do, but that day was a first for me.
This particular day we were minding our own business down one of the isles and a young white guy kept walking back and forth – 3 times bumping into us and not saying excuse me. I am deaf so if he did I would not have heard him anyway. I asked my granddaughter when he left did he bump into her as well and not say “Excuse me?” She said, “He did not say a word.” Our backs were turned to each other looking at merchandise so I was mainly focused on how many times he bumped into me. After the third time and he was at the end of the aisle looking at me and frowning – I asked him, “So you were trying to get by?” He just walked away frustrated that he didn’t get a rise out of us. I am glad my spirit remained calm because I carry pepper spray and I would have emptied that canister in his face if he had become violent towards either one of us.
Why can’t white people just live and let live?
Not only did I grow up with domestic violence, abuse and neglect – I lived through past riots where black people were deeply hurt when injustice visited our lives over and over again. Every time a black leader rises up to help our people in many ways – especially to stand on our own – they are murdered. Black children in America face turmoil at home and then have to deal with ill-treatment on the outside. In a few years I will turn 70 and the trauma, scenes of violence at home and in our communities are still with me.
I have experienced white men standing on corners waiting for our school to let out to attack us. Too many black people have encountered and were attacked by those vicious dogs Trump threatened to turn on the protestors if they breached the White House. Yeah Trump, black people have felt those sharp teeth, the rope around their necks, burning, shooting – being dragged tied to the back of vehicles. We have been through so much that his threats don’t matter – we’re TIRED!
Trying to “live in the sunshine” means trying to have days when your past pain does not overwhelm you. It is difficult because the triggers will come. You can watch a movie, hear a song, read something or someone says something that will bring back horrific memories that even counseling is unable to help you to erase from your soul. Some pain you will take to your grave.
I guess what I would like white people to understand is this – we as black people have enough to overcome without having to fight oppression – still. Even during this COVID-19 virus killing black people more than any other race – we have to deal with oppressors. Do you not understand how painful it is to not be able to visit your sick loved one in the hospital – worst yet – not be able to give them a proper funeral and burial when they die of the virus? Where is your compassion? Where is your heart?
Blacks in America have a lot of pressure to deal with. Slavery taught black people to hate one another. Before you say, “Oh here we go,” – hear me out. As a light skinned person, I have been called “high yellow,” “red bone” and other not so nice names. Dark skinned people have been called ugly names like “darkie,” “Sambo,” and “tar baby.” And this is within our own neighborhoods – people we grew up with and sometimes loved. The “field” and “house” Negroes were always at odds during slavery times. The light skinned black people were thought to be uppity – I guess because of the white blood that runs through their veins because they were raped. I never thought that to be something to be proud of given our history. Slavery destroyed our home structure and divided us as a people. The cycles of destruction were passed down, never really dealt with.
In my opinion, most black people look in the mirror and don’t see anything “beautiful” about the color of their skin or who they are as a person. All most see is the “nigger” that white society has branded our race so long ago. We have been called “nigger” for so long that many black people think “my nigga” is a term of endearment. When we walk down the street we see a reflection of that image in others and the mistrust that was instilled in us which triggers negative feelings that we never took the time to address. We as black people have much distrust for one another – even hatred. We learned that. Just like white people learned to hate black people. It started with planted seeds that grew into what we see in our world today.
Now – take all of that turmoil we grew up with in our homes, our neighborhoods, our schools in America and add disenfranchisement, lack of opportunities, and racism to the mix. Most black children grow up carrying a weight on their necks already – we don’t need an oppressor to add to the pain we are already trying to purge from our souls.
Am I asking white people to love us? – Feel sorry for us? No! How about just stop mistreating us. Give us a chance to fix issues within our own race. Stop killing those leaders that rise up to help us to stop feeling inferior, that help us to see our worth. Stop murdering our young people who are trying to make something of their lives – you’ve taken some of the most promising from among us – Bothem Shem Jean, Atatiana “Tay” Jefferson, Ahmaud Arbery – ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER!!!
White people, the most important thing I am asking of you is to take a deep look inside of yourselves and have a serious dialogue within your own souls. Ask yourselves where and how you learned to be so hateful. Who taught you that black skin is diseased? Who taught them? The truth I have come to understand “by and by” is this – your hatred is a deep seated sickness within your souls. It needs to be purged. Black people can march, riot, pray, vote, plead and nothing will root out your evil towards us. How did that work for Malcom X and Martin Luther King, Jr.? – It didn’t! They were murdered because white people are afraid of black people. You have to do the work – hard work that involves truth.
That’s right! White people are afraid of black people. You are afraid to lose your so-called power over us. It makes you feel superior to keep your foot on our necks; keep us poor and overlooked. It is not your white skin that makes you feel superior – if it was you wouldn’t be tanning on a beach to look more like us. No, you are afraid that black people will become too powerful – so you use your police and military might to keep us “in our place.” You need an underdog to make you feel good about yourselves.
And you silly people that keep telling black people to go back to Africa – just stop! You sound so ignorant telling black people to “go back” to somewhere they have never been. You’ve even trained other races to spew that nonsense – like the Chinese woman I heard tell that a black man in a 7-11 store in New Jersey to “Go back to Africa!” We’re TIRED white people. You keep lighting the fuse to the powder keg of abuse and chastise those who rise up and rebel with your might – vicious police who have no idea what it means to Protect and to Serve is your best weapon. Lock up and kill black people.
The Bible says you “reap what you sow.” Your seed of hatred has been sown, sprouted, wilted, refreshed, dormant for a season and sprung up over and over again. The whole country is reaping your evil. How long do you think this can continue? How long will cowards hide behind badges and guns? Or hide in the White House bunker? Is there any race on the planet you haven’t devastated? Only you know who planted the seed in your minds that your white skin is superior – it really isn’t. You bleed just like we do – only we bleed more – by your hands.
Black people are tired of being “tempted” and “tried!” We are tired of white people molesting our souls! We no longer have to wonder why it is “all the day long.” IT IS YOUR HATRED WHITE PEOPLE!!! “Often” you take “our loved ones leaving our home so lone and so drear.” We no longer “wonder” why you continue to “prosper living so wicked year after year.” This is why:
New American Standard Bible
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
You are an enemy prowling around seeking to devour.
I am a tired angry black senior – just leave me and my people alone! It’s been way too long to keep going through this!
To all of you white people calling the cops on black people for nothing, you have no idea what devastation you can cause. The cops are going to believe you first white woman, just like the white men in Rosewood, Florida believed a white women who told her husband that it was a “nigger” that beat and raped her; she lied! It was her lover that she had an affair with in her home while her husband was at work.
The black people in Rosewood, Florida were business owners and professional people for the most part. White people always destroy our legacy and efforts to live dignified lives with self-respect.
It’s not just George Floyd’s death. It’s Tamir Rice and Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland and so many others that were told to swallow over the years. So many instances of not being believed, even in death and being vilified as justification to defend the blue line, or outright racism.
People are fed up. Yes, afraid and fearful and with a variety of other emotions, but anger is what’s being seen today.
Black people walk around every day with that feeling, that apprehension and the paranoia that the next time may be “the time.” It could be me on that video, screaming for my life just because someone with a badge decides it’s my day to die.
You don’t live in complete fear, you just have the awareness — that a split second thought, your car or even some smell in the air that has nothing to do with you — can produce a confrontation with potential for disastrous results.
What police don’t see is everything you’ve been through and everything you have to tell yourself before you roll down your window or open your door.
They don’t know your triggers, and sometimes, neither do we.
© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2020
All rights reserved.