On Saturday, I watched the movie Just Mercy. I went into the movie fully expecting it to make me emotional, but I could not have fully prepared myself for the events I saw in the film. I did not realize that the case was one that occurred in my life as I was three when the arrest took place. As soon as I saw the date, I felt numb. I don’t know another way to describe it than numb. Most of us want to believe that things like this haven’t happened during our lifetime. We don’t want to think there are racists out there lurking around every corner. And I say this because I was one of those people. I’ve never been naive enough to believe that there isn’t racism in this world, but I never thought it was as prevalent as before.
I remember in college, I was taking a film course, and we were discussing if Crash should have won the Oscar that year against Brokeback Mountain. Both films were terrific in their own right. But I remember my professor asking how did you feel when you watched Crash, and I said shocked. He asked me why. And I said because I never thought about racism is so deeply rooted in a person even though that’s the only way racism develops, right? We start thinking along with these patterns from a young age, unfortunately. But I remember him saying, “It’s because you haven’t lived through something in your life yet to make you TRULY see it, and I hope you never do.” I can understand him not wanting me to live through that now. I also understand the privilege I had before not realizing how racist the world still is at large.
Going back to Crash for a moment, I remember the first time I watched it; I immediately burst into tears when I thought they had murdered the little girl. It ruined me. I could not fathom that someone could heat someone so much that they’d still shoot upon seeing a child staying there. The father’s reaction, I had never been reduced to sobs within a matter of seconds. The relief I felt when this little girl lived was something I cannot honestly explain. The best part of the film was seeing the one character overcome his racist beliefs to save another character. The saddest part of the film was to see how his viewpoints had already spread to someone who didn’t outwardly express that mindset.
I bring all this up because upon watching Just Mercy, I realized that I had technically lived through racism in my face in my life but was too young to understand it. I felt so numb by the time the film ended. I’m not sure what I was supposed to feel, to be honest other than that. I felt this extreme sadness that wasn’t depression, but this deeply rooted pain in my heart. After watching Just Mercy, I realized why I felt this way was because I couldn’t fathom anyone not caring about this movement. I could not understand why people were resisting fundamental human rights to an entire group of people. And to make matters worse, the Trump administration to rub salt in the wound and make that TWO groups of people this month.
Many people are saying they are tired of this. They are tired of the ongoing war of the races. When you have a President who continues to fan and ignites the flames of those who are already so racist, they cannot see the changes necessary in our country. By saying Black Lives Matter, we are not saying that other lives don’t. However, the problem is an ENTIRE RACE of people are being killed daily due to police brutality. Since all this started, more deaths have occurred. Oluwatoyin Salau. Rayshard Brooks. Robert Fuller. Malcolm Harsch. Riah Milton. Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells. I don’t understand how this list keeps growing. I don’t know how more people aren’t tired that everyone is continually treated differently.
One of the commandments is to love thy neighbor. I bring this up because the other day in therapy, I was questioning my own beliefs. Do I want to be a Christian anymore? Do I want to be associated with people telling others to love God when they can’t love one another? However, by thinking that way, I’m judging, so it’s an endless circle. I honestly know that not all Christians are bad people, but lately, I keep thinking that most of us have forgotten the truth behind loving their neighbor. There is a lot on the page under questions and answers from 1972 on this website. This explanation is the part that struck me the most that deserve a spotlight today.
Brotherly love, unlike the other two types, is impartial and, therefore, universal. One who has brotherly love is concerned for any and every man, whether sinner or saint, attractive or unattractive, of the same faith or race. If one is selective as to whom he loves, the chances are he loves no man in a brotherly way.
I know some people are going to say you said every man here and that means all. The thing is all lives cannot matter until people are not being killed based on the color of their skin. All lives cannot matter until we truly begin to live as one together. Until every single person has the same rights, we cannot move forward. We should not pull others down based on race, gender, wealth, or anything else. There should be a way for us all to grow, and some wealthy people have forgotten where they ultimately came from who were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth. We cannot forget or ignore it because by doing so, we cannot help the world get to where it needs to be finally.
People keep saying they want to get back to normal, but the truth is we need a new normal, and we need a normal desperately.