There seems to be an overwhelming sense of fear in the air.
Fear from both Black and white. Between police men and women and citizen. Between the young generation and old. Between churgoers and the un-churched. With pretty much anybody. People are afraid for their families and afraid for the next generation. But the worst thing about this kind of fear is, it can be paralyzing and make you feel hopeless, and even unwanted. It can keep you from doing what can and needs to be done.
But a wise man once said, “the only thing to fear is fear itself.”
Of course there will be protests and anger, but what specifically are we DOING besides just talking about it, and posting about for someone else to read? Let’s turn all those feelings: grief, hate, worry, anger, frustration and fear into action.
Here are some concrete, REAL things you and I can do right now to combat what’s going on:
Donate money. There are a number of people dead now: from Alton Sterling, police officers, Philando Castile, and even some innocent bystanders who have families, young children and who are hurting. Many of them have donation pages so that you can support their families financially. Put your money where your mouth or your post is. Here are a few links:
Mentor. Like it or not, we all will die from something someday. Hopefully, its not in the manner that these brave men and women have. But the truth of the matter is, hopefully, we will leave this earth with something that makes it more beautiful than when we inherited it (Kujichagulia). One of the best ways to do that is to mentor or sew into someone else. Everyone is talking about how “bad” it is, but many of those folks are just talking. Let’s do something good and share your knowledge, your love, your passion with the next generation. You can start out with your local Boys and Girls Club as well as here are few links:
Love your family. Many people say that because of the recent killings they are calling their family and children more or checking on friends and family that they haven’t talked to in awhile. Instead of waiting for another tragedy, keep in contact now, call your family now, spend more time with them now. There’s no time like the present.
Do what you have always wanted to do. Fear literally cripples people. We hear: “I’m fearful of what he/she will think”, “I’m afraid I might fail”, “I’m afraid I won’t have what it takes to keep it”, etc. What this tragedy has taught us is that tomorrow is not promised to us. So create, plan, execute, finish, start whatever you were thinking about doing NOW, today, right this minute! Fear wants to keep you in your “safe zone” but now is not the time to stay there. Do whatever it is, today!
Form coalitions and partnerships. Whatever change that is going to happen to our community, our nation, our race, we can’t do it alone. Start to form partnerships with other groups that have like-minded ideas and programs. You can start small with just forming block clubs to keep a look out for each other, church groups that help drive, communicate with and provide for their community. Other options may be groups who may have the same political opinion as you on gun laws and gun safety. Many local police have community forum meetings — the key is to have them meet you, see you, talk to you, and know you BEFORE another tragedy happens.
Donate blood. As we saw after the mass shooting in Orlando, blood donations are one of the most important ways you can help after violence like this. If you’re in Dallas, Fort Worth, or nearby areas, you can donate blood. In fact, it’s more crucial now than ever. Just on Tuesday, the Dallas Red Cross issued an emergency request for blood donations, as their supply had fallen short. Find a nearby Red Cross here , or a Carter BloodCare center here.
Be creative. For some, writing or being creative is therapeutic. Use your voice to create what your heart is telling you. Get out what you need to get out on paper, in a song, on video. Let your voice be heard creatively.
Plan. Many people feel frustrated because they feel as though they don’t have a voice — we don’t have a voice. So what is the plan to make sure we do have a voice? Is it changing the law? Does the change lie in the local police department? If so, how do you see it changing? Does it lie with the government? If so, who will you need to talk to to change it? Do you even know your local government officials? Have you spoken them about what you want you local agenda to be so that they can fight on your behalf? Does it lie with getting more Black officials elected? If so, what is your plan to do that? Get together and plan something with an end in mind. Demonstrations are great, but what is goal? Accomplishing a goal makes mostly anyone feel better because they have accomplished something, no matter what the goal is.
Pray. What’s the harm in prayer? Saying a quick prayer for your families and those who may dislike you costs you nothing. Nothing but a little love. Pray for those who are confused, who want to shoot up everyone, who dislike themselves and it shows up at their job. Pray for healing, for families to come together, for neighbors to talk to each other, for friendships to be mended and new friendships to grow. Pray for someone who is feeling hopeless right now. Pray for those who are looking for jobs. Pray for kids who are just trying to enjoy their summer. Pray for something bigger than yourself. We are praying for you!
All in all, we ALL feel the frustration, let’s be smart and instead of just doing something, let’s do the right thing.