I was born just a year and a half before MLK, Jr. was killed. While I can’t remember segregated bathrooms, water fountains or schools, I’ve been listening to the grievances of our people, including a few of my own, concerning the way we’re viewed and treated by European-Americans. Most of those complaints are legitimate and backed up by the observations and experiences of others. In no way am I diminishing the negative effects of these atrocities committed against us for over four hundred years, but personally, I’m tired of being the victim.
I’ve been a self-proclaimed victim of the negative views of myself and others all of my life. I’m currently serving a life sentence because I lived my life focused on how mistreated I’ve been. While that maltreatment was significant and incredibly damaging, the majority of the trauma in my life has been self-inflicted. I realized, maybe too late, that the way I treated myself had a much more devastating effect on my life than the treatment of the people that hated me.
Sitting in a prison dayroom, I can feel the hatred through the eyes of some of my European-American prison mates. I understand that hatred is birthed from a place of self loathing and/or erroneous upbringing. It doesn’t excuse the hatred, but merely explains it. The question is how do I respond to that hatred in a way that’s less detrimental to me and others like me?
These are the most powerful times in our country’s history, where race relations are concerned, because many more European-Americans are actively listening and trying to respond in a positive way. I applaud the peaceful protests and sensible resistance to the centuries of abuse we’ve endured at the hands of the wicked system of racism in the country that was built with our screams, scars, blood, sweat, and tears.
Young people, you are courageous, strong, and justifiably non-compliant. Your lives most definitely matter. Just make sure they matter more to you than you want them to matter to others. Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you respond to what happens. Make sure that while you demand more opportunity, you take full advantage of the opportunities currently at your disposal. I’m proud of you all and I’m with you in spirit. Keep up the good work!
Anthony Watts was born in St. Louis, MO. After serving as a Combat Medic
in the US Army, and enduring a host of trying events, he committed his life to
the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result, he discovered his desire to write, sharing his
thoughts and creativity with the world. Currently, he resides in Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction where he is pursuing a Masters in Biblical Education. His latest book “Working The Pews” is available now on Amazon as a eBook and paperback