By Reginald Barbour
Sometimes I ask myself am I doing enough? This usually happens in response to a tragic incident or after receiving disappointing news. In my everyday life, I don’t spend too much time asking myself this question or second guessing the advocacy work that I do around education and social justice. However, when I hear about another senseless killing or act of racism against us, I admit, I go to a place of asking myself “What could I have done to stop that act? What can I do now? How do I teach my sons a lesson from this?”
All of this can be overwhelming at times. It reminds me of the words to a Marvin Gaye song “sometimes I want to throw up both of my hands and holler.” I don’t want to sound like I am giving up because I’m not. But sometimes I do get tired. I look around at what’s happening in the world and wonder how much more can we take?
Just recently, Stephon Clark was gunned down in Sacramento, California by two white police officers. It. Happened. Again. They continue to hunt us down like we are animals or like our lives have no value. A week later, the decision comes down that the white police officers who killed Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana won’t be charged for his murder. Yet again, guilty parties set free and while another Black life is gone.
It’s just too much too soon. Too close together. Too many times on too many days that we all feel that sadness in our hearts after hearing bad and disappointing news. It feels like we have a target on our backs sometimes and quite frankly, I’m tired of running.
My prayer is that someday we will truly overcome and Black people will be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Until then, some days will be long days filled with fear and uncertainty. On those other days, perhaps we will smile and be joyful. Or maybe we’ll need stop, take a knee, and remember why Colin started us on that journey in the first place.
Stay woke y’all. It’s rough out here.