When Me Becomes We
Posted on June 4, 2020
by Shell Vera
If we had to use names instead of pronouns how would conversations changes? This thought has been running through my mind since I heard the news of George Floyd’s murder. I did what I know best and wrote out what I was feeling and thinking. This is not complete in that I am listening and learning more each day, but I commit to being part of the conversation AND solution.
Right now I am listening and allowing other voices to be amplified while mine becomes more quiet. This will not affect my commitment to show up for myself but will pivot how I am doing so. It’s important that when we have a voice we use it while also being aware of who else is speaking and listening to them as well.
For everyone out there who is confused on what to do or is feeling the deep sadness and anger of this event, please know now is the time that you can dig deep on what you are feeling and really look into how you can be part of the solution. This month, I am reading books about racial relationships and looking into local organizations that are part of the solution and finding out how I can do more because that is what I feel called to do. Your calling may be different. Know your calling and act upon it because THAT is what you will be held accountable for.
When Me Becomes We
I heard the news this week and went numb, not knowing how to proceed because who am I to help in this fight when I am not part of the problem? I’m not racist so how do I stop racist systems and society?
My heart grieved, my stomach tightened, I vomited from the reality of someone hurting another like this. As HE lie there dying, I sat here crying, breath leaving my chest only to come back and make me wonder how I can do something to stop this civil unrest.
YOU saw my silence and assumed that I agreed with what happened, becoming angry with me because I “never speak up when it matters”. I didn’t understand since my silence was me processing what exactly “White privilege” means for me and how I can be part of the solution so it’s no longer true that my skin buys me more rights to life than you.
HE said that silence is complicity and my white silence = violence. SHE yelled and screamed, burning cities down while crying out about we can’t be silent anymore and she can’t breathe until we uncover the truth.
IT made me uncomfortable because I still don’t understand how this helps. How can I help? Why are we here and what do we do? When did things get this bad and where do we go to make a change? Does my voice matter when I don’t know the terms or how to speak intelligently?
I don’t know HIM enough to defend myself and I can’t tell HER what to do, but I want to work with THEM because it will take all of US coming together to develop the solution. This answer does not lie in the finger pointing unless I look at the three pointing back at me because while a man lie dying while someone was kneeling no one thought to push him off. No one thought to intervene with force while a man lie breathless for nearly 3 minutes while another human knelt on his neck. And now THEY are claiming he was already sick and died from heart-related complications as if no one will ask questions and we will all just let this be.
While Derek knelt, Floyd felt a knee to his neck and THEY made history. I realized in that moment it won’t be until THEY becomes ME and I understand that my metaphorical knee has choked many people in my lifetime that I will understand how to help. It’s time for my physical knee to kneel down and pray for answers, revival, deliverance, and then rise up and take action so that ME becomes WE and healing can begin through MY action of getting involved with being part of the solution and not assuming it doesn’t affect me because I am not racist.
I can’t apologize for THEM and MY tears don’t mean anything to YOU because HE can’t cry anymore but SHE will as HER son is lowered to the ground. Then THEY becomes US and ME becomes WE and perhaps we’ll get to a place where we can all truly and equally exist.
©2020 Shell Vera
Dear Shell Vera,
Thank you for sharing your heart in this post, which I found moving.
I particularly liked what you wrote at the end:
“It’s time for my physical knee to kneel down and pray for answers, revival, deliverance, and then rise up and take action so that ME becomes WE and healing can begin through MY action of getting involved with being part of the solution and not assuming it doesn’t affect me because I am not racist.”
I agree! Prayer is the answer and obedient action to the Word of God and his direction. It’s time for all God’s people to pray!
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Thank you Carol! I appreciate you taking time to read it.
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