I struggled to write this piece because I made a promise when creating this platform, not to vent, not to respond in anger, and not to rant over the obvious. So I waited a week for the smoke to clear allowing the facts to present themselves. And then on today, I received a phone call that was very informative and further proved my case on what I wanted to share. The underlying subject of the matter, we must exchange the hate that is manifesting in our hearts for love.
This past week we lost an icon. Although I am not a raving fan of rap music, I believe most people can respect a person that had a lifelong mission of upgrading his or her community. We all are a product of our experiences and most of us didn’t choose our upbringing, and sometimes that’s the thing that comes back to haunt us. Here’s a young man, a product of the streets, but with a particular skill set that is sought after by many industry millionaires. Yes it is true, I do not know this young man personally, but I see a trend that is deeper than bullets and knives. We are killing each other with the envy and hate we keep in our hearts. I believe it all begins in the heart, from there it is exposed in a variety of ways. Some people use weapons, others use their fist, but I want to talk about those that use their mouths. “Life and death lays in the power of the tongue…” I believe this scripture has several meanings and can be interpreted differently. But what is clear is that there are two options; Life or Death. We must know that we have a choice on how we handle our situations.
We can argue against racism and police brutality, both of which are apparent, but lets discuss the elephant in the room of black on black vendettas. Because there is often just “one” chosen out of a community, “one” chosen in a fortune 500 company, “one” chosen as a representative, we commonly develop a crab in a bucket mentality that we didn’t know existed. Flat out, WE ARE HATING ON EACH OTHER.
We stand in the shadows with jealousy throughout our veins waiting for our counterparts to “slip up”. We hate that “they” get the attention, “they” met the right person to land the job, “they” have the respect from the team, and we strategically begin to plant our seeds of disapproval. Some go so far as to intentionally standing in the way of another person’s possible successes. And because of this animosity, you see guns, knives, words, and vendettas.
I remember sitting across from a supervisor and listening to them playback a story of a co-worker who opposed them years before. They wanted to express just how powerful they were within the community and to display their reputation amongst their peers. I watched this individual leak of arrogance, flexing their muscles of authority. It was a complete power move. This person spoke about making it a personal mission to bury their former co-worker, and to see to it that this person never worked in the industry again. I sat across the table with a plethora of questions, wondering why this individual wanted to ruin a person’s career. How could one get so upset as to plot to affect the trajectory of another life? What happened to taking the high road? I do believe there are three sides to every story – your side, my side, and the truth. And maybe I didn’t have all the facts, but to want to “bury” someone with your opinions and recommendations, I struggle with this one. What are we manifesting in our hearts? And what makes us think we’re that powerful?
I often lean on my grandmother’s wisdom when she said, “If you don’t have anything good to say, just don’t say anything at all.” And in the words of Nipsy Hussle, “We’re fighting battles up a steep hill” if we don’t get the hatred out of our hearts.
With Love, EB