Thoughts on the Current State of America – #BLACKLIVESMATTER

{dedicating the poem above to all the black men, women, and children of America.}

So I had every intention of putting up a different kind of post today, but there’s too much going on in the world – specifically America – to stick to my regular schedule.

It’s hard for me to put into words what I feel about what’s happening in my home country.

There’s anger. There’s sadness. There’s fear. And there’s even a sense of apathy, which pains me to admit but it goes to show how often this has happened – way too often.

Overall, though, there’s just a heaviness that weighs on my heart.

A heaviness built up from the sadness I feel for all the lives lost and their families. From the fear for my family, especially my brother, male cousins, uncles, and friends who all fit the description of a primary target. And from the anger over the unanswered question of when it will all stop – will it ever stop?

It’s weird being in London while all this madness {from the senseless killing of black lives, to uncontrollable gun violence, to the battle of two evils in politics} is going on. It definitely makes me feel a bit disconnected.

Contrary to how we act and think, America is not the center of everyone’s attention.

As such the issues plaguing our country seem like mere blimps on the radar here.

And to be honest – I’m glad to be somewhat removed.

London has been a sweet reprieve {though not without fault, no country or city is perfect} from the ever-building tension I felt in Chicago and the country as a whole.

And it’s sad to think, because I do love America. I am blessed to be an American. America gave me a world of opportunity I otherwise would probably never have.

But am I proud of my country?

At the moment – not so much.

It sickens me to wonder how many more people have to die? How many more families have to be ripped apart before this all ends?

I can’t claim to have any answers for what needs to happen or how to make things right.

In truth, I have remained silent throughout most of these tragedies, mainly because I didn’t know how to express my distress, my pain, my anger in a way that was conducive to change.

As lovely as all the Facebook statuses, and video uploads, and guest speakers, and blog posts are {and there really are some passionate, eloquent, beautiful things out there}, there comes a point when you wonder if that’s all we can do.

As powerful as social media and online content has become – it still has yet to do much in changing the long-standing perception of people.

And for the purpose of this post, I’m specifically referring to the perception of black people in America.

And I know this post is simply adding to the ongoing talk of “we need change” and not really providing much for as HOW to change.

But for the first time in a long time I felt I needed to make my voice heard.

I can’t tell why – maybe it’s from being outside America, looking in and seeing what an embarrassment we’re becoming as a country. Or maybe it’s because I’ve grown tired and weary of seeing my Facebook feed littered with posts about another life taken, unfairly.

Either way, I felt compelled to say something – anything. Even from outside it all in London.

My heart goes out to Alton’s family and to all the families broken due to senseless acts of violence, racism, & prejudice.

It pains me not knowing how to move forward from this.

Saying to pray, hope, and believe that a change will come just seems so small.

But it’s all I have to offer at the moment. Prayer for change and the fierce support of those who can make that change happen.

So in closing, as small as it may feel, I beseech you: PRAY for change, when the time comes VOTE for change, and until then BE the change.

Sending lots of love and light….

Poem by Erin Hanson