Saturday, August 12, 2017

You're On the Team, Now

Good evening, all. It's been a while. My bad on that. However, I feel like today is one of those days I need to vent. I'm sure you're aware of what happened today in Charlottesville, Virginia. The hurt that I felt today equated to how I felt about the Virginia Tech shooting. The Virginia Tech shooting happened not far from where I live, same as today's events. Today, I fought back tears as I read the news from those events. It hurt my heart to know that people were so opposed to black people doing relatively decent in things outside of athletics or entertainment that they'd meet around a stupid statue to tell people they're taking the country back.

My biggest issue has been that way too little people are condemning this White Nationalist/Supremacist/Ku Klux Klan. People are just stating that it's an anomaly. People just say that it's from "every side." Every side? Come on, man. Until both sides lynch people for being the opposite color, it will never be a multifaceted thing. There isn't a reason people who claim to have love for their neighbor and their Lord to just call this a one off. It's not a one off. This has been the thought and belief of many people since the 1600s if we're being honest.

I'm not from Virginia. I've lived here for almost 14 years. It's home enough for me. I've met wonderful people here. Some of my best friends live here in Virginia. I met my girlfriend here. I have a church home here that I couldn't leave for almost anything. Virginia is my place. However, sometimes I question this place and how they come up with their thoughts. Being honest, sometimes I their love affair with Antebellum confuses me. I might catch some heat from folks, but it's time to let this stuff go. There is literally nothing that these past relics are doing for us in this day and age.

So, what do I mean by my title? Well, it's simple. If you're not speaking out, condemning, or just angry at this because of the white supremacy foolishness, then you're on their side. It's really that simple. You have to have a stance. You can't look at this and holler "we all bleed the same" or "let's just hold hands like Martin Luther King said" and be free from this. No, your silence is deafening. The trippy thing is that people that I grew up looking up to haven't been terribly vocal about this. People just throw "well Black Lives Matter" or "Black Panthers do bad things too" out there hoping to be exonerated. Sorry, you're on the team now. You're either on the side of love, or you're a White Supremacy sympathizer. There isn't a middle ground, not any more. I'd say there may have never been a middle ground. Let's be clear. I'm not calling you racist. I'm not calling you a bigot. I'm just saying that you have to choose a side. The side of love or the other side. I choose love. The Bible says in 1 John 4:20 that if a man says he loves God and hates his brother, that man is a liar. If you tell me you love the Lord, but don't condemn these hate groups, you don't love. You're fake.

Ladies and gentlemen, and I may be talking to more of my Christian friends, but you're all welcome to join me. It's time to bring love back. Don't immediately jump to the new political strategy of "whataboutism." Whataboutism is when instead of agreeing that something is wrong, immediately say "what about (insert counter group)?" It's time for Christians to condemn hate, show love, and stop thinking this is just a sad episode. It's more than that. White supremacy has been an enemy of me and people like me since the slaves were freed, and even beforehand.

You all know I love you. I want you all to be blessed. I want you all to know that the God I serve does not sign off on this. This is just from my reading of the Word of God. If someone can find in the Bible where this kind of behavior is okay, please show me. If we want to be known as a Christian nation, let's work on loving our neighbors. Let's work on standing up for the marginalized, victimized, and scrutinized. Let's work on being the church that reaches out to those who need help, love, and support. Let's just do things the right way, and let go of the legalism for a minute. Just long enough to show the hate groups that they don't represent our God.

God bless.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

An Open Letter to America

Dear America,

It's me, Tyrone. Just wanting to give you a hello from the home office in Roanoke, VA. I know it's been a while since my last blog, but I figured with all the crazy stuff going on, I'd give you a solid and speak on things.

First of all, I'm not sure if you're aware, but a new person is going to be president of our great country. Despite his best efforts to the contrary, he got enough of you to believe in his bill of goods to vote for him, so congrats Donald Trump. Way to get people to trust you enough to have maybe the most important job in the world. I know you'll do a great job because I think enough people are going to attempt to hold you accountable to that job.

I now want to send a huge thank you to exiting president Barack Obama. I want to thank you for doing something that most folks just dream about. I remember saying that I'd like to be president one day and my mom half-jokingly said, "No, I don't want anyone shooting my baby because he's the black president." Honestly, I couldn't be president because I'm way too honest and petty. You can't be a smart alec president, way too many people would get offended. Anyway, all that to say that in the face of a lot of hate simply because of the color of your skin, you got less than a fair shake. I've heard it said that if a black person wants to succeed in a white dominated profession, they have to be perfect on the first day and improve every day after. I've heard the same said about umpires and referees, but whatever. I want to thank you Mr. Obama for giving every black kid the belief that they don't just have to be an entertainer or an athlete to succeed in this country. You don't have to be handsome, fast, or able to do incredible things with a ball to become great. You did all this with a class and grace that no one has seen in a long time. Your family has been exemplary. Your dignity in the face of outright bigotry is astonishing. Another reason I can't be president, I'd have lit the first bigot up with Julia Sugarbaker type insults. If you need to ask who Julia Sugarbaker is, I'll address it in my "Southern Female TV Characters and the Tyrones That Love Them" blog.

Tomorrow, they will be swearing in Mr. Trump as president. Cool. Wouldn't be the first time someone with complete disdain for dignity took the oval office, won't be the last. I'll just do like I've done every presidential cycle since I read 1 Timothy 2:2 which tells us to pray for kings and those in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. I will pray for my country. Yes, despite some folks best efforts, this is my country too and I will pray for it without ceasing. I will pray that Donald Trump can lead our country. I will pray that everyone in our country can live the life that the Constitution says we should live. If that means that my tax dollars have to help a poor family get cancer treatments, then so be it. If it means I have to stand next to a Muslim to keep him from being harassed by a fellow Christian who forgot how to love their neighbor, I will definitely do so. If the LGBTQ (and S) get bothered and treated unfairly, I will show them Christ like love. People say hate the sin, love the sinner, but forget that. I got enough sin of my own to worry about. I'll just love you and see what happens.

I want my country to be unified. You know what that means? It means you stop calling people that are upset "snowflakes". You sound immature. You sound ignorant. People have been protesting things that aren't right since the people of Israel were being beaten by Pharaoh and his people. Were the people fighting slavery "snowflakes"? Were the people trying to defeat segregation "snowflakes"? Are the people fighting the DAPL "snowflakes"? Remind you that the people in the city of Bismarck voted no on the pipeline first and suggested they build it on the indigenous people's land instead. Point is, standing up for what you believe in has been on of the pillars of our country. It's the backbone of America. However, people are now complaining about what we should protest. If you think something is wrong, fix it. The problem is people have very strange definitions of wrong. And just to be ornery, don't tell people to get over a loss while waving a Confederate flag.

Today, I'll do what I always do. I'll pray to the one who sits on the throne. I'll consider Christ and Christ alone as my standard for integrity, class, dignity, and love. I made a promise after the election to show the love of Christ so that people will know that Christians that truly love the Lord don't ascribe to the book of Trump. I've done my best. I've stumbled. I've rocked the boat. However, I've also done what I could. I bought a lady a sandwich during a snowstorm. I've donated to charity. I've tipped a little better than before. I'm going to continue to be a good steward of the Holy Spirit by continuously loving my brothers and sister. Yes, that's all of you.

So, am I happy that Trump won? No. I can't stand politics and neither Trump or Hillary would have eased my mind. But I am happy that I live in America. A land where I can say what I want, when I want, however I want about things that distress me. If you don't like what I said, sorry. When you pay my bills, you can have my opinion. Until then, God bless America. Yes, I live here too. Yes, I do like it here and would not want to live anywhere else. But that doesn't mean my house doesn't need a few upgrades.