Today many ran. So today I did ran/walked/jogged as well. I ran initially to run in solidarity with Ahmaud, but as I walked I begin to think… random thoughts…
⁃ I like that landscape
⁃ I want my Dad to run this trail with me the next time he’s in town
⁃ This wind feels good
⁃ This trail is beautiful
⁃ That lady has on a mask and is smoking… that’s an oxymoron
⁃ Thank you, Lord, for Grace
⁃ My ankle still hurts
⁃ I wonder what kind of bug that is
⁃ I could just Uber back to my car
⁃ God is amazing
⁃ That man reminds me of my uncle
Which made me think, I wonder what the random thoughts were of a young man in the south fighting for his life? Have you ever had a gun pulled on you? I have. I had tons of thoughts and visions in my head. I remember thinking, “My Daddy wants me to make it home” I chose not to fight. Ahmaud Arbery didn’t have a choice, he had to fight. The difference is… he didn’t make it home.
Stuck in the house and need a break. How about you get some air and relieve some stress? Lace-up your shoes for a run. Put your earbuds in, check your watch, and deep breath… “Let’s get this.” While you are running your mind is wondering. You jog in a neighborhood you’ve jogged in time and time again. No issues… while your mind is wondering you see that the new build that has been under construction is almost done. Wow… you’ve been watching it since they laid the foundation. “I wonder how they placed a wall there….. I bet that family will truly enjoy their new home.” You take a look in the window, smile and keep running…. you’re feeling better already. Then you see a truck… they are yelling… but you didn’t do anything, you’re running. Running the route you have before, in the daylight, no hoodie, not aggressive…
You keep running because they must be confused and heck, “I’m almost at 2.5 miles.” But at 2.23 is where this young man stopped. Where he was shot. Where he was killed.
You don’t have to think about that? It’s called privilege!
What many people don’t realize the list just shared is a real thing. As a black person, it’s important that you take a route you know, where someone can recognize you, vouch for you, one you are familiar with.
Daylight… that’s important too. People are afraid at night. Afraid of you if you’re black.
Clothing… how one appears plays a role in precession.
Aggression… oh you look scary, you may be trying to hurt me.
Daily when the tone in your skin has pigment, you have to map out your day, think about your actions carefully, be mindful of authority, and pray for their character. Daily you have to think about if you or a loved one will make it home without being subjected to hate, fear, bias, ignorance, violence, and/or depraved hearts.
I don’t know, nor will I ever know all the details of this incident. But I do know the root of hate is deep! Most often people don’t ever give it pause; it’s their normal reaction to life. The hate in society for people of color is astounding. If you think I’m over exaggerating… try being black in America. Hate has no filter, you can be rich, poor, smart, slow, educated, famous, blue-collar, white-collar, male, female, young, old…
I have heard people say over and over, just get over it. You all have opportunities. Do we? This young man didn’t need an opportunity! He needed to be left alone, left to clear his mind, to run, to exercise…
Imagine being the person at home and there was an argument or a disagreement while your loved one cleared their head… and he doesn’t come home.
So I ran past 2.23 miles. As I ran I thought and I realized that but for the grace of God, my name could be behind a hashtag. I’m no different. The hate displayed is no respecter of persons. The thought that kept me wondering is, now what? What can I do to make a change.
I used to think that making a difference in my sphere of influence was enough. Maybe not… Maybe we need to do beyond or comfort zones to make a difference.