Black Lives Matter ~ 09 Jun 2020

Our collective conscious holds a deep breath. These weeks, a heavy weight is present, one of great importance. It’s an awakening and a sadness, a mourning and a realization.

In times like these, I don’t know what to say authentically. I feel like I’m behind, because I am so present to my ignorance. Being a person of color myself, I thought I could understand a piece of what it’s like to be Black in America.

These weeks, I’ve felt my ignorance so acutely. I don’t know nearly enough, and don’t know how to express the weight of these times from my heart. I’m focusing on educating myself and reflecting on this moment, as well as making monetary contributions. But it doesn’t feel like enough. Some of that is fueled by social pressure.

The truth is, the weeks following the brutal murder of George Floyd was one of intense reflection for me, and through that reflection I’ve found empowerment and the desire to continue this conversation; to make it important and necessary to address.

Here are some of my learnings, the ones I can put words to, at least.

  • My energy and my commitment to educating myself on the history of being Black is action. I won’t beat myself up for not feeling “active” about this.
  • Genuine intention to create a better world for all of us can be as powerful as being a demonstrator at a protest. If I can show up as an ally — with genuine understanding, caring and commitment, I can be a small part of the change we so desperately need now, and that makes me valuable.
  • I know that the systematic oppression of black people in America is not going to transform overnight. But I do know that this moment in history is critical for our futures, for all of us. It can be the turning point where the eyes of blind nation have the fog cleared, and with clarity and understanding — we can begin to heal and love.
  • My privilege isn’t something that makes my voice unworthy. In fact, I should be speaking more because I am privileged.
  • There is no perfect thing to say. There’s no perfect time to say it. There’s no perfect expression of what I’m feeling and what I want to do. But saying nothing says a lot more than speaking the truth as authentically as is possible.

With a moment of silence for George Floyd and the countless other lives lost to police brutality, I hope to be a part of making the world a little brighter tomorrow.

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© Saalik Lokhandwala, 2021