Submitted by Rebekah Kobs
As the world is aching right now I know each family is trying to process things in their own way. For those who don’t know our family, I have 3 sisters, 1 brother and 3 brothers in-law. My sister closest in age to me married a gentleman we both went to college with, he is kind, he’s intelligent and I’m lucky to call him brother. He also happens to be black. We have nieces and nephews with white and brown skin and it’s always been beautiful to us. It pains me to know we live in a world that is unjust for them.
When I use the word privilege it has nothing to do with status or wealth- it is a privilege of not having to worry about the hidden rules that only apply to people of color. It’s a privilege that comes from not fearing for my husband’s safety due to his skin color every time he is late coming home. It’s a privilege of not having to teach my children how to make themselves appear less threatening when they’re just going for a walk. It’s a privilege none of us asked for-but it exists none the less. To not acknowledge it is to ignore the very thing blowing up in the news now. It’s tragic and heartbreaking.
I’ve been asked how can we fix it? What can I do? Self awareness is the first step, we can do that by addressing any hidden bias or prejudice that has formed. Acknowledge that the “white privilege“ people talk about doesn’t mean you didn’t have difficulty getting to where you are, it only means that issues dealing with your race weren’t part of those trials. The next step is a continuous one; it’s taking that awareness and making positive changes for people who aren’t always allowed to speak up for themselves. We can teach our children to see the struggles of others and train them to stand up for what is just. It requires coming alongside marginalized people seeing them and having empathy for their struggle. You might not get to change the whole world, only Christ could do that. But in a battle this long-standing take hope knowing wildfires start small.
I see your colors.
I’m not like that.
When people are slain
In open streets, and no one stops it,
Do you still pretend justice is blind?
A past riddled with pain.
But it isn’t behind us.
Lives laced with dread,
Mothers, fathers, wail for your dead.
Bubbling below a veil of civility.
Fearful because of their pigmentation.
Did you say not to kneel because it disgraces our nation?
Peaceful protesters begging for their lives,
The violence by some is not the solution it’s a blunder.
So tell me- how can you turn a cheek that’s six feet under?
Do you clutch your babies
When protests explode?
As if mamas with brown babies don’t daily carry that load?
Children calling for mamas who can’t save them,
Victim shaming because of their skin,
Is this the kind of world we’re raising our kids in?
Families torn apart, children without fathers.
Existing in a world where blackness is a danger to their health.
It’s suffocating to learn they can’t advocate for themself.
It’s happened before and It’s happening now,
A cycle of abuse where privilege retreats,
Until once again a new name the world meets.
Mamas know prayers may not save their creations.
A barrage of black people dying, are they aberrations?
You hide in plain site.
Diminishing the plight of our brothers and sisters, our nieces, our nephews, our friends and our neighbors.
Do you teach your babies monsters are real?
But not the imaginary sulking kind under their bed.
This monster stares back at you when the mirror’s pointed at your head.
Dear Lord, please don’t be like that.
by Rebekah Kobs