Today’s post has been weighing heavy on my mind. But it’s time to get it out, to share and to hopefully help someone. I’m a spiritual, prayerful person. And I find myself praying more often lately. My heart breaks every time I hear a report. It’s not just what I hear in the media. For me, it hits home. I cannot wrap my brain around people who don’t lead with love and see one another with an open heart and mind. We are humans – the great thinkers. Yet, it’s hard to breathe with so much turmoil. I’m not looking for comfort. I’m looking for acceptance, for brotherhood and sisterhood. At the very least, tolerance.
Lately, I have been praying for peace, justice and hope. No one deserves to be targeted, no matter their past. No one deserves to be in jail for something they didn’t do. No one deserves to be killed by those who are supposed to protect us. No one. We have a gift from God to wake up each morning and begin again. Some people hit a wall every day and after awhile those walls close in on them. Something has to change. Each of us should be leading with compassion. If each of us took the time to center our thoughts, recall we are all humans and treat one another with compassion instead of judgment, it would make an impact. We need to restore our faith in one another, take a leap of faith and trust in one another. We need to stop killing one another. We need to stop justifying our poor treatment of one another because we are upholding a law or truth. God gave us free will and skills to rise above what man has laid down. God bless the honest people doing their jobs to serve, to protect and to uphold the community. We need more people who respond with a focus on helping first. We need more brave people who will react to those who are not acting with a just and kind heart. We need courage, strength and love.
Are you hearing what happens to people, especially young black men, who are targeted and sometimes even setup? When I first heard Anthony Graves, I was confused why he started his speech saying that people doubt what he has to say. I didn’t. My heart went out to him and was so inspired and proud of this man who took a horrible situation and turned it around. He fought, and fought hard for years, and now he fights for others. God bless, him. If you are fighting a battle, keep going. Have faith and hope for a new day where someone will hear the truth and find a way to set you free.
When DNA testing first came out in a way that could clear people, the thousands who were released for being wrongfully accused was horrifying. And yet, people are still coerced into plea deals and our jails are filled with people that shouldn’t be locked up. Our jails are filled with people. Let me say that again. Our jails are filled – with people. People. The majority of them need help. But the injustice of our justice system is at the heart of the wrongfully accused, mentally ill and addicted stuck in the system. We pour money into jails instead of mental health. We accuse instead of listen. We judge instead of finding hard evidence. We have laws that tie our hands and give attorneys loopholes to work to their advantage. We have corruption and mistreatment that force people to fear instead of believe in the justice system. Sigh. Where is the justice?
I worry as a parent, friend and family that more people face wrongful accusation or conviction. I know people stuck in the system right now. They don’t belong there. I have faith and believe in them. I pray for people to look at their cases with eyes wide open. See the corruption. Get our people the help and justice they deserve. A lost soul is one without hope. Let’s breathe some life and hope from our hearts into theirs. Let’s not target people because of their past. These people are parents, children, siblings, friends and lovers. These people have made mistakes that put them in bad situations. Lets become compassionate teachers and leaders. Give the gift of humanity, of knowledge and of hope.
What can you do?
- You can listen.
- You can call upon your humanity to be a helper.
- You can open your heart without judgement.
- You can be brave and point out injustices when you see them.
- Read Anthony’s story.
- Watch one of the numerous documentaries or movies about people fighting for their lives and justice – like Just Mercy.
- Ask me about Eric Lurry and sign the petition. Even if you don’t agree with the petition, it will bring attention to his story.
- Pay attention to the #SayTheirName campaign and know their name. Understand the importance of putting a name and face to the injustice.
- Pay attention, listen and even if you don’t agree – remember your humanity. Remember, the people.
Praying for peace, justice and hope. Praying for calm, strength and courage.
~I’m here to help
Resources & More Information:
Graves, Anthony. 2018. Infinite Hope. Retrieved from: https://www.amazon.com/Infinite-Hope-Wrongful-Conviction-Confinement/dp/0807004782/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=anthony+graves&qid=1593094007&sr=8-1
ISBA. Pro Bono Opportunities and Information for Lawyers. Illinois State Bar Association. Retrieved from: https://www.isba.org/probono
Leslie. July 2, 2020. Joliet Police In-Custody Death: Mayor Gets Kwame Raoul Involved. The Chicago Crusader. Retrieved from: https://chicagocrusader.com/joliet-police-in-custody-death-mayor-gets-kwame-raoul-involved/
Robinon, David. June 18, 2020. Five Meditations for Uncertain Times. PsychCentral. Retrieved from: https://psychcentral.com/blog/five-meditations-for-uncertain-times/?utm_source=Psych+Central+Weekly+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4bd2a077b6-ANX_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c648d0eafd-4bd2a077b6-30097665
Inspiring videos I’ve watched to support the ideas of equity and love for all:
All American – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7414406/
The Chaperone – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2690226/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
Harriet – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4648786/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
The Help – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1454029/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
Just Mercy – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4916630/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
King: The MiniSeries – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077038/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
The Pursuit of Happiness – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454921/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
Self Made: Madam C.J. Walker – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8771910/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
When They See Us –https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7137906/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1