Lessons Learned From Murder, Protesting, and Rioting #JusticeForGeorge #336

by Sue Hawkes

To say this past week has been challenging, disappointing, disruptive, saddening, scary, sickening, enraging, disgusting, and hopeless would be understated. If you’ve been reading along with the blogs, you know Minnesota is the epicenter of one more senseless murder of a black man from a group of white cops. Our communities across the US are burning during a global pandemic. The protesters are not the rioters.  

We must be better.  

What a week of murder, protesting and rioting has taught me: 

  1. I’m an activist. I’m not content to watch, remain silent or play it safe, doing nothing while actively commentating about what everyone “should” be doing. Good people rise, always. 
  1. How little I care about people’s opinions about the leaders doing the work. Armchair quarterbacks are abundant, leaders are not. Run for office or roll up your sleeves, otherwise be silent. 
  1. How challenging times pare back rhetoric, superficiality, and offer a clear conduit to shared values. 
  1. I’ve been naïve to how significant the systemic problems are. 
  1. What matters most at home and in my community is visceral right now and I’m grateful.  
  1. To focus on the intersection of what I can control and what matters most. That intersection cuts through the noise every time. It also instills action and hope when I focus there. 
  1. How much I love my community, my friends, my city and my state. I want to affect the change that makes it safe for EVERYone who calls it home. 
  1. What is right and wrong, and where the rhetoric and social media cloud what matters with people’s opinions and agendas. 
  1. How far we need to go to create equity.  
  1. How writing provides perspective and therapy for my overwhelming thoughts and emotions. 
  1. How the media does NOT portray the hope, humanity, and goodness in proportion to hopelessness, challenge, and fear. You need to leave the virtual world and immerse yourself to really get it. 
  1. Amidst tragedy, heroes arise, and it awakens a bigger collective consciousness if you are willing to experience it. 
  1. How many people speak the language of privilege and do nothing. 
  1. How living in fear is something I have faced occasionally, when people of color live this way daily. 
  1. Despite everything I believe in the goodness of people. 
  1. It must change. NOW.  
  1. Love always wins. 

The place for change to begin is in Minnesota. The time is now. It begins with me. #speakup 

Sue HawkesLessons Learned From Murder, Protesting, and Rioting #JusticeForGeorge #336