“Jesus is Lord” is Not Enough

In response to the already batshit crazy we’ve seen come out of the White House this week, I’ve heard a lot of Christians say things like “Don’t worry, Jesus is Lord.”  “God is on the throne.” “Jehovah is in control” and other bullshit platitudes that, while they may be true, are wildly undermining and dismissive. I’ve also noticed that a lot of the Christians who say things like this are white. Or men. Or both.

Listen. It’s easy to say trivializing shit like that when your body is not the one being threatened. Your religion is not being criminalized. Your gender is not being denied medical care. But statements like that take away our agency. Sure Jesus is Lord, I’ll go with you on that. But you also have a brain. And a heart. And a moral sense. I, being a believer that “Jesus is Lord”, do not think that absolves us of our responsibility to think critically about toxic systems in place in our society and WORK to bring them down.  To be frank, I don’t think Jesus does either. This isn’t me giving him a political party— I feel like both Democrats and Republicans give him a migraine. But what I’m saying is that if there is injustice, Jesus says we have work to do. If there is inequality, Jesus says we have work to do. Y’all wanna say “Jesus is Lord” like that lets you to sit on your ass and not get out and fight. Or call out a bullshit ordinance when you see one. “Don’t worry about systemic racism, gender inequality, capitalist greed…. Jesus will take care of it.” Yo, FUCK. THAT. Fuck not worrying about it. WORRY ABOUT IT. Protest! Write your senators! Call Paul Ryan! (The fact that his office has been flooded with voicemails is my favorite thing). Stand outside the White House and shout until you go hoarse! I don’t care what you do, but don’t hide behind the words “Jesus is Lord”, that shit is weak. Get up and fucking fight.

 

Nope.

This is what I’m not here for:

  • Overgeneralized, amorphous calls for us all to “Love each other”.
  • People saying shit like “Can’t we all get along” or “Spread kindness” or “Love is the answer” in response to rampant police killings of black people and the subsequent reactions of their communities.
  • Other aimless Kumbayah shit.

If your calls to love one another come without recognizing, acknowledging or speaking about the institutionalized racism, police militarization, and systemic destruction of black communities that runs in our nation’s veins and has gotten us to this point, you can miss me with your bullshit.

If you had something to say about the officers killed in Dallas but remain silent on the countless unnecessary murders of unarmed black people at the hands of police, you can miss me with your bullshit.

If you are so dense and willfully ignorant as to believe that #BlackLivesMatter is anti-police (like SERIOUSLY guys?!), you can miss me with your bullshit.

I’m not here for it. I don’t want to see videos of policemen hugging little black kids in the street. I don’t want to see articles about SIX policemen picking up a TWENTY-EIGHT dollar tab for a couple who didn’t want to sit next to them at a restaurant to show that they’re really “nice guys”. Like yeah that’s great that you paid an extra $4.50 for someone else’s meal, but I don’t give a fuck about any of these individual acts of human “kindness” because it all blurs the fucking issue.

WE HAVE A FUCKING PROBLEM.

America! You! Me! And it’s not cops! We need those! I could never take that job which is why I deeply appreciate that someone would—it’s a really tough job to have. And immeasurably indispensable. But like that one lady on The Daily Show said (I’m not gonna look it up but you can if you want):

Cops are an extension of our society.

So if we’re observing an epidemic in our police departments, such as the widespread, repetitive killing of black people,

we should probably take a look at ourselves and examine how it is we individually and collectively actually view black people. 

So no, I’m not here for the let’s-all-hold-hands-and-sing-around-the-campfire bullshit. You can’t broad stroke this problem with a “love one another” and hope it goes away. This problem will require discussion. This problem will require VERY difficult introspective analysis. This problem will require finding safe places where we feel we can be vulnerable to work through the messiness, sadness, anger, and confusion.

DO IT GODDAMMIT.

Oh, and a couple last orders of business: Stop saying #BlueLivesMatter. “Blue Lives” is not a thing that exists in this world. Being a police officer is an occupation. A job. You woke up one day, decided you wanted to pursue that particular vocation, did the work, applied for the position, got it. Being a black person, by contrast, is not an occupation. Some people might like to think you can apply to be black (I’m looking at you Kylie Jenner)— you can’t. You’re born this way or you’re not. Equating “blue” lives to black lives forms an illogical argument and you sound like an idiot.

Which brings me to my next point: #AllLivesMatter. If you’re saying “Blue Lives Matter” I would dare to guess that what you mean to say, or also say, is that “All Lives Matter”. Okay. There are innumerable arguments and articles that have been written to explain in painstaking detail how and why #AllLivesMatter is bullshit and in effect, racist. I’m not going to do that here because I’m tired and I don’t owe you anything. I will say though that you should know that when you say #AllLivesMatter, you are essentially trying to silence us. Black people. I mean hey, if you’re the kind of asshole that would go to a breast cancer awareness event and start yelling about how “other diseases matter too”, or the kind of idiot that when someone says “Save the Whales” you hear “Burn the Rainforests!’, then there’s not much I can do for you anyway. But if you’re NOT that kind of asshole or idiot, you should know that saying “All Lives Matter” makes you sound like one.

You’re welcome.

Violence

I wrote a poem that I felt compelled to post immediately; it didn’t feel right to wait until next week. I may or may not take next Thursday off depending, but in any case, here is my bleeding heart:

Violence

Violence is wrought against me.
Violence is wrought against me in my body
Because I am Born of the Sun and a Woman.
Stared at like I’m inhuman,
Spoken to like I’m a child,
Touched like my body is not mine;
The violence echoes in my body.
I watch my Brothers and Sisters of the Sun killed in the streets by their “defenders”;
I watch Defenders lay slain out of frustration — retaliation.
And the violence echoes in my body.
Flex and release, vexed day and night
Under the weight, I can’t breathe.
Everybody is silent.
Everybody is silent.
Everybody is silent.