Today is my birthday. (Originally posted on 11/26/2014)
I am not one to get too excited about these special days or isolated celebrations. I tell my family, you don’t have to do anything special for me on my birthday. Love me every day. Get good grades in school. Be great citizens. Support me when I am sick. Encourage when I am down. Sure I am glad that the Lord blessed me with another year of life, but I want to celebrate who and what I am each day.
I don’t need balloons and sugar cake on Nov. 26, but I need a strong, supportive family 365 days of the year.
So when people ask me should the church comment on the Ferguson non-indictment, I ask, “Who cares?”
When I see the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, I ponder, “Really?”
Yeah this is big news on Twitter, but ironically enough before the nine hour long press conference to tell us what many in the black community already suspected (Surprise! The officer was going to get off scot-free), my 13-year-old son and I were having a very frank discussion about his behavior.
He is a great kid, but I had to explain to him that as a black teenager he could not afford make mistakes at school. He could not afford to be average, but he had to be better just to be looked upon as equal. I told him that the system would look for any opportunity to bring him down.
Why? Because race still matters in this country. Why? Because the black male is still seen as a threat. So my message to my son was, even though things have gotten better in this country, you can never, ever give the system an excuse to bring you down. I hated telling my eighth grader that. I was hoping the world had changed, but I figured that knowledge is power and he has to understand the fallen world that we live in.
As a black man, I really don’t know what the church should do. I can’t wait for people who don’t know and understand my life to react.
No disrespect to the Brown family, but there is nothing special about Michael Brown’s death that deserves all this attention.