One of the greatest challenges for an athlete is finding the positive in a loss. Playing sports, I fed the idea that you must always gain something from every victory and defeat. However, the 16-year old me could not stand the thought of losing. Winning became part of my DNA. I had to become the best student. My team needed a winning record. Losing was not a part of my road map to success.
The years have taught me that you can learn much from a defeat. Difficulty can be an unbelievable professor. Challenge works your mental, emotional, and spiritual endurance. Yet, I believe that we are in a day and season where people are beginning to settle for way too many moral victories. Let me explain.
Starbucks, Roseanne Barr, “BBQ Becky”, the NFL and countless other social media captured personalities have what in common? They are the manifestations of the symptoms of racism in America. Notice, I said symptoms. They are not the roots. They are the fruit. They are not live-givers to hatred. They are the benefactors of supremacist ideology.
When ABC cancelled Roseanne this week, way too many people were excited about the move. I submitted to you that for every show cancelled in the name of promoting values of equality for a company, there are multiple programs that still promote the ideas of devaluing people.
If we push this thought further beyond just the specific scope of race in America, consider many maligned individuals among us. Every time a major figure faces judgment for sexual assault, thousands of victims wait to see when their time for justice will come. Every school shooting is met with gun enthusiasts stating that more weaponry is necessary. For every LGBT individual who seeks basic equity as a human being in this continuous life experiment, we uncover continued oppressive activity in various arenas in the name of profitability.
In 2018, more people willing to settle for the moral victory than fight for the justice that will ultimately build, enhance, and revive our communities. A few bad cops being brought to justice will never substitute for the elimination of systematic bigotry, classism, and misuse of power within police departments across the country. Canceling a few shows, publicly shaming people, or any other method of exposure does not replace doing work on every level to reach the goal equality, equity, and justice for all.
The prophet Amos declared a simple phase that rings true to transitioning context–“Woe to those at ease in Zion”. For a period of time, we became so consumed with the gains made and peace that appeared to exist that we forget that enemies regroup. Silent racists were waiting for a time to return to an open platform. Bigoted ideology was creating strategy for the next move. While we rested in moral victories, others plotted. While we said, “we can finally live”, enemies looked for new ways to silence the oppressed again. Moral victories do not produce ultimate change. Moral victories should incite within us the necessity to not rest or accept scraps.
We are in the midst of a wake up call, brothers and sisters. It is not the time to attempt to prove who is more “woke” than the rest. It is time to consolidate our power to move the atmosphere in the proper direction. We must do as the saints of the past declared “watch, fight, and pray”. Anything less than that mentality is a defeat.
Please take the opportunity to check out my first published work, Led to the Stream: Refreshing in Life’s Valley available on my online store: squareup.com/store/ledtothestream