It’s time to wake up.

Everyday I wake up is another day I come to the realization that our world is ever changing. It’s another day I wake up to terrible news. It’s another day I think of how to explain these current events to my daughter as she gets older.

I struggle, like many of you, with the fact that this has become our reality. We wake up to more cancer. We wake up to more violence. We wake up to more racism. We wake up to more hate-crimes. We wake up to more terrible leadership. We wake up to world events that are shaping our earth, shaping our lives and most of all, they are shaping our humanity.

It’s as if our basic human decency is being diminished along with peace and kindness. It’s strange and unfamiliar the way the world is changing every day. There is more and more turmoil in every day news. This decade has begun with an incurable pandemic and the world has become divided. Our very own nation is in the midst of a civil war. The new decade is allowing history to repeat itself in such a tragic way. Our African-American community fears for their lives and that of their children, more than ever. They should be living in a world where they can go about their daily lives without fearing their every move. It angers me and pains me to see what is happening. I acknowledge their pain. I acknowledge their anger. I stand with them. We must speak up as much as we can and demand change.

Too often I am seeing more people showing true colors. Families and close friends have become divided. Racism and hatred is more alive than ever. Ignorance is so evident. We often tread lightly with our words as we do not know how others truly feel; or maybe its because we fear that they may actually oppose our own opinions. We constantly fear for others, daily. We have an obligation to stand with and stand up for our African-American community.

What kind of world do we want our children to grow up in? Just when our world seemed to be taking steps in the right direction, just a few years ago. Now, we are faced with the challenges of upholding the success we seemingly worked so hard to change in a positive direction. It is without doubt that since we had a change in leadership in our country, these events have become more evident. Without hesitation, I can say with utmost certainty that our current leadership is one of the main reasons our country has become so divided. So many of us, who were for the positive change in the right direction, watch as so many others show their true colors and are disrupting so much monumental change. I think many would agree, that we cannot sit back and watch any longer as this turmoil takes over our lives and our nation. We must not sit back any longer and do nothing, because then we become part of the problem.

From legalizing marriage rights for all, to the many strides of equality for all and finally seeing more diversity allowed in so many places who turned an eye to it for too long. These are just a few of the changes that were starting to be made in a positive direction. Fast forward to today, our world is now destroying what was once historical success and many of these hopes and dreams. Oppression, ignorance and hatred are leading us back into a time we vowed we would never repeat.

When will the hatred stop? When will the oppression diminish? When will our African-American community be truly free of fear, violence and hatred. I pray for a day that my daughter can live in a world where we are all equal, without fear and where it’s evident that our freedoms are unbiased and without challenge.

We had hope once and we can bring that back with the power of standing by each other and standing for each other. We are all human. We bleed the same and we die the same. Yet our humanity tells us different and the actions of those who oppose these beliefs are too apparent.

If you take anything from this it’s that we must act now. We must sign the correct petitions, and press our local and national governments for change. Are you angry? I am too. Are you tired? I am too. Call your local governments and voice your concerns and demand change. I cannot express this enough…VOTE!

On Tuesday, November 3rd, I turn 30. It will also be my first year I vote, ever. I registered to vote this year for the first time in my life because I want to see change. On Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, I will vote. Will you?

Be the change you want to see. Take action, don’t just speak words. Make strides forward, not backward. Tell an African-American family member or friend that you are with them and angry for them. They need to know they have ally’s and that we are with them; that we all stand together to fight for them.

Vote.

By Jovi McNaughton | May 30th, 2020

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