This shirt is not a political statement. I am not wearing it because I’m a liberal snowflake who hates the police. I wear it because I am a human being and more importantly, a Jesus follower.
The greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God and then love others as ourselves. Remaining silent right now because it makes us uncomfortable or we don’t think racism exists is not an option.
The millions of people protesting around the globe aren’t doing so on a whim. Maybe you’ve heard a few voices from POC who tell you it isn’t an issue, and those voices reaffirm your belief that the rest of us are wrong. Let me be clear, you are on the wrong side of history.
I remember learning about the Civil Rights movement when I was younger and asking myself an important question – would I have marched? You want to believe you would, because equal rights shouldn’t be up for debate. It was, or at least should have been, an obvious argument.
People in this country didn’t receive the same treatment because of the color of their skin. They decided to protest and fight for their rights. Slavery had been abolished for a century and yet some Americans still didn’t enjoy the basic rights that we are all supposedly entitled to.
This is the time when I can confirm teenage Chelsea’s suspicion that yes, I would protest. Yes, I would speak out. There are people hurting in this country. We may technically have Civil Rights laws, but we all know a law doesn’t change a heart.
Making something legal doesn’t make people accept it. It doesn’t mean a person has value to someone else, only that they should in court. This gives people the freedom to continue the trend of racism even if they don’t believe they are actively contributing.
Trust me, I grew up in a small town with few POC. Since moving away, I’ve had to dismantle a lot of racist beliefs I didn’t know I had. I still have to search myself and recognize these thoughts that ever put me higher than someone else in my own mind. I have to check my privilege willingly because I want a better and more loving world for everyone.
Jesus himself fought the system and sought those rejected. He didn’t ask to talk to the Pharisees to get both sides of the story. He wasn’t trying to validate that the religious people weren’t that bad. He sought the lost, the hurt, the broken, and He loved them.
I believe wholeheartedly that police officers are heroes. I do not believe they are all racists. But like a lot of systems in our world, something is broken. Crying ‘defund the police’ doesn’t mean get rid of them but exploring different funding options to help communities instead of militarizing.
You can cry ‘Black Lives Matter’ and still believe in your police officers. One doesn’t eliminate the other. This fight is to create a better future for everyone. Don’t get caught up in the polarizing nature of BLM and ‘defund the police.’ Focus on the real evil in this world.
Now is our time to make a real change. I don’t just mean legally, because again, laws don’t change hearts. They are important, but we need to look at ourselves first. We need to recognize what’s inside of us and how we contribute to the problem. We need to be brave enough to stand up to racist comments and jokes. We can be difference-makers.
This fight starts with the individual. If you and I don’t change, racism will persist.