Letter to Community about Black Lives Matter

Letter to Community about Black Lives Matter
The video was a kick in the dick. It was traumatic to watch someone helpless and handcuffed get murdered on film so callously from the very people who swore to protect and serve.
Every moment ripped your heart out.
The plea for breath.
The calling for a mom who’d been gone for 2 years.
The racism.
The killing.
The complicit officers.
And, after, imagining if the murder wasn’t caught on film. How this would just be another terrible story.
George Floyd was just one instance. Two other cases came into the National conversation – Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery – just in the past few weeks, all with the backdrop of the Coronavirus.
And now many are sitting with the question: “Am I part of the problem?” A question that had been avoided like a dentist scraping around a nerve.
Black Lives Matter is not a zero sum game. Everyone wins.
Black Lives Matter is about focus, not exclusion.
And now is not the time to be quiet or a bystander in such matters. We must, collectively, use our efforts to shift the focus onto removing the parts of our society that hamper the rights of our fellow black Americans.
Now, we cannot legislate hate out of our hearts. There will not be one piece of legislation passed nationally that we can point at and say, “That’s it. That’s the solution.”
This will be continuous, deep, emotional work we do on ourselves, our community, and our national conversations. This will take awhile.
And it starts with ourselves.
As the owner of Journeyman Fitness, I’m making a commitment to
  1. Expand Journeyman Fitness’s Social Mission – to use our resources to improve the people in and around our community and to align our actions with the Black Lives Matter movement and supporting organizations.
  2. Educate myself more – starting with reading more including “White Fragility” and “How to Be an Anti-Racist”
  3. I will follow more black social media influencers and raise their voices in my feed and to my followers
  4. I will begin supporting more policy change locally and nationally – starting with “8 Can’t Wait” – 8cantwait.org¬†– 8 data driven policies that can effectively reduce police brutality by 72% if police departments enact them.
It is important to clearly define what you stand for, and this is important. For George Floyd. For Breonna Taylor. For Ahmaud Arbery. And for the countless men and women who have been victims of institutionalized and systemic racism. We stand for black lives and for black families living in fear.
Whatever your work is – I want to leave this post with some encouragement I found on Social Media. It was a text only post addressed to everyone involved in this moment, whether at home or out in the streets:
Some are posting on social media
Some are protesting in the streets
Some are donating silently
Some are educating themselves
Some are having tough conversations with friends and family
A revolution has many lanes – be kind to yourself and to others who are traveling in the same direction
Just keep your foot on the gas”
—Mark Roberts, owner

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