What I’m about to share may ruffle some feathers. It may cause some people to become defensive or offensive. That happens when truth is revealed, shared, and analyzed. Just make sure you don’t come at me with daggers. You will only cut yourself. Don’t come at me with punches. You will only hit yourself. If you come to divide, only your mind will be divided. I’ve warned you.

Let’s talk about it…
Checkers, chess, or Connect 4?
Why our lives are even in play, as a game…but they are, so whatcha gonna do about it?

When you should know the propaganda machine will crank out more vitriol than you can counter, how do you stay ahead so you can overcome?

Leaving out the adverb “TOO” left deniers of truth to say:

1) “ALL lives matter”

2) “BLUE lives matter” (although “Blue” isn’t a demographic).

3) “Well if Black Lives Matter so much to you then why aren’t you protesting Black-on-Black crime?”

4) It’s racist to say BLM or Black Power, or to call out white privilege, or to acknowledge that wealthy white men dictate whose life matters

These counter-moves puts Black people and our allies in a constant defensive position, trying to reason and rationalize with an unreasoning mindset that loves to tell rational-lies.

We thought video footage of the horror we face would be enough, but now the counter-argument is, “Please provide context”

We thought having white sympathizers protesting beside us would cause a surrender to the truth. What we get in response is, “They’re ALL thugs, terrorists, unpatriotic, unAmerican, enemies of the State, libtards, anti-police”. We hear that our sympathizers are “just pandering to Black people in this ‘woke’ era”.

When you have Black people complaining that white insurrectionists were able to storm the US Capitol and be called “patriots exercising their rights” while Black people and their allies have been called everything but—what does this say? What does this show and prove?

When you see that there are forces trying desperately to take away your vote, your right to vote, your right to equal treatment under the law, your right to protect and defend your body, your family, and your property—yet when you cry out about this, you’re told that your truth, the truth, is not their truth—so it is dismissed and devalued.

When you exercise your 2nd Amendment Right, the NRA is mostly silent in your defense. When you have no weapon but the attacker does, the NRA says the attacker “had a right to defend themselves as they feared for their lives…” Whose life truly matters?

When you’re told to “stay in your place” and “be glad for what your people have been given and what your people have achieved” as though you’re children. As though you’re still property. Yes, still slaves. The difference is that now you have access to some luxuries and can live wherever you can afford. Your new plantation is whatever area your paycheck defines. It’s all smoke and mirrors folks.

This puts Black people and our allies in a constant defensive position, trying to overcome the counter-moves, trying to prove the genuine and earnest alignment for human dignity. This leaves other POC at a major disadvantage because the reality is, if Black Lives DON’T matter, then neither do Indigenous, Asian, Latin/Hispanic, or any other non-White life.

Are we playing checkers while the powers-that-be are playing chess? Or worse, are we playing Connect 4 while they’re playing chess?

How would things have been altered if we had said “Black Lives Matter TOO”?

It sucks when you feel like your life only matters in two instances:
1) anti-abortion debates
2) military recruitment/draft

Valuing Black lives doesn’t devalue White lives, Black power doesn’t weaken White power (well except in weakening the power to crush Black life and dreams), Black votes don’t disenfranchise White votes, Black rights don’t take away White rights, Black life doesn’t sacrifice White life, Black wealth doesn’t snatch away White wealth—nor does it stop the impoverished White person from gaining wealth.

When poor White people start to realize that even with the privilege their skin provides, they too are an economic and social minority—despised by wealthy whites more than POC are despised—and they choose to stand (without faltering) with BIPOC rather than fight against them, vote with and for BIPOC instead of against them, build with BIPOC instead of building walls to keep them out—then the tides can begin shifting towards empowerment, inclusion, and freedom for all people.

When they realize the power they possess to sling down the Goliath that keeps 99 percent of the nation groveling for scraps, then they can force the powerful hands that bind the disenfranchised. They then can stop counter-arguing every police attack on Black people with, “Statistics show that poor White people face as much police brutality as Black people”. The fact that you even researched and shared this only underlines why this human rights fight is also your fight, beside us, not across from us—with us not against us. For the same system that binds us is the same system that sneakily binds you. For there are more poor Whites than Blacks, statistically. There are more Whites on state assistance than Blacks. More White “welfare queens” than Black ones. And Blacks don’t have the power and privilege to make that possible. So who does?

Is the dilemma that poor Whites face is in accepting the fact that until Black Lives Matter TOO, their life won’t truly matter either, they will still be seen as trash, worthless except to raise hell and do the dirty work of the wealthy? Is it difficult to swallow the pill of multi-generational hate aimed at a people they were taught to believe they were better than simply because they wore a different color of skin—while blaming those same people for rising from the ashes, sometimes surpassing them? Your great great great great grandparents were lied to, and every generation leading to you were lied to. You have been lied to.

It has to be maddening when you can’t really explain the hate and you’re too afraid to place blame squarely where it belongs. You’re boxing with shadows. With smoke and mirrors. Face the truth. It will set you and all of us free!

Let that sink in.

Share your thoughts below. Don’t come at me sideways with vitriol, you will only find yourself kicking a can, alone…

Love always,

Natasha

BLM #BLM2 #BLMToo #checkersorchess #unify #unity #smokeandmirrors

Copyright 2021. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

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I was so proud to see the photo of my Storiboard Nation team member, Vanessa Razo, along with her parents, at the polls where they voted as first-time voters. Yes, you read that right. This was the first time Vanessa and her parents have voted. Not because they didn’t want to vote in the past, or didn’t support previous candidates. It also wasn’t because they were lazy. They didn’t vote because they couldn’t.

It took Vanessa and her parents 23 years to finally become U.S. citizens and be granted the right to vote. That’s 23 years of working, paying taxes and positively contributing to society, while having to jump through years of bureaucratic red tape. They relocated to the United States in 1993 and have been trying every single day to fully take part in the American dream.

Most people think the path to citizenship is easy breezy, like going to get a driver’s license….You just show up, take a short test, smile for the camera, and if you pass the test then you say an oath and become a citizen. If you don’t pass, you just wait a few days and try again on whichever portion of the test you failed.

Not even close!

Well not for the vast majority of residents who spend thousands of dollars and thousands of hours so that they can proudly say they are an “American”. For the small percentage of privileged individuals who somehow get their status fast-tracked, even their process isn’t done in one week–but let’s not even go down that path.

The citizenship process looks very simple on paper:

  • Step One: Find Out Whether You Are Eligible. The first question is whether you have a U.S. green card (lawful permanent residence for on average 5 years). …Green cards cost $340-$1,500
  • Step Two: Overcome Barriers to Your Ineligibility. …
  • Step Three: File USCIS Form N-400. …Filing fee is currently $595.00 plus $85.00 biometrics fee
  • Step Four: Get Fingerprinted. …
  • Step Five: Attend a Citizenship Interview. …Which includes English (ability to speak, read, and write it) and an oral U.S. History and Government test (the test proctor selects the questions)
  • Step Six: Attend the Oath Ceremony….This is the step most of us witness through news coverage (which makes it look like a one-day process)

These six steps can take numerous years to complete. For Vanessa and her parents, it took 23 extremely long years. It was no cakewalk. They are fortunate to now be citizens and have full access to the systems, processes, and privileges that other Americans have. Sadly, they have other family members and friends who are still waiting for the day when they can become citizens. I too have friends who are waiting. Some have been waiting for over 25 years. They continue to work, pay bills, pay taxes, pay legal fees, and contribute to our economy, while they wait patiently.

I pray that the results from our recent election does not discourage or intimidate them. Instead, I hope that it helps them to passionately focus on making their dreams come true in the land that has provided them various options, opportunities, and freedoms that their birth country did not provide.

I pray that Vanessa and her parents become more engaged in the political process and encourage others to remain focused and get involved in making sure that this country remains the multicultural home of the free and the land of the brave!

If you know of anyone who is going through the green card and citizenship process, tell them to not lose hope, and don’t get distracted by what they see, read, and hear through media outlets and social media…or even narrow-minded politicians. Tell them to just dig in deep and remember why they are here and why they want so badly to become an American. Our country desperately needs those positive vibes!

~Natasha