By Wanda “Sistah Soldier” Petty, President & CEO
Six months ago, you couldn’t have told Americans the country’s position would be as it is today. We are centered in the middle of a racist pandemic, as we face a virus pandemic outlining its perimeter. I wish I could solely write an inspiring message about “how to keep your head up in trying times,” and ignore being upset about the way some people dishonor the African American community with rage, and that it will all disappear tomorrow. I can’t!
I’m just as upset about how things have played out over the media as you may be. I continually ask myself, “what can I do to make a difference?”
We’re living a live encounter of an evolution. Young people are tired of watching their friends and family become exhausted and are rising up for the cause to ensure authorities hear their voices, while baby-boomers speak from the sidelines, and congressional leaders are silent when we all are expecting to listen to their strategies to end the turmoil.
The one time we should see them utilize their authority, it’s quiet as a mouse on the hill and in our cities. Many influencers (including myself) are at a loss for words. We must say “something!” As a people, the more we choose not to vote, contact our legislators or inquire of elected officials about their agendas to address these issues, the more number 45 will act in his best interest.
It was yesterday when Trump proposed to order the military to walk the streets of our cities as if he were dictating to a communist country. I can’t imagine service members walking the U.S. streets as if it’s a combat war zone and handling their communities as if the community members are an enemy. The very people we swore to protect.
Listen, it’s by no means right for anyone to conduct robbery in stores, strike police officers (like police have chosen to harm Black men and women), or to vandalize our cities with no remorse. However, we must recognize the pain citizens of our country are experiencing due to having no outlet. Millions have lost their jobs and feel as if no one is listening or cares whether their family will have a roof over their head and food on their table in a short time. Uncertainty is no longer a mystical thing, but a tangible substance each of us may be feeling at any given moment.
I want to suggest as we navigate our way to clarity within our nation that you reach out to your local representatives, and ask them what’s their strategy to present your thoughts in a bill or conversation on their platform? Moments like this are why we elected them to office.
Speaking in conferences where we cannot be present, being in courtrooms when we’re not allowed to present our case, or in situations when no one is willing to listen to our crys sound. Now is the time! Don’t sit and hope the next person will do something about your emotional pain if you don’t express what you’re feeling.
The more we speak out, the more aware our local community becomes. Then we “perhaps” will make better decisions in the future. Activism makes the difference between someone feeling intimidated, and someone willing to stand up against the injustice of racism in our backyards.
Be in action. Use your right to register to vote, and make sure you allow time for researching the delegates for office.
We must take ownership and be responsible at our level so that when situations shift we can be comfortable knowing we made the best decision possible within our power when given the opportunity.
Then, hold those elected officials accountable. It’s a privilege to represent the people, not a given. Sitting behind their desks in silence will not work!
Bishop T.D. Jakes quotes, “It’s easy to read the book you wrote, and then win.” So, keep in mind “if we are not voicing our opinion, we’re allowing someone else to write our story, and if they write it without our point of view, it will be difficult to see equality because it’s written only in their voice.”
Sistah Soldier is an inspirational leader who helps veterans, women, and minorities step into God’s call for their lives using their creative skills. She’s the CEO, host, and executive producer of SHE VET iNSPIRES Television Show and the executive recruiter for SHE MediaTech. ™