#Black Lives Matter…..Do They?

Native Omaha Weekend…and I’m coming home. I’m coming home.

I’m going to write a lot about coming home. For me homecoming is about family….and this year it will be about closure.

One year ago, my I lost my father.

This week I will get to see the last thing I could do for him….His headstone.

As I go home, I see a North Omaha reeling, bleeding.

A rash of violence on the streets, and violence and  turmoil in suites and office of City Hall.

I’m thinking about my people right now.

I’m thinking about Eric Garner, Michael Brown…about a young boy with a water gun…and a woman just driving her car in Texas.

I’m thinking about how their Black Lives were taken.

But I’m also thinking of…Islan Nettles,  Mercedes Williamson, and India Clarke.

And I thinking of a woman who was held in a jail in Iowa, and how she could have ended up if it wasn’t for a committed blogger sounding an alarm and people giving a damn about her Black Life.

But it also got me to thinking about this Black Lives Matter movement. And while I support it strongly.  I have some questions about it.

Questions we all need to answer.


Does that include a black life that just got out of the joint and trying to get their mind and life right?

Does that include the family down the way who’s trying to keep their head above water with two jobs and a sick child? Does that include the single mom who got a letter from her church saying her offering was “insufficient”. 

Does that include a single dad trying to fight a tide of indifference and stereotypes?

Does that include my gay brother? My lesbian sister? My trans neighbor who got accosted in a public bathroom?

Does that include my Buddhist homeboy? My rasta neighbor? The dude in the next cubicle who believes that worship is the denial of reason and common sense?

Does that include my mentor, who is a staunch right-wing Republican? 

Does that include my cousin who sings “The Red Flag Song.” 

Does that include black nerds? 

Does that include a young person going down the wrong path? 

Does that include that same someone who 

went the wrong way trying to make things right?

Does it include that brother still rocking an 8-ball jacket? 

Does it include my sister on the pole?

Does it include the “buppy” who seems to not have time for those “other colored folks”? 

Does it include the recovering “Uncle Tom” who realizes that he or she is because we are?

Does it include the outliers who look with disdain at “those negroes buying into the Man and his system.”

Does it include the bomb-throwers, the nationalists, the brother selling the Final Call on the corner?

Does it include the cat who hasn’t freed his mind so that his ass will follow? 

Does it include a sex worker?  The unemployed?  “Those people on assistance?”

In your lexicon, does this include me?

I ask myself these things every day. I pray to my Creator that He leads me to the right answers.


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