My apologies…

As many of you know, I decided not to exercise my right to vote on election night. And I know that many of you did. I understand your hurt, your pain and your frustration because I endured it too. I experienced it a long time ago, which led to complete disdain and distrust in our government. If any of you have seen my posts on my personal Facebook page in the last couple of days (check them out if you’re curious. I didn’t delete them), I’d like to sincerely apologize to anyone I may have offended. I meant what I said and I stand by my words, but I am sorry if I came off in a way that made it seem as though I was putting down anyone’s decision to vote. I realize that I cannot impose my beliefs on anyone else. I also know that everyone has to have their own journey to their own truth, and what they find when they get there is completely unique to them. Everyone’s truth is different.

I know a lot of you are hurt, you’re upset, and you’re afraid for the future of this country. To know that your words, your actions, your passion, your fight have all been for naught, is truly disheartening and feels like a slap to the face. I feel and know your pain. I know it’s hard to feel optimistic about what’s to come. I just hope that I can offer some encouragement in letting you all know that this isn’t the worst we have endured as a people. And the only remedy for such a steep and stark divide is unity. We must stop attacking each other and stop putting one another down. Never forget that there’s strength in numbers. The minute we all come together is the minute we can enact lasting and true change.

To my fellow black Americans, I know this wound may cut a little deeper for some of us. We need unity now more than ever. I have never seen a community of people as divided as we are. Before now, I never looked at my childhood as being lucky. I grew up underprivileged and in a single-parent home. I watched my mother struggle. I empathize with those kids in the ghetto because I was right in the thick of it. My mother did the best she could and did a very good job of shielding me from that reality as much as possible, but I’ve always been very aware. She couldn’t protect me from everything. Those of us who have made it and have had the privilege of never going without, please don’t look down on those kids in the hood. Know that life has shaped them and molded them in a very different way, and we’re talking several generations-worth of damage. Sometimes it seems as if they don’t want to help themselves because the positives are few and far between, and the odds have been stacked against them. A way out seems impossible. The only time you should look down on someone is to pull someone up and lend a helping hand. In reality, no one person is above another. Whether you have more or you have less, we share the same world, a world that is so deeply hurting. Materialism and greed have plagued us as a people, and believe it or not, much of it is not even our fault. We have been conditioned over time to attach material possessions to our sense of self and our self-worth. Luckily for us, there is a cure: love. Love is the only remedy for hate. We have to have love for ourselves, love for our people (not just people that look like us, but for every single person with whom we share this Earth), love for our friends, love for our families, love for our enemies, and love for everything around us. It’s the only way we’ll survive life in the Divided States in America over the next four years and beyond.

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