There are things in my life that I never wish to encounter - the murder of an individual is at the top of the list. For me we all share the Universal Right - Given only by God (I am Christian - this is my belief) that right is the right to life - as it was breathed into us by the only being who can give it.
As the image of George Floyd being murdered played over and over on all media outlets - yet another piece of my soul cried. I cried for the visible indifference of a human being to insert their positional power to dehumanize and end his life, coupled with the thoughtless, intentional act of Amy Cooper to dehumanize Christian Cooper with the weapon of "hue".
The sadness is not new, it is the reason why I live consciously and intentionally with my interaction being carefully thought out, and while some may say it is not necessary - the injustices inflicted on others who look like me, require me to be cognizant. It is a sadness of injustice, I have to consider my race, which is what others do not have to consider.
Some may get to this point and assume that I have a very unhappy existence - so let me pause and say that is not now nor ever has it been the case. I often reflect on the comment a white woman said to me - "It must have been hard growing up poor" displaying her unconscious belief that all blacks are poor or have a less than life. You see I have learned to "breathe" with the expectation that these beliefs exist, but do not define me.
The awakening of humanity based on the recent events has occurred not because we were unaware of the injustices but because Our Eyes are the Windows to Our Soul. We cannot unsee what we have seen - consequently, our moral fiber has been shaken. For this reason, we have the rallying call for action, requiring us to stand in our truth.
This call to action begins with each individual coming to terms with the reality that the face we associate with all that is "bad" in our society is not based on the color of a person's skin but with the inequalities in which we choose to shelter and thus allow to penetrate our societal fiber.
Many are asking, what can I do. We must take ownership and hold ourselves accountable for the actions in which we engage with others, whether consciously or unconsciously and Then we must hold others accountable not for their values and beliefs (we cannot change that) but for their behaviors that are not aligned with whatever situation we find ourselves. At work, at school, at public outings, the list is endless.
It is about seeing, hearing, and allowing every human to live with the Universal right to Breathe and to live with the foundation of equality.
In closing - the image I choose for this feature is of my six siblings, myself and our mom. If you are looking closely for my Black Father, an educator, a minister, and a community leader, he is deceased, yet ever-present in our lives. He was the cornerstone of our family, our provider, our comforter, our encourager, and our strength. This is the anchor of my story.
I appreciate and cherish all of my relationships and I hold no judgment on where you are on your journey of awakening.
Be Well, Be Safe, and Be Better.
Daphne B. Latimore is the founder and Managing Partner of D.B. Latimore Professional Services Group, LLC a boutique firm specializing in Human Resource Management, Professional Coaching Services, and Workforce Seminars.
Daphne has over 25 years of strategic and operational experience in both the private and public sectors. As a career HR Strategist, Executive and Leadership Coach, skilled Facilitator and Trainer, and HR consultant, Daphne specializes in establishing sustainable workforce productivity programs through the development of leaders at all levels.