By Walter Robinson II, Special for PQ Monthly
As a black gay man whose very existence has been a constant struggle for freedom in America. The recent murder of #altonsterling and #philandocastile by the hands of police and the five officers murdered at the hands of a sniper. I have come to terms that in my lifetime my freedom will be conditional. Last week, I was a mixed bag of emotions, having to compartmentalize my anger, sadness, disgust, and fear knowing that this could have been me, any member of my family, and/or any of the young black men in my internship program as I navigated the workplace.
Under all of these circumstances we all could have continued on with our daily routines given that this is not the first time a black person has been killed at hands of police: #tamirrice #toomanyblacknamestocount and the countless other black people this year. However, there was a different aura in the air that affected everyone around me as I came into work, walked around the city, and marched arm to arm with people to mourn the loss of #altonsterling and #philandocastile.
As a solutions driven person who has committed his life to the betterment and empowerment of others. I reflect on the call of action I have learned and teach to the young black men on a weekly basis this summer. We call it the 3C’s: Challenge, Commitment, and Continue. As people continue, ask “what can I do?” If you truly value humanity, I ask you to put the 3 C’s in action. How will you challenge yourself and others to break down the barriers of institutional racism? What will you commit to today, this week, this month, this year, your lifetime to ensuring that actual equity is not just something we say we value, but plays out in our everyday behaviors?, and Will you continue to have these challenging conversations about race and institutional racism in your personal and professional lives?
So that one day in the future I will never have to ask if “#blacklivesmatter today; but will they matter tomorrow?”