Stop Waiting on the World to Change

Not even 24 hours after my last blog concerning the tragic killing of Alton Sterling in Louisiana, I find myself now penning additional sentiments for Philando Castile in Minnesota, and the 5 law enforcement officers in Dallas, whose lives have all ended tragically and senselessly. To echo the words of Dallas Police Chief Brown, “…This must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”

Whether we like it or not, social media has given us a modern day peek into the egregious and often systemic abuses of power that have historically victimized people of color by some wayward members of law enforcement.  While we categorically and vehemently denounce these unlawful acts that have taken the lives of persons like Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and now Alton Sterling and Philando Castile; we recognize and emphasize that they are not reflective of all law enforcement officers.  Daily, both female and male officers around this nation don their uniforms and affix their badges, not knowing if they will return home to their families and loved ones. They do this all in an effort to protect and serve their communities, and uphold the oaths that they have taken.  We celebrate these officers, and we mourn with them as they grieve over the loss of their fellow comrades that were innocently executed last night in Dallas.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said it best when he stated, “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding a deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only love can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”  Truly, what this world and this nation needs now, more than ever, is love, unity, and harmony.  In this hour we do not need to emphasize our differences.  What we need now is to highlight our similarities.  All of us want to be loved.  All of us want to be accepted.  All of us want to live peacefully. And all of us want to return home to our families at the end of the day.

Many are asking, “What can I do?”  On a national level, you can sign petitions, write your Congressmen and Congresswoman and express your concerns about gun violence in this nation.  Mentor a young person, work with your local municipalities and cities, provide sensitivity training if you are qualified, and serve in a local Church.  Stop waiting on the world to change. We are the change that the world is waiting on!

—Donald Hilliard, Jr.

Senior Pastor, Cathedral International

Founder and CEO, Stop the Funeral Foundation