Let’s bring peace
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Los Angeles, for showing me just how much love an angel possesses, just how much love an angel has to offer.
Thank you for inspiring me to do my part, in sharing this love. Last week, I watched in disbelief as our city was being torn to shreds, shattered glass everywhere, stores looted dry, and agents of chaos running loose around our city with obvious intent to destroy. It shook me to my core. I feared for our community, not necessarily for myself but more so for the many Angelenos I knew were going to suffer more pain during an already very difficult time in our history.
As I was glued watching the riveting coverage of this live reality TV show that we are all participants in, I began to notice a pattern occur. I watched as a young woman stood in front of the R.E.I. store in Santa Monica and put her life on the line as she stood up to a large burly man with a hammer trying to break the glass on the front door. As she stepped in front of him shaking her head no, no, no, the large man slumped his shoulders and shamefully walked away. To that beautiful young soul, I would like to say thank you for your unbelievable courage and fearless resolve in the face of chaos. Thank you for doing what we all know needed to be done but are probably too scared to do ourselves.
Soon afterward, as a reporter was interviewing her, she said, “This isn’t about that,” and I think we all knew exactly what she was talking about. I know I did. A few minutes later on this nonstop reality show, which was so engrossing, I began watching a small group of business owners and locals stand up to potential looters in Hollywood who looked like they wanted to break into a jewelry store next door. I watched as they all shook their heads no, no, no toward the looters and they too walked away.
That’s when I noticed the winds of change begin to take hold and blow through this beautiful City of Angels. I began to feel the wind carry me, I began to feel the wind inspire me and I began to feel the wind converge into this great energy flowing throughout the city. The energy I believe only the love of an angel possesses. By the middle of the week it seemed as if the looters and agents of chaos were much more terrified of the protesters than they were of the police, as they were nowhere to be found. The mood had shifted quickly from terrifying moments of chaos and looting to these great marches of energy full of love and passion, driven by a genuine grassroots movement the likes the world has never seen. Millions began marching in cities all over the world and showing their support for the injustices of racism that have plagued our planet for centuries. A genuine grassroots movement led by Black Lives Matter that was actually of the people, for the people and about the people.
Let’s use this great energy and create a more perfect union as promised in our Constitution. So, I say let’s paint a picture of a better world, a world where an African American man can leave his home without worrying about being harassed or worse just because of the color of his skin.
Let’s become the creator of this new world and finally live up to that self-evident truth that all men are created equal and thus shall be judged on the merits of their character and not based on the color of their skin, the philosophies of the religion they choose to follow or the people they choose to share their lives with.
By the end of the week, I realized those weren’t windows we were breaking but, rather, cages we were shaking—the cages of history. We were rattling the cages of racism that have stained our country for far too long. Racism that was born out of slavery and inflicted so much pain and suffering on a race of people just because of the color of their skin, and to those who say, “Well, we ended slavery,” I say it never should have started.
Every step we take as we march through our streets is a step toward ending racism, bigotry, sexism and poverty and releasing us from the cages of history.
Two weeks ago, the world watched in horror as a defenseless George Floyd, handcuffed and lying on the asphalt, was murdered as the knee of a man sworn to protect him pressed his hatred on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. This man who swore an oath to protect us may have been born in the USA. Trust me, he’s no American! Anyone with the intent of causing harm and/or exploiting our black, brown, Asian or white brothers and sisters, anyone with intentions of causing harm and/or exploiting our Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian or LGBTQ community, you may have been born here, but trust me, you are no American!
To be an American, you must strongly denounce all forms of racism, bigotry and sexism. Because IMHO, America has always been more about where we’re going than where we’ve been or where we’re from! This is our time in history to stand and show our support as we march with Black Lives Matter, and I believe these marches shall guide us toward that promise in our Constitution, marching toward a more perfect union.
Mr. Floyd was an American, an African American whose life was just as valuable as our own brother or son or father. Mr. Floyd knew where he was going, and now may his soul rest in peace in heaven with God. The other man, the murderer whom I won’t give the pleasure of calling out his name, doesn’t deserve to walk among us. The cold-blooded killer doesn’t even deserve to be called human. That day the world looked into the eyes of the sickness, the hatred, the pure evil that only the devil possesses. That day the world looked into the eyes of a murderer, and may he never see the light of day.
Joa Michael Rosa