• Chris Banks

On Our Invaluable Black Brothers & Sisters

From June 2020


Each day this week I have awoken with eyes full of tears. I’m struggling to address the unfolding events around our nation. Indeed we are all overcome with a sense of emotion in, what seems like one of our nations darkest hours. I’m struggling to address, adequately or with any kind of meaning, how much the murder of Mr. Floyd has affected me. I witnessed a modern day lynching. I’ve struggled for days with just how to use my voice in the best way. When I saw it I screamed. This is ain’t an after thought fabrication. I’ve never seen this kind of brutality or disregard for human life. At the hands of ‘law enforcement’ no less.

I am a white man. I am the the grandson of an immigrant from Ireland. The one place on earth where white people understand all too well what being treated inhumanely in your own homeland feels like. Maybe that’s a part, maybe my upbringing is a part, maybe my friends are a part, maybe my loves are a part, maybe my appreciation for history is a part, or maybe it’s my duty to my father to my country-but I identify with this struggle. I cannot understand the struggle of African Americans, but I can empathize with it. I identify with it. And I can help fight it alongside you. My friends must no longer be afraid blinking may be their last act on earth, or an interaction with the police. We need protests. Because we need change. For many black Americans this is their daily reality, being conscious of the cops, being mistreated by not just the cops but by everyday encounters with everyday people that everyday white people entirely take for granted. Or when black Americans try to use our right of protest, even in a silent way-this cry for help is still unheard and often willingly refused to be accepted by my white brothers and sisters. It’s in this perception, this willing refusal to acknowledge or accept this as true that needs to change just as much as the laws do. It isn’t acceptable, in 2020, nor was it ever acceptable.

George Washington freed all of his slaves toward the end of his life, because he knew better. He knew he was wrong, he knew he made a mistake-it was always wrong. After slavery was abolished, African Americans fleeing to new land, rightfully, expected a formal national apology. It never came. Instead of apologizing, or doing absolutely anything to rectify the owning of human beings as private property to an entire population directly affected-America forced the people who built her to endure a two century struggle for an affirmed identity in her name. Enduring so much pain in order just to be treated with respect. Think about this.

We are all hurting right now, my black brothers and sisters especially. Our purpose as Americans is to turn this pain into a just anger, and a purpose. My purpose will be to remain engaged and grounded in my communities. Emphasize a sustained boycott of any businesses not sympathetic to our cause. I urge all Americans to stop spending money at places which contribute to this mans re-election. Living African Americans may not agree with me but I have always advocated for a constitutional amendment recognizing African Americans as the hands that built America. Any educational expense, from any level in any private or public schooling, should be on the United States Government. It may not be what people see as reparations, it’s just my contribution, an idea, my compromise. We live in a democracy. We all can contribute, we all have ideas. It’s a step.

All of us need to take small steps forward.

As a nation the time to stand up and acknowledge this as a wrong and denounce it once and for all has long passed. It is time for action now. It is time for protest.

For many black Americans this is their Boston tea party. It’s personal for me. I’m ashamed for and of my country. I feel an immense responsibility to help. I’m disappointed in our behavior in our conduct, and in our ways of thinking about our fellow neighbor.

We are all black Americans. We are all brown Americans. We are all Americans.

Say it again.

We are all black Americans. We are all brown Americans. We are all Americans.

While I am not personally, I fight for my black and brown brothers, sisters, and loves. I fight for my father;a man who proudly served his country-not his ego. I fight for all my fellow patriots rightfully protesting equal treatment. Speaking of patriots, Colin Kaepernick is a patriot. He always was and he deserves to be treated as such. Another missed another opportunity to learn from.

And here are, in another learning moment. What will we do? Never have another one. We better learn now, and take steps forward.

People are confused to their core-because The President has uprooted our very democracy. That’s what you voted for him to do. This administration has turned brothers against brothers and sisters against sisters. It’s made the utility of our rights a question of where you stand on a political spectrum or what color your skin is. I never thought I would write these words in my lifetime, having been born after 1990.

That’s how naive I am.

What I am no longer naive to is how we are remaking America.

All of us. Together. We are, and we will.

We are remaking America in just the way the man who wrote our constitution thought we would. Because we would have to. We are remaking America, now, in her best imagine. So, as we are in the midst of this darkness the sadness the anger the just rage, think of the light-it is a beautiful thing to be alive to be a part of. One day, and not too far in the distance, she will live up to her promise. To everyone.


617-785-1399

©2019 by Chris Banks. Proudly created with Wix.com