The Billboards are up on Crenshaw Blvd and also La Brea #NOTMENOTNOW Fight Back Against All Oppression
No human being deserves to be disrespected or abused – not physically, mentally or emotionally. We live in a society populated with warm and loving people. Yet it is often the atrocities and human causalities that capture our attention. Aided by the media, the lenses through which we view the world are shaded by darkness and fear.
Fear and ignorance is the incubator where racism, homophobia, sexism, HIV stigma and other ills are allowed to grow and fester. Today, with the advent of social media, the sharing of information in rapid real time allows people everywhere to see the unspeakable atrocities that happen around the world. We are no longer limited to our small microcosm on the planet. We see the gassing of innocent children in Syria, the bombings of civilians in Paris and Germany. We experience shocking shootings of students in schools around the country.
I hear the sirens, the helicopters, and the gunfire. I see teenage mothers in increasing numbers. I see them struggling to rear children, and in far too many cases, doing the best they can with what they have been given. When we pause and consider that many of them have been handed down a legacy of mental and emotional illness, plus under-reported physical and sexual abuse, it is not surprising that they too will spread the disease of rage, violence and neglect.
Homicide within communities of color and now in middle class suburbia can only be explained as the byproduct of injustice. Racism is the soil in which poverty, dysfunctional child rearing, peer bulling and all other forms of societal oppression take root. These are the burdens that weigh heavy on a people’s ability to remain balanced and hopeful. In fact, far too many of our people have lost hope and thus have settled for a life of mere survival.
And NO, it is not our fault. But YES, it is our responsibility to care for our own. So today, I call on the church, the loving mothers and grandmothers, the single people who can pitch in from time to time to give of your time, money and influence, to help make a difference wherever you can. No human being deserves to be disrespected or abused – not physically, mentally or emotionally. Not now. Not ever.
LA’s Young Black Super Heroes/ In The Meantime’s Young Black Gay Men’s Taskforce, (YBGMT) has launched the #NOTMENOTNOW Social justice campaign to address the ills that disproportionally and adversely impacts minority youth. These social determinants include but are not exclusive to racism, homophobia, transphobia, HIV stigma and discrimination, homelessness, substance abuse, and bullying.
#NOTMENOTNOW is a layered campaign that addresses the topic of oppression and overcoming victimhood through storytelling and by providing youth centered resources through online social media, billboards, social engagement of their peers and allies to include local elected officials.
This empowered commission of young black Super Heroes are calling us to action against oppression while challenging us all to consider what we really stand for. YBGMT members are collaborating their individual super powers to stand up against oppressions where ever they present themselves. Stay tuned as you will be asked to join the fight. Look for the bill boards, social media video and the #NOTMENOTNOW hub to share personal stories and access support resources.