When I use the term deconstruction, I am not simply referring to the process I’ve used to examine my faith or religious ideology. For me, deconstruction is shattering each obstruction that impedes my perception of unadulterated truth. I wish to fracture every fantasy that prevents me from seeing the pain of the oppressed. In the beginning, this journey was self-motivated; I wished to release myself from obligation to former oppressive authorities of my own–church, my parents, the standards of the American education system, and so on. Each demolition preceded insight, and the more insight gained, the more I identified with other oppressed and marginalized communities.
By identification with, I do not mean to say that I’ve endured marginalization with the same intensity of these other groups. What I mean to say is that by recognizing the pain I felt and the gravity of oppression bearing upon my life choices and relationships, I’ve been able to understand, to fathom, and to empathize with the trauma incurred by others. This is probably the most meaningful lesson life teaches, but of course, one must be willing to learn.
When George Floyd was murdered this summer, my eyes were opened once and for all. I do believe I was numb to the news of the black lives lost prior to this incident, and I am grieved to admit that about myself. In the wake of George’s murder, I was confronted with the traumatic reality of the injustice endured by black people. How that confrontation occurred is a lengthy tale, and it isn’t relevant for my purposes in this post. At the same time, I am ashamed to say that I justified the deaths of so many black people through the years because that is what I was taught to do, and it disgusts me now, as it goes against my core beliefs, and I wish to do everything I can to help my black sisters and brothers to dismantle the system.
With that said, I created a series of videos, intended for a white audience, to help other white people to understand, fathom, and empathize with the plight of our marginalized friends. Unfortunately, these videos never did perform well on the TikTok algorithm. I won’t make any assumptions about why.
I’ve since removed all of these videos from TikTok, so that I can share them exclusively here–for my most devoted audience–for those who are most likely to receive them and move forward to further the initiative of the Black Lives Matter Movement. We must stop perpetuating the fantasy that lifts up our lives at the expense of the other.