An open letter to all those who are #OVERIT:
As a white middle class Christian, I do not claim to understand the hurt of racial and religious prejudice, though I do have friends who have had first hand experiences with it. As a woman and a millennial I have had my own experiences with prejudices based on my age and sex. For so long I have remained silent stewing in my frustration because I believed my voice was not big enough to be heard. No longer though can I remain silent as so many do because it is time for the masses to stand up and say we are OVER IT.
I am tired of staying silent as people who call themselves Christians go around proclaiming that they are superior because who they are and what they believe. I am tired of my African American friends being pulled over because they of the color of their skin. I am tired of hearing stories of Mosques being vandalized and Muslims being persecuted for their beliefs. I am tired of my LGBT friends being bullied and slurred because of who they love. I am tired of being harassed because I am a woman and for some reason that gives men a right to say whatever they want to me and about me. I am tired of being looked down upon because I am young and therefore what I have to say doesn’t matter. I am OVER all of the negativity and hate that is constantly poured out from all those who think and their Religion, Gender, Race, Age, or Sexual Orientation makes them somehow better than anyone else.
I am a Christian and I am over people using the name my God, the God of love, peace and kindness, to spread hate. The Bible commands us over and over to “Love thy Neighbor,” and “Love thy Enemy.” Galatians 5:22-23 states “The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control.” These are the foundations of the Gospel that I believe in, the foundations of the God that I believe in. Jesus Christ paid it all so that we may be free from death, but in return we are to devote our lives to His service and spreading His great love. Every time someone protests the funeral of a fallen soldier in the name of God, or runs their car into a group of people because they disagree with him then calls himself a Christian; they are not portraying the love of my God and my Jesus who sacrificed everything.
In America, we live in a nation that calls itself the Land of the Free, yet I do not feel free. I feel afraid and I am over it. The Constitution of this land sets up the Freedoms that all of the citizens of this country are to experience freedoms of speech, religion, and assembly; freedoms that extend to all those young and old, white and black, male and female. The Declaration of Independence states all are born with certain inalienable rights (they can’t be taken away), those of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What these mean is I cannot be arrested for posting this online or for bolding saying I’m a Christian in America. They mean that those who chose to peacefully protest against those they disagree with are protected. They mean that as long as I am inside the bounds of the laws of this country I am free to pursue happiness however I see fit. They mean that as long what I do does not bring harm to another individual than I am free to do and say as I please. However I do not feel free to do and say as I please, even now I am concerned over the backlash that this will receive but I cannot stay silent any longer. I cannot stand back and watch as hateful people disgrace the name of my country and my God.
The people participating in the White Supremacist – Neo-Nazi protests this weekend in Charlottesville were not representing the God that I love. I pray for all those who were injured when the protesters turned violent and I congratulate all those with the guts to assemble against them. To all those like me who for so long have stood in silence speak up against the injustices we see and fight with righteous anger against the oppression we encounter. Let’s all agree to no longer be silent because we are afraid of what others may say because stand up for what we know to be true, right and just.
A girl who can be silent no longer, Nicole Erickson