We Stand Together! #Blacklivesmatter

What has been going on in the United States of America is heartbreaking.  As an owner of PortoVino, I speak on behalf of our entire team that we stand together with our brothers and sisters to condemn racial injustice and to support #blacklivesmatter because Silence is no longer an option. 

As a mother to 2 teenage sons, there is a lot that I worry about.  Are they hanging out with the right crowd? Are they staying away from drugs? Are they polite? Are they preparing themselves for their future? The list goes on and on.  But as a white Mom to 2 white sons, the worry that racial prejudice against them could lead to their harm or death, doesn’t cross my mind. And that is something every mother should be able to say!

The last few weeks have been marked with a myriad of emotions from sadness to rage. It has been a time for black people to speak up and tell their stories. And it has allowed for an incredible opportunity for white people to stop talking and just listen and hear what black Americans have been going through. The stories I have heard shocked and appalled me. 

Even in my own community where I assumed there wasn’t much racism, once I started listening to stories, I quickly realized that these biases are all around me and I have been blind to them. One black woman said she never returns anything that she buys because she had been accused of shoplifting on numerous occasions in the past.  Another black man mentioned he was taught at a young age to always put his wallet on the dash of his car before he drove off so his hands could always be in view.  And still another woman mentioned that she does not allow her father to go for walks in the neighborhood when he comes to visit because she is afraid someone will call the police.  

Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere - Martin Luther King

The white community takes for granted every single one of these simple tasks - returning a skirt that doesn’t fit right, going for walks or the location of your wallet while you are in your car.  It is not something we even think twice about.  The wrongful death of so many black Americans is horrifying, but it is also tragic to learn about all the little freedoms that black people have been robbed of because of prejudice.  

It is time that we all stand together - white, brown, black - the color is not important. What is important is that we are all human beings and as a Christian, I would add Children of God.  I am hopeful as I witness protesters of all walks of life:  every color, age group, creed and socio-economic status finally coming together to take a stand against racial injustice. This is not just a black problem, it is everyone’s problem.  As Martin Luther King said, Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere

We live in a great country with incredible opportunities, rightly based on equality, and it is high time that we insist that it truly is equal for everyone. Whether you are protesting or not, what is important is that you keep your eyes and ears open to social injustice and racial bias. We need to hear what is going on around us and take a stand.  Be the person who tells a friend that a supposed joke with racial undertones is not tolerable, or stand up for a black person that is being mistreated. We cannot be satisfied until the privileges that white people take for granted are afforded by all people. Read here for a list of 115 places to donate for the cause.

We can no longer afford to be ignorant - We can no longer be silent - Take a stand!

With love,

Marisa China


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