What Will the Holidays Be Like for the Families of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice?
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“Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas Without the One You Love” Those O’Jay’s lyrics are my favorite during the holiday season. I find the meaning to hold true. The holidays are really all about love and celebrating with your loved ones. This particular holiday season, I can’t help but think about the families of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless others who will be absent from the ones they love? At a time when families should be united in love, we as a country are divided with hate. As a woman of faith, and particularly a woman of color, this holiday season will have a different meaning for me. Instead of concentrating on traditional things like trees, lights, and gift giving, I’ll be mediating on problem solving and change. I’ll be asking my family and community to join me in prayer, conversations and thorough discussions about actions we can take to bring about real change.   I will be leading discussions with elected officials as to how we, as a community, can collectively come together and make a difference. I have three sons and a husband. I couldn’t imagine spending Christmas, or any other day, without them and dread the thought that they may be harmed by a system designed to protect them. I wish I could write something more cheerful during this holiday season but the truth is this year has been blemished by the current events of our nation. My heart has been touched by the experience of these families. So much so, that even my personal family experiences have been altered. I’m hugging my sons more, and having more discussions with them on how to react in certain situations in hopes of keeping them alive. This holiday season I am reminded that we are in a state of emergency. We need to activate our prayer lines, re-enforce our relationship with God, and propel real actions to bring our communities together for the good of ALL people. This Christmas will mark the resolution of the Simpkins family to get involved and take action to ensure our belief that Black Lives Matter is evident and taken seriously.   The hashtag #Criminwhilewhite was a real eye-opener for me. I’m grateful for their honesty and truthfulness to help others see we have a problem in our justice system. This holiday season, let us join together not in hate but in love. 

Deborah Smith Simpkins is a motivational speaker, minister and entrepreneurial book publisher. A preacher’s kid (PK) who grew up immersed in The Word, she has seen her share of church politics. Her latest novel,
Ministers with White Collars & Black’s Secrets: The Truth exposed is a testament of not only what she witnessed in the church, but what she has experienced for herself.

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