Choked out – by anger and tears shed over yet another African-American’s senseless murder at the hands of someone sworn to protect and serve, fitful nights of sleep as the images of George Floyd’s final moments replay on loop, and exhaustion from trying to correct and explain racial insensitivities to ignorant people – my creative juices refused to flow as I tried in vain to pen my feelings in recent days.

My usual optimism over change – the belief that I am living my ancestors’ wildest dreams – plunged to an all-time low. Virtually nonexistent.

All last week, I struggled to keep the faith. This weekend, as well-intentioned protests were hijacked by evil opportunists nationwide, my feelings of helplessness only grew. So too did my anger over repeated indignant and sermonette social media posts from privileged individuals who remained silent following Floyd’s death – ruled a homicide Monday by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office and an autopsy commissioned by his family – but jumped on soapboxes to condemn the riots that ensued.

I can’t recall a point in my lifetime when I felt so hopeless on the racial equality front. Commiserations with immediate family and adopted brothers and sisters helped a little. So too did the words of support from non-minorities who do long to understand and help.

But then came Monday afternoon’s talk with another black man – a father, like me, who craves a hate-free America where his children can grow up. That’s when Anquan Boldin, one of the strongest and most prominent NFL social justice warriors, offered the reminder that regardless of how dark and heavy the cloud hanging over us, despair is the one thing that we can’t afford.

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