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Integrity vs. Loyalty: How are we educating our future?

by Orion Bradshaw 3 months ago in humanity

Prose from the Blog archives of Matthew Reynolds - Founder of Matthew Reynolds Consulting, LLC - and a once-in-a-lifetime inspiration to me.

Almost two years ago, I embarked on a journey with my longtime colleague, fellow Prince super-fan, and chosen brother: the one and only Matthew Reynolds. Through his newly-minted Consulting company, Matthew hoped (and strives vigorously every single day) to build, to create, to craft something brand new for our world and its inhabitants... something founded in equity, justice, and liberation for All. Something with "integrity, accountability, responsibility, vulnerability, hard work, self-worth, and unconditional love at its core." Something rooted in action, aiming to serve and uplift all of humanity.

And, he invited me to walk alongside him on the ground floor of it all. To help him facilitate the creation of something new. For that - and for him - I am, and will remain, forever grateful. Forever changed, for the better.

Since the fall of 2019, he and I have gathered in community with dozens upon dozens of individuals, groups, and organizations - and engaged in the vital process of crafting our own personal Equity Lens, which is a call to action that is unique to each and every individual who participates in this building process with us. There is no possible way to express in words what this process has added to my life, well-being, and personal relationships. So, in lieu of attempting the impossible, I've decided to share Matthew's own prose and philosophies with you, in order to share the wealth - or rather - share the Love. He began a Blog series on his Consulting website earlier this year, and I'd like for as many folx to benefit from it as possible. I hope his words and sentiments serve you.

Furthermore, I'm excited to tell you that this is the first installment of several within series that I'll be sharing with you and others. There is lots more where this came from :) Read on. Thrive. FORWARD...

February 22nd, 2021

"There's been so much that has occurred in the United States alone. Let alone globally, when it comes to humanity and how we choose to move forward. All of this has led me to really look at this idea of integrity and loyalty.

Time and time again, I see and hear people expressing their commitment to patriotism. Patriotism…"respect" for the flag…"respect" for this, "respect" for that. Without looking at how our country is based on lies from its inception. Lies to the indigenous peoples that were here, which led to genocide. Lies to the rest of the world and how the colonizers were handling their business here. And then these lies continued to be perpetuated through the ideas of indoctrination to what an "American" is. What an "American" is has never been decided. We can see that. Time and time again, this keeps coming up. What’s happening here is gaslighting.

People are told half-truths, or just a little bit of the situation, or complete and blatant lies as far as our Education system goes. To just keep the lies perpetuating and moving forward. To keep the system continually upholding the ideas of white bodied supremacy, and hierarchal, patriarchal capitalism. That is what our culture is. That's what it was based on. That's why we created "white" and "whiteness." That's why we created "race" and "racism", and that's why our very systems are entrenched in systemic racism.

I want something completely NEW. Having something that is completely new is the only way that we're going to get rid of racism. To actually dismantle it by taking it apart, piece by piece, and look at it and realize how it was working, and continues to work. To realize what it was influencing... how it's kept the same things aloft and moving "forward" - and how not to build it again.

Integrity. Loyalty.

The system of policing was never meant to protect Black folx; it began as a means of controlling newly freed slaves in a system that criminalized them and put them back into bondage under a new name; from "enslaved" to "imprisoned." To compare "blue lives" - a mantle that can be shed at the end of the work day, with Black Lives Matter, a movement that wants justice for Black bodies being murdered - is to further criminalize Black bodies. This contrast is in opposition to our police force, who in their modern incarnation are meant to “protect and serve” - but now according to whiteness, are supposedly the ones who need protecting.

"Blue lives matter" is about loyalty, really, a disingenuous loyalty. It did not exist previously. That statement was never around until three women created Black Lives Matter. So, blue lives matter is a racist response to the Black lives matter hashtag….a racist response to the statement “Black lives matter”. The reason that the Black Lives Matter statement is out there is because time and time again, with systemic racism and with the systems that are upheld in our culture, Black lives [indeed] don't matter. And not just Black lives... women, LGBTQ+, Muslims, other non-Christian religions, and so on and so on. And even within Christianity, there's some wiggle room about Evangelical, Catholic, et cetera, et cetera. All to uphold whiteness, white bodied supremacy, the dominant culture. To tell the "winner’s story." Well, we're not winning at all. We are on an unsustainable fast track to the end of our world.

When are we going to grasp the idea of staying in integrity with science, truth, and facts - of being able to base our responses, our reactions, our creations off of what is true? Instead of some sense of loyalty to a piece of cloth, to a color of blue lives... to a colonial mentality of "right" and "wrong"... this idea that white bodied supremacy, hierarchal, patriarchal capitalism is “the only way”. That “you must stay loyal to this, you must be indoctrinated into this idea, and assimilate to it.” This very ideal has gotten us right where we are. Now, what are you going to leave for others? Not just your kids, if that's the path you choose to take - but their grandkids, their nieces and nephews. Humanity! What are you going to leave humanity itself?

A lot of indigenous folks, First Nations people on this land and in other lands across the world, believed that it was all about what we are leaving "seven generations" from now. The impact of what I am doing at this moment... How is it going to affect seven generations from now? That's integrity. That's accountability. That's responsibility. That's respect. That's upholding Humanity.

Loyalty is not the same as Integrity. Loyalty, time and time again, upholds the ideal of white-bodied supremacy - a hierarchical system not created for All.

-- If this has stirred up more thoughts or ideas, things that you want to talk about, then great! It is time we talk about it. Schedule a free consultation with me today to discuss the steps I help people take to make a change.

Let’s keep moving forward, y'all.

Teach Peace."

Indeed. It is high-time we engaged in dialogue about these things. To work more intentionally toward a thriving world for "Seven Generations" from now. If this is something you've been craving, or this is an aspect of your life that has you feeling "stuck", then I welcome you to connect with us here...

I also desire for this series of posts to be a hub of further resources for its readers! There will always be another resource awaiting you at page's end. And so, without further ado, this truly incomparable resource kicks the whole thing off! Because Learning can and should happen every day...


Thank you humbly for reading, and for taking action!


Orion Bradshaw

(M.A.T. / AEA) I am a Teacher & a student of Life. I am a Storyteller every single day & a Facilitator of Equity Justice principles. Constantly curious, ever seeking, attempting to lean into my fears. May the Learning never cease...

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