I have always been annoyed when significant issues become mere abbreviations or acronyms. Their full meanings often get lost in this effort to keep the message brief. Like the fast food in drive-thru restaurants, these abbreviated versions of serious matters should involve further research to be more clearly understood. Otherwise, they become unhealthy substitutes for information that, indeed, should not be minimized or trivialized. There are too many to expound upon in this writing. However, a few overshadow our lives and evoke palpable emotions in some of us, including me.
Being African American, the first abbreviation that comes to mind is BLM. Until just a few years ago, these alphabets meant Bureau of Land Management. Now painted in the middle of streets, on billboards, and heard almost daily on all media platforms, Black Lives Matter has raised the emotions of many. Some are feelings of pride and passion, but mostly pain. This pain is from the many lives so senselessly lost on the streets across this country. Others spew vitriol and hate, lacking the understanding of what it feels like to continuously see Black people murdered without cause. I’ve always known that my black life mattered. I thank my loving family and the people in my community for that. I heard Quincy Jones once say, “Not one drop of my self-worth depends upon someone else’s acceptance of me;” I agree with that. It saddens me that we have to now paint BLM on a sign or in the middle of a street for it to matter to some. So many people resist even saying out loud that Black Lives Matter, assuming that if they acknowledge our existence, they won’t matter. That kind of thinking is pretty narrow and so very sad. Celebrating our existence and our value is not about them. It is simply about honoring all humanity.
LGBT refers to Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexuals, and Transgenders. Even within this category, there have been disputes on distinctions based on politics vs. sexual orientations. This abbreviation has extended to include LGBTQIA. Whatever these letters mean, however, there is a far deeper meaning that has to do with honoring our differences and giving equal treatment and equal rights to all, regardless.
It seems like in each decade, a new cause becomes an abbreviation or acronym, and its true purpose is lost in the letters. A recent example is Critical Race Theory, shortened now to CRT. To some, this most controversial issue is whether classes should include instruction related to race and social justice in schools. It has become a hotbed of opposition from all sides across America. It is so importance to get a clear understanding of how this academic movement can help our children understand the truths about how race has affected the social, cultural, and legal changes since the very beginnings of this country. CRT then could evolve to mean Can Finally Realize Truth. But hopefully, time, level-headed conversations, and education of the masses will finally determine how educators will deliver a message of truth. This message certainly needs to be heard, not hidden.
There is MRA, Men’s Rights Activist, WRM, the White Resistance Movement, and WRM, the Women’s Rights Movement; the latter may be confused with the social media abbreviation for ‘Which Reminds Me.’ Some days this barrage of alphabets leaves me baffled! But my point is simply, “…with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
IMHO (In my humble opinion), we live in a world of instant everything. Messages must be quick and easy, absorbing like a news flash. Unfortunately, in doing so, some vital information is often missed. I have learned that to defend our positions on whatever we believe and support, we need to know more than what a few letters stand for. It is absolutely necessary for us to better educate ourselves in order to learn the history and purpose behind all we wish to advocate for or support. Then we can educate others.
Knowledge is power and becomes even more powerful when we have all the information we need for a clear understanding of what we’re dealing with or trying to understand. It is most important to do that especially when the issue involves activism and advocacy that could change the world.
Brevity has its purpose, but we must ensure that our efforts to keep a message short and sweet does not destroy the message or the messenger. Winston Churchill said it best: “…the discipline of setting out the real points concisely will prove an aid to clearer thinking.”
CTA (Call to Action): Let’s all do all we can to learn and share the whole truth and nothing but the truth.