Living on Purpose: Policy Over Everything

It has been refreshing to feel the sun on my skin and the breeze on my face. I have comfort in seeing friends and family once again. Even if socially distanced, and without hugs, it is rewarding to laugh out loud and converse at length with others in the same space. Things are different in some ways as there are remnants of the pandemic e.g. masks here, sanitizer there and signs posted to remain six feet apart. The abundance of health safety indications being just enough to  keep COVID-19 an ever-present thought. Because even now, we must not forget.

There are other thoughts too. Ones that I continue to sit with. Like how thankful I am that the world stopped long enough to acknowledge the continuing oppression of Black Americans. Another being hope that as things resume, I pray the world doesn’t forget. Mostly though, now that we have stood together in protest where as a nation do we go from here? 

So many ideas came to mind. Training and supporting Black owned businesses. Cultural appreciation opportunities, on and on. Highest on the list of importance…policy change.

Policy over everything.

Acknowledgement, apologies, pity, gestures of pacifism nor tokenism will bring the real change Black Americans need. Only careful reconstruction and implementation of long-standing policies intent on the oppression of Black, Indigenous and People of Color. (BIPOC)

Only policy change will transform this moment into a successful movement.
Policy over everything.

For BIPOC communities there are tremendous gaps that remain in income, employment opportunities, education, health, housing, and criminal justice. These divides were established through the use of predatory policies and pursued with the intention to exclude and oppress the marginalized. 
An example, gentrification under the guise of economic development systematically displaces people of color. However, predatory lending and red-lining then prevent access to fair mortgages. How then are BIPOC communities able to rebuild lawfully? 

When the law is broken by BIPOC punishments are swift, harsh, coerced and too many times end in death. How is that so many are still serving time for minimal marijuana possession while it is now accepted as a profitable business?

When statistics and discrepancies are used to highlight over policing, over population in jails, etc. I hear…”The justice system is broken.” No Ma’am, no Sir. It is doing just what it was designed to do. Protect White interests and maintain power through oppressive operations. Our men are in bondage or killed, and our children are left without strong men leading them into the future.

Not only are minority children failed by all of the above but also the public education system. published a report citing a 23-billion-dollar funding disadvantage for non-white school districts, despite serving the same number of students.  As a mother my heart aches. This truth hurts. 
There are many painful truths living and being aware as an American minority. One being the road to reconstruction is hard. But the call for justice reform is a torch that must be carried, a light that cannot be snuffed out. Nothing is going to change until the system is dismantled and reconstructed. Preferably with everyone effected present during the conversations. It can happen. It has to.
Policy over everything. 

A native of Phoenix, Arizona Aundrea Sayrie is a firm believer in the power of words, faith and a strong spirit. Her greatest desire is to encourage those around her to discover and honor their truth, and to passionately live on purpose. IG @aundreasayrie.

Any views or opinions expressed in “Living on Purpose” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.