A Black Man’s Lament

By Karl Simmons


July 8, 2020

Here we are in 2020, protesting like it is 1960. We will always have “a long ways to go” when we are constantly re-imaging the past to “explain” what is happening today. We say we are moving forward as we eradicate our past. But how can we move forward if we deconstruct the past — the good, the bad, and the ugly?

We can only fully appreciate the good when it is seen against the backdrop of the bad. But now, younger generations will no longer understand the present or where we are going because they will have no clue of what we have been through and overcome. It will be as if much of the past never existed. Where do I fit in all this mania?

That is my struggle. If you’re a white person, you can help me. Here’s how:


1) I do not need you to wash my feet.

2) I do not need you to make a balloon payment on your “guilt tax.”

3) I do not need a dictionary publisher to redefine the word racism to ensure that its definition is perpetually expansive.

4) I do not need my identity defined by an activist, an academic, or a presidential candidate. My identity was and is defined by my Creator.

5) I do not need you to presume what you think I have been through or what I am going through now.

6) I do not need your thinly disguised veil of paternalism as you masquerade about in your wokeness.

7) I do not need to lower anyone else for me to feel uplifted.

8) I do not need you to interpret my experiences.

9) I do not need to see any of your racial cleansing rituals. They reek of self-righteousness.

10) I do not need you to take your supposed rights and use them like an arrow to shoot at the heart of your brother.


1) I need you to recognize the image of God in me just as I recognize the image of God in you. That is what gives me my sense of self-worth, not a political ideology.

2) I need you to hear me just as much as I need to hear you.

3) I need you to dispense with all rhetorical games. There can be no honest communication if you insist upon providing everyone with scripted social dialogues that no one can deviate from on pain of social ostracism.

4) I need you to know that I am not made of eggshells. You do not have to tiptoe through the tulips of woke vernacular to understand me or communicate with me.

5) I need you to understand that our ability to relate to one another is based primarily, but not solely, on our shared humanity.

6) I need for some of you who are woke to carefully consider, from time to time, going back to sleep or at least taking a short nap. The consequences of woke deprivation are every bit as real as the consequences of sleep deprivation (the equivocation is intentional).

What else is left to say? Only this: Your life matters to me! I need just what you need, nothing more and nothing less.

Karl M Simmons

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About the Author

By Karl Simmons

Karl Simmons is a former special education teacher who has taught in California and Oklahoma. He received his BA in philosophy at the University of North Texas and a MA in philosophy from Biola University. He received his teaching credentials in special education through National University in CA. His interests include philosophy, apologetics, and exploring ways to integrate Christian faith into all areas of life. He is married and has two children. Currently, he is semi-retired and in his spare time enjoys spending time with family, reading, camping (when the bugs are sparse), music, WWII documentaries, hiking, and chilling with friends.