JaQuintin Means

JaQuintin is a lover of history, philosophy, and symbolism. His life is a witness to the alchemy of all three. He truly believes that we can break the bonds of mental slavery by loving mankind and educating ourselves in the truth about our history. This is how JaQunitin fights racism and works for unity. Our conversation runs deep and philosophical - everything I love and I certainly value JaQuintin and his knowledge, insights, and research.
Right out of the gates JaQuintin exposes his heart in how he expresses his desire for unity. When he's explaining injustices against Black or Indigenous people, it's for the sole purpose of educating, overcoming, and healing in order to create a better future for our children. Doing the hard work now will yield positive results for future generations.

JaQuinitn's insight into how there are people from every race thriving and oppressed really challenged me to stop and think and see this through his lens. It was a powerful declaration that he has given much consideration to. According to JaQuintin, the difference between the oppressed and the thriving is always self interest and the willingness to exploit others. His controversial opinion is that America is not driven by white supremacy, but by greed. Take some time and sit with that. Suspend judgement and look at it from all angles. This is why it's important to hear different viewpoints...not to get immediately offended by them, but to add them to what you know or are learning and consider this new aspect and how it fits in with what you already know.

I can't believe that this was the first time I asked the question: "Why do you think it's so hard for people to talk about racism?" I'm inspired by JaQuintin's honest insight regarding the depths of pain, trauma, guilt, and fear that are embedded so deep into our collective American psyche. There are no easy answers or easy ways to walk through this. Reconciliation is usually a painful process, but it's a necessary pain that will eventually yield healing. His explanation of the invisible wall of racism acting as a barrier to unity is a fantastic analogy that describes the reality of racism in this country. This is a dialogue that is beneficial to us all because we all have a stake in this.

Which of us has ever achieved anything hard alone? We normally go through the difficulties (or mountains) of life with the help, encouragement, or shoulder to lean on of someone close to us. Thus, I completely resonated when JaQuintin acknowledged that very fact so eloquently when he said, "We all have a mountain to climb and the only way we can get there is if we lend a hand to each other." That is such a beautiful, true sentiment. It is in acknowledging that none of us are where we want to be but that we're going in the right direction whenever we're helping others.

I had a major "aha" moment when JaQuintin said, "Racism uses fear and guilt." It's an obvious truth I haven't been able to concretely and concisely express before. But there is now, out in the open, as plain as day. Once you see it, you can't unsee it. Watch and listen, you will see these tactics everywhere. This is a simple way to become more aware as well as a simple conversation to have with others. Question the fear, question where their guilt comes from, question the origin of where people are finding their "facts." Oftentimes, we prefer to stay where we're comfortable instead of rock the boat and question our ill informed family and friends about where they got their information from. This is one way to be an ally.

I genuinely admire JaQuintin's heart for unity and his understanding that it is humility that will get us there. He is a walking reminder of Mother Teresa's quote: Only humility will lead us to unity, and unity will lead to peace. May we all have the humility to see that we've not arrived yet and the teachableness to press onward in our quest for unity, as JaQuintin has. 

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. - Nelson Mandela

JaQuintin's book: Willie

JaQuintin's Website

JaQuintin on Instagram

Willie Lynch Letter

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