If you live in the United States, you know our nation is really hurting right now. While so many worry about COVID-19 and the resulting financial problems and health problems that crisis may bring to our lives, there is a sizeable portion of our population that struggles daily with a problem from which they can never escape. It is woven into the fabric of their being. It is a virus that infects every small town, every large city, every school, every work place, every place of business in America.
Police Brutality. Racial profiling. Inequality. It is everywhere.
And just like the COVID deniers who, cloaked in ignorance and/or misinformation, insist the virus is a hoax, a conspiracy theory, or “not that bad,” we have the same problem with racism.
We have people who, though they would never outwardly identify as “racist,” insist racism doesn’t happen.
Well, folks. It’s time for some real talk. If you have done or said any of the following things, you are a racist:
- If any of the words coming out of your mouth are preceded by “I’m not a racist, but…,” you are a racist. (Even if you had a black friend in high school.)
- If you have called the police on a black person because you didn’t feel “comfortable,” you are a racist.
- If you have blamed the victim of police brutality, you are a racist
- If you minimize racism by saying someone is playing the “race card,” you are a racist.
- If you belive the possibile theft of cigarettes is an acceptable reason for a black youth to be shot and killed by a police officer, you are definitely a racist (and probably heartless).
- And (I’m probably going to ruffle more than a few feathers here) if you counter the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement with a weak-ass declaration of “All Lives Matter,” you are, sadly, a racist.
Let’s talk about why All Lives Matter is so, so wrong.
On its surface, we all know everyone matters. It’s obvious. Unless you’re a complete sociopath, we all understand the concept that every single one of us matters. We understand that on a very basic level, I suppose. (Though I do wonder about some of the “All Lives Matter” folks who vote in favor of politicians who cut food stamps, social security, medicare, are in favor of going to war, and are totally cool with kids in cages. But that’s a post for another day.)
When you say “all lives matter,” it isn’t a lie. We all matter, sure. But it silences the people who are hurting the most in our society. It’s an attempt to silence and minimize a movement that is so very important. When someone says, “Black lives matter,” and your response is “all lives matter,” it’s dismissive. You’re basically telling them you’re uncomfortable talking about race. Or, maybe, you’re uncomforable WITH their race. You don’t want to acknowledge race because you don’t want to acknowledge racism exists. Because you don’t care enough to change things. Because it doesn’t affect you. Because, to you, black lives don’t really matter at all. (Racist)
Black people are literally in danger of being shot while jogging or even sleeping. And there are no repurcusions. It almost like – (gasp) – their lives don’t matter in the eyes of the law. Or in the eyes of the gullible people who justify police violence because someone posted the victim’s questionable 20-year-old rap sheet on Faceboook. Or in the eyes of the uptight, self-righteous, fake-religous All-Lives-Matter folks who only really care about the lives of those in their inner circle.
That’s why we need a specific movement specifically for black people whose lives are specifically in danger.
That’s why we need BLACK LIVES MATTER.