I’ve seen a few messages on social media that show somehow the world doesn’t seem to get that “black lives matter” does *NOT* equal all other people do not matter.
The reason people of color say “black lives matter” is because they are being treated as if their lives do not, in fact, matter. It is *NOT* a value judgment on anyone else – unless you think it is OK for police to continually kill black people at a rate 9 times higher than white people.
If you can’t hear the phrase “black lives matter” without automatically thinking, “no, ALL lives matter,” it’s time to sit back, do some self-evaluation of the privilege you have in life, and realize that there are many, many, many people in our country who are targeted simply because of the color of their skin, and when the justice system fails to prosecute their killers, we are telling the black community THEY DO NOT MATTER.
Yes, it was horrible that 5 officers were killed in Dallas this past weekend. I respect what the police do for our society and I thank them with all my heart. But to also not recognize that there are problems in the system is to ignore it, rationalize it, accept it, and tell black people THEIR LIVES DO NOT MATTER.
When my 13yo son heard about the stand-off in Dallas, he said, “why did he shoot back? He was just a suspect, right?” I had to gently remind him that a black man was pulled over for a broken tail light this week and shot to death in front of his own daughter. That MY son was looking at the situation from a position of white privilege.
I am in no way saying the shootings in Dallas were right, but we have to understand that black people now go into any conversation with police from a position of fear and distrust, and understandably so. Whereas, me, as a white woman… I have been waved off laughingly when pulled over for a broken tail light – while DRIVING DRUNK. It is shameful to admit that, but it is absolutely true.
So, please reflect on your privilege. Violence is not the answer in any circumstance. But, let’s try to understand where it comes from.