I expect this post to get far fewer views than my last posts, and that is okay with me. This is politics, this is a no-no for public conversation.
This is uncomfortable.
But this is real life, this is what real people are going through in their real lives. This is what real mothers and fathers worry about when they bring their children into the world, and when they watch their children walk out of their doors into the scary world.
These opinions are entirely my own. These are formed by myself, my own brain and my own ideas and my own experiences. I do not base any of my ideas off of what people tell me, or what I read on social media. I feel this way as a young, educated mixed girl in 2016.
I support Black Lives Matter. I support the ideas behind it and the fight for equality in job placement and I support the idea that we will not be done until we are equal. This does not mean I think Black Lives are the ONLY lives that matter, because that simply is not true. To say that is to say I don’t think my own mother’s life matters, or her entire side of my family. To say that is to say I don’t think my boyfriend’s life matters, or some of my favorite educators, or some of the people who molded me into who I am today. And that isn’t true. I think that we should all matter. I think that we should all be equal; black, white, brown, orange, purple, green, whatever. We should be equal.
But we aren’t. And to those who say we are- I kindly suggest you look around. When I go into a store, I am followed around. When I am with my little brother, and we are just running into Walmart in our sweatpants, we get side looks.
I’d like to kindly address some of the biggest issues that people have with the movement, just to clear some things up.
- When I say #BlackLivesMatter, I’m not saying we’re the only lives that matter. In fact, most of the members of the movement are in for equality, and what is meant is that Black Lives Matter Too. Say you live on a street called “Race Blvd”. There’s a bunch of unique houses on this road, with their own unique attributes and flaws. They all bring something new and different to the table. But there’s a few houses that are in worse shape than the others. They weren’t taken care of years ago, and even recently. The neighbors dumped some of their trash on the yard and the houses are a little broken down. But then you see a big house; a proud, historic, beautiful house with a long history- a painful past and a seemingly bright future. The owners of this house have tried to restore it time and time again but they just can’t seem to get it to look as good to the neighbors as it looks to themselves. Then there’s a fire at this house. When the fire department comes, should they put water on the house that’s in trouble and burning to the ground, or on ALL of the houses, because all houses matter?
- My problem with police brutality is that in some cases, the offender is not held accountable for their actions. Trust me when I say I know that the number of African Americans killed by each other is higher than the number killed by white Americans. I get that- it’s because black people associate with other black people (for the most part) and the same goes for white people. But my problem is that when an unarmed black man is killed by a police officer, the officer isn’t arrested. He is put on leave, and sometimes it’s paid leave. When a black man kills another black man, he’s arrested.
- I would love to see some equality in our representation. Can anyone tell me why our senate, which is meant to be our higher body of representation, is 96% white? Or why our congress in general is 87% white, when our country isn’t nearly that white? I think we should be represented better, as a whole. That’s what this country was built on, after all.
I support black lives matter. I support black businesses, and black families, and black dreams and black children. That doesn’t mean I don’t support white children or Hispanic businesses or Asian families. Without this movement, I’m scared to bring children into this world knowing that they have the slightest chance of looking dark. I shouldn’t have to feel that way.
I only ask, if you’ve kept reading this far, to practice empathy. Don’t judge people based on what they look like at first glance, instead talk to them. Their house has history that you could want to hear about.