Good Afternoon, I have been meaning to post this for awhile and never really found the perfect time to do so. The way I look at it, there is no better time to post this than now. We are living in a time where whole people groups are afraid of what is to come. With all of the political activism going on about water protectors and DAPL, I feel that we must not put our brothers and sisters in the POC community to the side. This is what we have done for centuries. Black Lives Matter is not just something that happens when tragedy strikes, it is a systemic issue that happens every happens everyday even if its not on the front page of the news. So here are my feelings on Black Lives Matter.
To all who have seen me tagged in pictures of a Black Lives Matter protest, I am sorry if you do not agree with this movement- I do. The systemic racism present in our country has persisted for entirely too long. I grew up as a privileged, cisgender, white male in a town where there was little racial and religious diversity. I had the unparalleled privilege to be able to look at history books in school and feel relieved that racism was no longer prevalent in today’s society. I couldn’t wrap my head around segregation, how can a person be denied rights because of how they looked? How could people have so much hatred for another people group? As I grew up, technology advanced rapidly. With the advent of phones and the technology to document and access anything and everything right at our fingertips, I, previously blinded by privilege, was now made aware of the atrocities plaguing this nation and our world at large. As I lay in bed last night thinking about going to STAND with my black brothers and sisters as they expressed anger and confusion in a PEACEFUL manor, the statistics of the book “The New Jim Crow” ran through my head. Ladies and gentleman, I urge you to take time and research the facts about systemic racism in our country. Look to your communities. Look at historically black neighborhoods being destroyed by gentrification. Consider new construction projects where the government offers families meager compensation to leave their homes under the guise of building up run down neighborhoods. These government buy-outs do NOT sustain families. They do not allow the financial stability for them to afford a new home. Consider those experiencing homelessness who may have served time for a petty crime- one that you or I have most likely committed and merely didn’t get caught or got off with a warning. Due to their record and the current system of oppression, they struggle to find a job and often have poor means of support otherwise. Look at the moms trying to raise a family with out a father because he is locked away on petty charges like marijuana possession that for a white man would more than likely get a slap on the wrist a fine and probation. I AM NOT saying that all people are innocent and there are people who have committed great crimes that should be punished. To everyone who has a problem with #blacklivesmatter because I am “stating” that they are the only ones that matter. But, the truth is All Lives Do Matter, people of color, people of different religions, different professions (Including Police), whether they are man, women, or child. Whether they Identify with a certain sexual orientation or not Life is precious and needs to be protected! Here is the Thing! All lives matter yes, but some lives are at more of a disadvantage than others. One thing that has come to my point of view is the way that we look at equality. We like to think the world is rainbows and butterflies because we are all “equals” well if you look around no one in life is equal to another person! Some people are short, some tall. Some people have a higher intellect, some grow up in a more affluent neighborhood than others. The fact that their are still impoverished parts in this country who do not have power to their house proves that we are not all equal! What we as a nation need to look at is equity, because with equity we can all be unified in an “equal” society. But, the problem is trying to find out how to institute equity in a world where capitalistic social constructs do not allow there to be equity. To those asking about what equity is, a widely known depiction is of three people stand behind a fence to watch a game, they are all different heights. If we gave them “equal opportunity” to see the game by giving them all the same boxes the tall one doesn’t need one while the short one still might be to short to see the game. If we use equity, all the boxes will be of varying heights to allow everyone to have an “equal” view of the game. Equity before Equality leads to Unity. Black Lives Matter is a movement that helps us to recognize a community who needs more support. You can akin it to a neighborhood with a row of houses. One house on that row is on fire and the fire department comes to put it out. Yes all houses matter, but your not going to put equal amounts of water on all the houses to put out the one fire, you will put the water on the house that is on fire and maybe the houses on both sides to keep the other houses safe as well. So yes, All houses matter, but One house needs more help than the other than you are going to fix that one. Whoops I meant all lives matter, but black lives are in danger, so we as brothers and sisters must hold each other up for equality to happen. I support my black brothers and sisters with #Blacklivesmatter. If you would like to join me, please do. The more support we get the closer we get to a solution!