Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter.

I know as soon as I say that, somebody is going to say ALL LIVES MATTER. Usually a White Person, of course.  White people hate to be left out. It’s like they forget that they have already arrived!  They already have a seat at the table. Why is that a thing with White People?

I think it’s history. They know their history with Blacks.  It isn’t good, the optics are bad and the practice  is even worse.  So, instead of recognizing that Blacks have a right, in fact an obligation to call everyone out and declare Black Lives Matter, they vilify them and pretend that they don’t understand what BLM really means. They even go so far as to be insulted that BLM doesn’t recognize that All Lives Matter. Seriously, how dare Blacks be so insensitive. But, at the root of all of this rhetoric is the denial of all things black.

Here is what I believe is really going on. If you refuse to believe that Black Lives Matter in the context that they are putting it out there, well then you can dismiss everything else that goes along with it. You can deny that systemic racism exists, that poverty, hunger and homelessness exists more in black communities, that incarceration for blacks is more prevalent and they get longer prison sentences. They are more likely to get stopped and killed during that stop by police. They are more likely to be followed in a store while shopping.  Have the police called when they are simply walking down the street. Better known as “walking while black”.  You see if you don’t believe  and understand Black Lives Matter, then you can justify all these things away. Because otherwise, you will have to face the ugly truth that racism exists, that black people don’t get a fair shake and justice is metered out differently to you if you are black.

That is precisely why, there are factions in this country that don’t want the truth about our history taught in schools.  We don’t have to be proud necessarily of all of our history. But,it is our history after all.  As a country, we have done plenty of good. We can be proud of those things.  What we teach our children is we don’t hide our mistakes, we shine light on them. We learn from our mistakes and make amends when and how we can. We show our children that we lift people up. We do in the words of Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”