Black Lives Matter, Too

Black lives matter, too.

That is all the “Black Lives Matter” movement seems to say to me. It is only saying that some lives are not being regarded with the same respect that other lives are. Of course All Lives Matter. What the problem is, though, is that there is STILL an inequality put on certain lives because of race. Just arguing that all lives matter is, unfortunately, what I call a Microsoft Answer: Correct, but completely unhelpful. It’s like telling a helicopter pilot who is lose that they are in their helicopter. How does that help them? Of course all lives matter. But if we are oppressing or not respecting one particular race, “All Lives Matter” is hypocrisy. “Black Lives Matter” is simply a way to say “Black people are people, too.”

Even as I have waxed on this topic before, the trouble is, race relations has become a hot topic yet again. People of darker skin have been put on the downside of the seesaw once again, especially by the ones who have been charged with their protection against this type of thinking: the police. Now, I am not talking about all police: to forget the contributions of community policing, and the contributions of so-called minorities would be ridiculous and blind. What I am talking about is the bad apples, who are surely spoiling the bunch. If we do not address the rotten apples in authority, we risk having nothing but bad apples.

As I have said before, pro-black is not anti-white, nor is it anti-police. The fact that it has become a side-taking issue cuts me to the core, personally. When one group comes into power, it usually corrupts. As a matter of fact, I have not seen a case when power has not corrupted. That is why we set up a system of checks and balances in our three branches of government at the beginning. I am not going to bore you with the details of that, but our government was initially designed to keep all government employees from grabbing power over the others. It is not perfect (which seems to be a requirement these days for ANYTHING), but it is better than other forms. Now, let us speak how those of us who benefit from our privilege can help those who do not.

Now, being white, I can probably gain more effective traction in government to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which does not seek overthrow or oppression, as its opponents have claimed, but mere equality. I can do this because I have something in common with those who benefit from power. That is all. Apparently, it often takes people with privilege helping those without privilege to get others with privilege to listen. That is how those of us with privilege can help.

Of course, if you do not help the oppressed, that makes you an oppressor. There are no innocent bystanders.

I must admit, I did not come to these conclusions lightly. I was simply waxing hopeless about the situation of race relations in  the United States, when I saw a beacon in the night. My mother was flipping through channels to find something to watch. She settled on the movie “Ray,” about the musician Ray Charles. For those who don’t know, Ray Charles was an African-American musician whose music influenced countless others in the 50+ years he played. She could have chosen other entertainment, but she chose “Ray.” Now, if somebody can choose to learn about a man who is different from her in some way, so can everyone else, especially with privilege. Now, she’ll probably just say that she was choosing the best movie, but it could have been taken off her radar due to his skin color. Believe me, crossing a boundary in entertainment is no small feat.  

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