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Alright, I think I’m ready just a bit, to speak up about the #blacklivesmatter movement that’s going around the country. Let me start by clarifying that I am a Black woman. I feel the need to state this at the outset, because someone will get offended and wonder why I’m talking about this at all. I may be lighter skinned, but that doesn’t change the fact that my father is a Black man, my father’s family is Black, and my mother is a Native American woman.
Further, I do believe that #blacklivesmatter, but not just in the context of police brutality or racism.
And one other point, I feel I should make is that statistically, black-on-black crime and killings has been a rather rampant issue within the black community for quite some time. In fact, I recall being part of a community organization and community march when I was a pre-teen surrounding the issues of black-on-black crime.
Nonetheless, I have an issue with the movement of #blacklivesmatter.
I will say, the movement itself is not necessarily a problem for me, rather its the ignorance surrounding the issue, primarily amongst black people.
As I see it, the ignorance is this: There is a legitimate reason to discuss race, race relations, racial disparity, and racial classification in this country; however, that’s not really the discussion that’s happening in the broader black community.
The #blacklivesmatter mantra is everywhere. This mantra is heard in relation to some retaliatory act or behavior. These instances may or may not be sparked by black behavior. (I won’t get started on this issue right now, but let’s suffice to say that this is a larger systemic issue.) This mantra, #blacklivesmatter, comes up when a ‘discussion’ of police brutality occurs.
The facts are this though, police brutality does exist and is does exist in all racial and ethnic areas, yes including white people. Police brutality despite what some may say, does not exist in a vacuum of white officers vs. black individuals. It also exists between black officers and black individuals; black officers and white individuals; white officers and white individuals. It’s everywhere! Again, the issue of police brutality is a larger system one, in that more and more police departments are becoming militarized, receiving training and goods from the federal government under the guise of “protection” and “preparation”.
But let me refocus on my original question: Do Black lives really matter or is it just a mantra to use repeatedly to further divide the country surrounding race and race relations?
I say yes. Let’s take this more recent example that bears the question.
Jamyla Bolden, an innocent 9-year-old was shot in the chest while at home doing homework one night. This happened while rioting and civil unrest, fueled by the recent death of a known criminal during a raid in/around Ferguson, MO, went on. Shot for no reason, Jamyla lost her life. There was no criminal activity. She was a truly innocent bystander to a drive by shooting where a bullet entered the home struck her in the chest and she died in the arms of her grandmother.
Police came to assist, but to no avail.
The news of little Jamyla Bolden took awhile to get going, but yet protests over a known criminal continued on. Yes, a candlelight vigil was held in Jamyla’s honor. Yes a (short) march happened. There was no mantra of #blacklivesmatter surrounding her death. Why?
So, again, I ask,
Do black lives really matter?
And if so, to whom do they matter? But, I’m not the only one asking this question. So is, Peggy Hubbard, a Black woman with her own child in jail/prison.
Others are asking, too:
- VIRAL: This Black Man Exposed Single Truth About #BlackLivesMatter … Now They Are Fuming
- What about Jamyla? Lack of activism after Ferguson death draws criticism
I wonder though, why isn’t this really a topic of discussion? Or further, why can’t we actually discuss #blacklivesmatter, instead of simply using it as a reason to cause/create/participate in more destruction and unrest? Why is it that the larger and more systemic issues of police brutality and racial relations aren’t discussed constructively?
And please, for the life of me, don’t give me the ol’ black on black crime is just as much of an issue as white on white crime. Don’t say that because, though yes that’s also true, that is Not the issue I’m raising!
So, let’s talk about how Black Lives Really Do Matter.
Or, let’s just go about our days buying in to the hype that #blacklivesmatter under certain instances.
Where do you stand on this issue? What improvements to the conversation surrounding black lives do you have? What do you see as the underlying or ‘real’ issue the #blacklivesmatter mantra raises?
And Here’s a quick Infographic on brutality