Posts Tagged ‘Black Lives Matter’

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White Male (WM): “There are more important things in the world and we’re worried about our graphics not being representative enough of all?”

Me: “It’s important to see everyone reflected in our endeavors so no one is left out. Let’s make the people a different color and not have all of the men in the imag shown as the boss because we have several female leaders in this organization. Maybe let’s just use another image altogether instead of people?”

WM: “Yeah, more important things in the world like the Freddie Gray trial, and people dying than caring if we’re universally liked or not, but yeah this is important.”

While I agree that there are many important things in the world to worry about and to remedy, and that they should be addressed, I can’t help but think about how seemingly small details create issues where those who not represented, not heard, not included, rage against the machine and those in positions of authority.

When you do not see anyone in positions of aithority who looks like you or sounds like you, or when you’re in a community that feels neglected and worse, when your community is recognized, but only it’s only for negative aspects, it can be disheartening. It also leads many to feel as if no matter how far they get or how hard they try, the system is against them.

Take for example, your church or your school system. These are life-altering and life-shaping organizations. When your teachers, principals, priests, pastors and other religious leaders do not reflect you as a human or those similar to you – from the physical appearance, to the way you speak, laugh, live, etc. – will you feel included or neglected? Will you truly believe that by being yourself, looking, speaking, laughing, and living as yourself, you will be accepted and able to step onto that path to becoming a successful member of society and the world as a whole?

Of couse many have thrived in environments where they are neglected because they are determined and they fought hard to beat the odds. However, when you feel welcomed, cherished and appreciated for who you are, that’s immeasurable, not to mention, makes life a little more pleasant. When you see others like you who may have had similar experiences, you may believe that if that person can do it, so can you. See, it’s all about creating stronger and healthier humans.

Don’t believe me? Ask minorities how they felt to see the first Black President of the United States elected and sworn in to office. 

P.S. Of course, not everyone who looks like, and sounds like us, are for us. But those turncoats, haters and Uncle Ruckuses will be discussed in a separate post. This post is about being seen, being represented and knowing that we all have a shot at greatness.

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Fighting for change always brings about naysayers, distractions, and those who will tell you, with a straight face and loud voice, that your opinions on wanting changes that affect your life and the life of those you love who are being mistreated, is wrong.

Fuck them. Fuck that!

If something is wrong, fix it. If you can’t fix it right away, continue to fight day after day to fix it. Note: I’m not being incendiary. Fights come in many forms and flavors. Do I personally know or love any of the black men and women killed by police officers? No. Do I know people like them? Sadly, yes. Too many. Have I seen loved ones being searched and pulled over and not given a reason? Yes. Have I gone through it? Yes.

So what’s different about this fight from others who say that All Lives Matter? Systemic oppression. When you as a race of people, are continuously discriminated against, are ignored by the authorities when you need help, or when you are viewed as a thug in spite of being an upstanding, educated and highly sought after professional  because of the color of your skin by those who are in jobs to protect and serve, that is a problem.

When minorities riot, they’re called thugs and hooligans and niggas on social media outlets and the news networks. Are they right to riot? My opinion is no, they’re not. When white people riot, they’re called passionate and heartbroken. Are they right to riot? My opinion is no, they’re not.

Sure, I understand the frustration and anger at being fearful for your life when a political officer pulls you over – whether for a valid reason or not – and I understand how swallowing that fear and abuse can burn and swell in your belly to the point of one day vomiting up all that hate and embarrassment.

I’m sure some will say I’m wrong but I honestly have not seen many of my white friends and counterparts going through this for the years I’ve known them, nor have I seen them have to prove they belong in certain establishments, organizations, etc. And yes, I know this is all a part of the problem and not directly related to one cure. My goal here is to remind that one incident alone is not what’s causing such anger and such violent reactions.

Unaware of what’s happening? Here’s a recap from hawkers.com:
Unarmed People of Color Killed by Police from 99-14

This post is merely to help me cut through the cobwebs in my head, and to try and shake off my fear for those I love. Why? Because my life experiences, background, and my loved ones are the ones in fear of being killed. If you don’t understand how fear and oppression works, educate yourselves and let’s have a civil discussion. Till then, enjoy whatever privilege you have (real of perceived), because honestly, white skin in America is a visible privilege. You can choose to use it for the good of humankind or stick your head in the sand and say you don’t understand what “these people are doing or hoping to accomplish”. What you choose to do with your position of power is up to you.

Don’t believe a minority who says it? Maybe you’ll believe it coming from a popular white male, then, as he reminds you “get killed just for living in your American skin…”
Here’s a link to “41 Shots” by Bruce Springsteen:

41 Shots – Bruce Springsteen

Stay safe, friends.

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People who aren’t systemically oppressed and abused aren’t scared of authorities or those who skew events in their favor. Why would they be? They haven’t lived through a fear so overpowering that it takes your breath away. So overpowering that it makes you fearful to speak. So overpowering that you CAN’T speak because the words will not come out.

These people have never been stopped and frisked for no reason. For many, they cannot begin to imagine the shame of sitting on a sidewalk as cars drive by with passengers wondering, “what that person do?” as cell phone photos of the “thug” are circulated on social media.

These people have lived a privileged life. Oh, and privilege does not mean only money or power. Sometimes privilege comes with skin color. Sometimes privilege is blind to privilege.

Today I encountered many who may okay with systemic oppression by virtue of not being able to recognize it and who refuse to acknowledge its existence. I’ve also encountered those who can’t move past it to try, and some of whom are unable to pave positive paths. I’ve also encountered some who are trying oh so hard to make life better and to  understand why good things happen to bad people and why bad things happen to good people. Good luck with that question. No one knows the answer.

Look, I and many others will never be on the “right”.side of history books when they’re written by my oppressor but I wasn’t supposed to be. I refuse to stop trying to make a difference. I refuse to back down when those who do not fight the same fight, forget what it means to stop and empathize or find it easy to sit back in their comfy lazyboy chairs, watching tv and pointing fingers.

I need you to know what oppression feels like. To know what it tastes like. Like dirt and asphalt and pigeon shit. I need you to know that while west fight for differemtt rights, they’re all civil rights.

I’ve met and have much respect for those who care about civil rights more than their personal comfort. To these people, I know who you are and I know your skin color.  I appreciate and respect you.

Baltimore matters. Black Lives Matter. Anger and frustration over the death of Freddie Gary, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and so many others are understandable. This is a countrywide matter and not just a Florida, Ferguson, NY, etc. matter. This is a civil rights issue, not just a black issue. And don’t think for one second, that if you’re a model black person you won’t get stopped or shot. If you do, you don’t understand why some are angry.

How many of you will share this? Speak on it? How many of you will just remain silent?

If you don’t like minorities (people who claim an ancestry or background other than white) and/or if you dislike or are scared by queer people (anyone who identifies as other than straight), please let me know. Be proud of your beliefs! I won’t judge you. I prefer honesty over lies and passive aggressive actions and messages. I believe we all have a right to our thoughts and opinions.

Why does it matter and why am I writing this? Because recently on social media I noticed that some will pretend they are okay with queerness, with #BlackLivesMatter and against policy brutality against minorities, black men in particular, while publicly posting and tweeting opinions of hate and fear towards queer people, or sharing thoughts of confuddlement about systemic injustice and race. Yes I am assuming these people’s behavior towards friends who are queer or minorities is false because you can’t be okay with one small part and not the whole. Some may say I’m asking too much but just go with me for a minute.

While you retweet or share a post indicating you accept someone for being queer or claim to be a friend, then tweet or post that queer people shouldn’t be allowed equal rights, that’s not acceptance. Acceptance comes when it’s in the form of the whole, not only for one aspect or one person. When you say that police brutality is rampant because of how black people act towards authority, or because of black men killing black men, then you do not understand root cause analysis and systemic injustice.

If you’re reading this and still not sure what I’m talking about, look up the terms. While you’re at it, pick up a book on fallacies. You’re welcome! Not sure you want to thank me? Well, even if you still disagree with me, at least you’ll become a better conversationalist, and maybe, just maybe, a little more enlightened about our society.