#‎BlackLivesMatter (as much)

I may start crying writing this blog post – but please bear with me. This has been a very overwhelming week emotionally. 


#BlackLivesMatter

“The specific wording still leaves an opening for rebuttal or confusion – which is obviously only a distraction from the one and only thing that should matter in the movement: that of calling attention to the lives that our society has put at risk, systemically, for generations – and doing something about it…Yes, the lives of good cops, and those of everyone else trying to live peacefully also matter. But this is not a comparison, nor is it a competition, and it is also not the same context. At all.”

I stumbled on this quote while reading a comments section on an article about ad agency’s Wieden+Kennedy’s recent website statement by putting #blacklivesmatter on their home page.

...this isn’t about #black #white #orange #yellow #brown or #green lives MATTERING. It’s about respect and dignity of each other as humans. In America, #blacklives haven’t mattered (as much) since we were only 3/5th’s human (google Three-Fifths Compromise).

BLM

So when we say that #blacklivesmatter, it isn’t an implication that other lives don’t. Of course they do. #BlackLivesMatter is about drawing awareness, just as any other social-political awareness slogan, to our plight and never ending fight against systematic racism, injustice, bigotry, hate, and to just matter, AS MUCH, as our fellow Americans.

#BlackLivesMatter – so does yours; but to argue over the semantics of the phrase only disrupts the discussion and awareness that #BLM has enabled. Don’t get distracted by the wording or interpret it the way you choose. All we want it to uplift the mental, social, economic condition of black people in this country. As we have been exploited for hundreds of years.

There is nothing threatening to the empowerment and elevation of the black mindset.  

I come from a unique background in regards to the recent hate & violence that has been going around in our country. I was born into a position wedged in between both sides. I’m a young black male and son of an officer. I grew up around cops, my dad is a cop, my aunt worked in the department, my godmom is an officer. Hence I was fortunate enough to be surrounded with ‘good’ cops and those ‘good’ cops taught me how to interact with cops, especially as a young black male. Which may or may not, save my life in the future.

Being a young black male in America means that you have to worry about other things that your counterparts don’t. You get the talk from your parents when you’re about 12-13, about how to behave when a cop approaches you, not because it’s the same as don’t get in cars with strangers, but most parents tell their kids these guidelines in FEAR of their child’s life. Just because we were born BLACK.

the boondocks

I’ve always been one to say you know “we’re all humans, why see color”. I’ve been ignorant this whole time and out of touch with the modern realities. We HAVE to see color in order to un-write our wrongs as a society. By not seeing color, it’s just a sweep under the rug – a temporary relief to the problems that plague our society.

America was founded on hate and white superiority. IF you question that, you need to re-read all of your American history books. Race has and will always be an issue in this country, just as long as the treatment of African-American’s is less than the rest of society.

But you’ll say, get over it – racism doesn’t exist.

How can I get over it when every day I get in an elevator, a lady holds her purse tighter because I’m black? How can I get over it when I’m profiled by a cop not because I fit the description, but I happen to look suspicious with a hoodie on, because I’m black? How can I get over it, when while I was in college in Arizona I was called racial slurs numerous times, not because of my actions, but because I was simply BLACK?

Although…I am privileged, particularly in comparison to the other millions of African American’s in our county. I grew up in a good neighborhood, graduated from good universities, and am often told that I speak so “white”, equally from both my black and white counterparts – which I’ve never been able to comprehend.

But I get it now, I really do. This comes back to seeing color. Color in America isn’t just defined to the color of your skin, but it’s how you act, talk, speak, and portray yourself. White is good, power, authority, proper, and intelligence. Meanwhile, black is ignorance, fear, ghetto, and illiterate. Here’s a short clip from Malcom X if you’re not following:

Black as defined in the 1992 Spike Lee Joint Malcolm X

Even through definition, #black doesn’t matter (as much) as #white. This has been overlaid in our society. Being black in America is a gift, it makes you stronger. It gives you will. Our strength comes from the constant fight that we have been battling – implicitly & directly – to be seen as equals in the eyes of our other American brother’s & sisters.

So, we’ll get over it as soon as America starts to care. As soon as our justice system starts to care. As soon as our own black communities start to care and self-love each other to counter gang violence. As soon as we can stop saying the obvious that #AllLivesMatter. Black lives just want to matter, as much.