Why “Black Lives Matter” Is Important To ALL of Us

This was a  reply to another white poster on a FB page talking about ONLY expressing all love and peace to folks honoring the girl who took the video that gave ALL of us a window into the murder.  NO consideration for the justified anger and fear.
My reply:

    • We are white- we have no frame of reference for the generational oppression of African Americans... starting life behind the white kid born the same day, and having education, social, criminal justice, and employment systems all set out to keep black people in dependent roles or incarcerated. Do some get out of it? Yeah- but for the most part, from my understanding, that is extremely difficult.

      Watch “13th” and “When They See Us”. Watch “Selma”- whose primary issue is the RIGHT to vote for black Americans. Learn about ALEC- and look at the companies in it- it’s horrific. Laws are being made by people we don’t vote in, but by company executives and their Congressional buddies. Not what constituents want. If more people knew about ALEC and voted with their wallets, it would help.  Look up “Say Their Names”.

      Wouldn’t you be terrified if every time you left home, you knew you could get killed because you didn’t dim your bright car lights when you passed a cop car? Wouldn’t you be angry (and have it come out as hate) when WHITE people bought your ancestors like they bought and used a bag of flour? Those slave ships weren’t made by Carnival Cruises. The kidnapped slaves were chained together in horrible conditions, including having to endure the decomposition of those who died en route (who weren’t thrown overboard) with oozing bodily fluids and stench running against your legs? Can you even begin to understand that level of fear?  You and I don’t have the same generational history of being treated like we don’t matter. Ignorance has contributed to black oppression, and that can only be dealt with by whites,  whose ancestors thought owning humans was OK 400 years ago. The ignorance must stop.

      I’m adopted, and in looking up my biological family, I found out that I had ancestors who owned slaves. I bawled my eyes out, because the generations after them (and especially the last 2-3 generations) have been so pro-equality for all races. One of my great aunts refused to sit at “white” lunch counters. I’m so proud of her for standing up in the early 60s, and when I met her, she was very instrumental in opening my eyes. It hurts my heart to know that my ancestors thought it was OK to own people. All I can do is get educated, and stand on the side of what’s right- everybody deserves the same chance to succeed. And right now, we focus on Black Lives- as the majority of the police brutality is directed there. Black lives have been brutalized for centuries. That alone is enough for anger- but to be killed because the criminal justice system is rigged against black Americans?  How does this still happen?  WHY do we allow it to keep happening?  That’s on us.  Had it not been for Darnella Frazier’s video of the actual murder of George Floyd, the absolute ‘in your face’ mentality of the cop kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck, and the other two not stopping him wouldn’t have had the power it has had. We. Watched. A. Murder. Eight minutes and 46 seconds is plenty of time to change course- and nobody did. The bystanders tried, and were threatened.

      What if your spouse/ significant other POSSIBLY had a counterfeit $20 and your spouse/SO was killed because of it? Trying to breathe for almost 9 minutes?    ( I haven’t heard that the counterfeit bill was even confirmed. ANY of us could have one in our wallets – that’s why they use those pens to check paper money)   Mr. Floyd was begging for his Mama. We saw the life drain from him. What if that was something that the white community had happen? There would be all sorts of mayhem going on. And it wouldn’t be peaceful.   I know I’d have a period of time of intense rage that could very much seem like hate. And as much as I try not to hate, I’m sure I’d have periods of that, probably for the rest of my life. Why didn’t those cops just talk to Mr. Floyd? At best it was a misdemeanor that a white person would have been asked about, and sent home. Mr. Floyd was worth $20 to those cops. They could have let things chill, then go to the house, and have a chat.

      The protests in my community have been mixed groups, organized by some extremely smart young black folks. Black, white, Asian, Hispanic- all walking together. They have kept the police in the loop, who have tweeted their location so motorists can avoid the area to keep the protestors safe…. nobody hating anybody.  The police are protecting the protesters. When an intersection the protestors wanted to sit down in was too dangerous because it is a main road to the nearby hospital, the protestors found a different plan that worked out, and the police made sure they were safe.

      This latest round of black folks killed by white police is so fresh, and before we adjust to hearing another victim’s name, there’s another one, and another one.  And it feeds into the generational history of essentially being hunted down and killed, or owned. There are too many who have died senselessly for the anger to be soothed. Sweeping reforms in so many systems in the US must change to give everybody an equal footing from the start. The 400 years of being “owned” doesn’t lend itself well to trust just because we WISH things were different- we have to vote for politicians who will fight for equality that should have been taken care of with the Emancipation Proclamation, 13th Amendment, 14th Amendment, Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the 15th Amendment that was shown in Georgia THIS WEEK as being rigged towards whites. And again in Kentucky.  COVID-19, my ass… mail in ballots would make it fair for everyone.  Ever think what the real reason might be?  It’s another way to make it harder for persons of color to vote.

      We can pray for our lawmakers to do what is right. We can pray that the people who can make a difference for the longterm get it right. We can pray for our enemies- but we can also own our feelings. God gave them to us. We can show love- but to expect “love and peace” right now from African American citizens is pushing it imho. WE should all be outraged and fighting WITH them. We are in this together- but as whites, we have luxuries that blacks don’t have.  We don’t have to prove we’re innocent because we exist. We don’t get targeted for “suspicious behavior” (at least not without some blatant actions; a black guy just has to be there). It shouldn’t be harder for a black person to survive an encounter with police. White privilege isn’t about money or social standing. It’s about not being seen as guilty until proven innocent. It’s about being able to walk into a convenience store without the clerk looking to see where the gun is.  It’s about being given chances that we don’t earn, we just get them more easily.  That makes me ashamed.  I don’t want something that a black counterpart is ignored over.

      I’ve forgiven the guy who attacked me in 1987 (scrawny white guy), but I’m never going to be in the same room with him. I do parole protests every 3 years to get him to the 60 year sentence he changed his plea mid-trial to accept. But I’m not going to love him. I can forgive out of obedience to God. I can pray Numbnuts changes. I can pray he never hurts anyone else- but I certainly don’t trust him. I can wish him some sort of change that makes his life one that had purpose besides a lifetime of crime-literally from childhood, but that’s up to him. Imagine if ALL of my ancestors (who could be found) had been through the same thing. Would I trust scrawny white folks? The police were good to me (they found the guy in my bedroom, so not much guess work with blood on the walls and floor and table). But that’s not what is expected by the black community- they’ve seen too many of their own lying dead. That would make me fearful. And I just went through 6 hours of hell… imagine if it was an entire lifetime, with all who came before me on slave ships having had it exponentially worse? Just for being black. Just some  more melanin cells than white people. Those extra melanin cells are a protective mechanism that reduces the risk of skin cancer.  Melanin blocks UV light.  Some extra skin cells… that’s the ‘crime’.  It’s outrageously ridiculous to judge someone for how their skin is made. And yet that is the reality for black America.  

      Trust is going to be understandably difficult. The way we help with that is to vote and speak up for those who could be injured (or worse) for doing so. It’s also by listening and getting educated on the way slaves were treated, and the similarities to the treatment of people of color now. We learn about the REAL history of black America. Without them, America doesn’t exist. The financial infrastructure of early America was literally built off the backs of slaves. Without them, we’d never have made it to the Industrial Revolution.  Our white history books are a joke.  No more lip service.  We need to stand with our HUMAN brothers and sisters, and SHOW them we care. We can’t learn too much. Because too much is still not enough. Healing is going to take time. And it’s not up to white people to decide when enough is enough. We lost that right when the first slave was paid for.

      I haven’t heard one Black Lives Matter supporter say they want more than white Americans.  They just want the same chances. They want to be treated fairly. They want the same social, educational, employment, and criminal justice standards as their white counterparts.  They want to be seen as being valuable  and not guilty before any crime happens.  And if there is a crime committed and convicted, the same prison sentences as whites. Not a life sentence for mere marijuana possession – no distribution, no selling to kids… just having the stuff.

      Just mho. ❤️ I’m sorry it got so long- but this is a topic that demands our willingness to read and watch all we can to get SOME clue of the systemic racism that IS still a big problem in this country. We all belong. It’s way past time we treat people of color like they belong. I will never understand being black in America.  But I can have compassion, and do my best to hear what is said or understand what is written. And for the sake of all that is true, don’t say that the US isn’t plagued by systemic racism.