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Black Lives Matter

  1. RJ Schwartz profile image92
    RJ Schwartzposted 4 months ago

    There are too many news stories about racial tensions in the United States; violence, murder, and destruction of property amidst the chaos of racially charged events is putting unnecessary stress on this nation.  The Black Lives Matter group is usually connected, if only because the group has created a strong and unifying rallying cry for black Americans; Black Americans who feel the current system has betrayed them in one way or another and needs amended.  The BLM movement has successfully brought many black Americans together as well as some white Americans, yet it appears to be a tense relationship at the moment.  It's not unifying the nation, only part of the nation.  Many people see the Black Lives Matter group and their approach as divisionary and even anti-white, and have chosen to use the term "All Lives Matter" as a counter point to theirs.  These have met with vicious verbal attacks and further negative treatment, with the social media sites detailing the ugliest parts. In fact, some people have been punished for even saying "All Lives Matter" and have been forced to undergo diversity training.  Anything that is forced usually doesn't bring about positive change and often makes things worse. 

    So, America, what are we to do? 

    Here is a suggestion - What if the movement changed their name to "Black Lives Matter Too?" It's an inclusive way of communicating the concerns black Americans have but removes any perceived division between black Americans and other races. It promotes equality, and is anchored in our Constitutional values as a nation.  I don't know if it will work, but unless we all face the facts of our reality, change how we speak, how we act, and how we respond to people of different races, we'll continue to be faced with the same problems we have today.  Speaking for just myself, I am tired of America being divided and having those pieces pitted against one another in non-productive ways.

    1. Old Poolman profile image82
      Old Poolmanposted 4 months ago in reply to this

      I believe that is an excellent idea Ralph, but sadly doubt it will ever fly.  During this election cycle the racial divide is a huge bargaining chip and vote getter for our worthless politicians.

    2. Live to Learn profile image81
      Live to Learnposted 4 months ago in reply to this

      I like the idea of Black Lives Matter, Too but after reading their six point plan I'm not sure they'd agree to that.

    3. Don W profile image83
      Don Wposted 4 months ago in reply to this

      That's already what's it's shorthand for. Shame that wilfully ignorant people keep misinterpreting it as Only Black Lives Matter, but that's not the fault of Black Lives Matter.

      1. Live to Learn profile image81
        Live to Learnposted 4 months ago in reply to this

        I always thought that too. Until I read their sox point demands.

      2. GA Anderson profile image87
        GA Andersonposted 4 months ago in reply to this

        Perhaps those "willfully ignorant" folks are willfully interpreting it based on BLM's public actions and statements. I can also see where those same folks might have read that shorthand to be 'Black Lives Matter More, (my reading of the tea leaves), rather than only Black lives matter. If so, considering the recent release of that platform Live to Learn spoke of, perhaps their ignorance might be more from misinterpretation than willfulness.

        My visit to their website left me with the distinct impression of borderline militant activism. Beyond my public media exposure to the movement, (which has not been favorable), that impression was reinforced by an interview with one of the movement's founding ladies.
            ... David Brown, Dallas police chief made a public offer to work with BLM to tackle BLM issues.
            .... One of the founding ladies replied that she did not want to work with the police, she wanted to change policing. Included in those six points mentioned, was an explanation of just what she meant.

        That is what I stand on when offering the above interpretation. Another 'perhaps' might be that the application of shame and responsibility could be more correctly placed.

        GA

        1. Don W profile image83
          Don Wposted 4 months ago in reply to this

          Yes wilfully ignorant. If people are capable of posting on a forum, then they're capable of using the web to research something they don't know (that's the ignorance part). As opposed to making assumptions based on their own preconceptions, then wallowing in their ignorance, despite being told by the people affected by racial bias that they've misinterpreted something (that's the wilful part).

          It doesn't matter what those people have "read that shorthand to be". That reading is wrong, and they've been told it's wrong, again and again. So there's is no excuse. The following comes from a thread on Reddit called "Explain like I'm 5". I found it in less than 2 minutes. If I can, anyone else can. So "perhaps" you should read it and digest it. And "perhaps" you should start listening to what people are saying about their experience instead of trying to explain their experience to them. Then "perhaps" you won't be one of the ignorant people spouting nonsense:

          "Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!

          The problem is that the statement “I should get my fair share” had an implicit “too” at the end: “I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else.” But your dad’s response treated your statement as though you meant “only I should get my fair share”, which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that “everyone should get their fair share,” while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.

          That’s the situation of the “black lives matter” movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society.

          The problem is that, in practice, the world doesn’t work that way. You see the film Nightcrawler? You know the part where Renee Russo tells Jake Gyllenhal that she doesn’t want footage of a black or latino person dying, she wants news stories about affluent white people being killed? That’s not made up out of whole cloth — there is a news bias toward stories that the majority of the audience (who are white) can identify with. So when a young black man gets killed (prior to the recent police shootings), it’s generally not considered “news”, while a middle-aged white woman being killed is treated as news. And to a large degree, that is accurate — young black men are killed in significantly disproportionate numbers, which is why we don’t treat it as anything new. But the result is that, societally, we don’t pay as much attention to certain people’s deaths as we do to others. So, currently, we don’t treat all lives as though they matter equally.

          Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase “black lives matter” also has an implicit “too” at the end: it’s saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying “all lives matter” is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It’s a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means “only black lives matter,” when that is obviously not the case. And so saying “all lives matter” as a direct response to “black lives matter” is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.
          " (*)

          (*)https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimf … eone_says/

          1. GA Anderson profile image87
            GA Andersonposted 4 months ago in reply to this

            That's a fair explanation Don W.  But it doesn't follow the actions and statements of the movement and its supporters - as most publicly seen. It also does not sound like the explanation of the movement and its meaning as explained by its founder(s) - at least as I read it. Even if someone takes the time to checkout some of the available information before forming an opinion, (ie. reading the shorthand), as I did, I can see the likelihood of a different perception than you explain.

            You are correct that I had a preconceived notion of what the movement stood for, based on the media coverage I had seen. It was not a good opinion. My efforts to find out, (ie. good ol' Google), more about them found nothing to change my opinion.

            If it appears to be easy to misunderstand the movement's meaning, based on available input, then I think my earlier offered possibilities are valid.

            At least I did try to find out more about them before accepting my negative impressions, so can I at least be unwillfully, (yeah, I know, SP?), ignorant? Does that effort save my thoughts from being nonsense? Even  it does not agree with what you claim is the obvious truth?

            ps. I did read part of your link. It did not change my perspective.

            GA

            1. Don W profile image83
              Don Wposted 4 months ago in reply to this

              The hashtag means Black Lives Matter (too). There's nothing difficult about this. That is what it means.

              The movement itself, like every social movement, is an informal group of organizations, made up of  diverse subgroups and individuals. The actions of the groups and individuals that align under the umbrella of the BLM movement, reflect those diverse groups and individuals.

              As with Occupy, and the Tea Party, the actions of the groups and individuals within a movement can differ, and are sometimes contradictory, but the core principle remains: an end to economic inequality in the case of Occupy, lower taxes and reduced government spending in the case of The Tea Party, the idea that black lives matter too in the case of Black Lives Matter.

              That's all there is to it.

              1. GA Anderson profile image87
                GA Andersonposted 4 months ago in reply to this

                Damn Don, do you think the possible perspective I suggested is so out of wack that I needed an explanation of how things work?

                It sounded as if you were saying no organization can control all the mavericks in the coral.  Does that imply some of the negative perceptions might be justified?

                GA

                1. Don W profile image83
                  Don Wposted 4 months ago in reply to this

                  Your perspective suggests you are focused on the delivery mechanism and not the message. Your criticism, and that of the opening poster, amounts to: social movements are imperfect mechanisms for delivering messages.

                  Thanks, but that's not a revelation. History tells us that social movements can be extremely messy, muddled affairs. We (society) can either sit around stating the obvious (BLM is messy and scrappy, like every other grassroots social movement in history) or we can address the message that's being delivered.

                  The message is clear and simple. Black people's lives matter too. It's a response to current social conditions, where the lives of people with brown skin matter less than the lives of people with white skin. That should not be the case, and it needs to be addressed.

                  Focusing on the imperfect nature of BLM as a delivery mechanism for that message, is a way of dismissing the message, and avoiding having to address it. Let's stop stating the obvious and start addressing the issue.

                  1. GA Anderson profile image87
                    GA Andersonposted 4 months ago in reply to this

                    Don W., you give me way too much credit. My perspective was exactly as I described. I don't know what route you took to get there, (those parts about delivery mechanisms and muddled affairs), but the depth of my perspective was nowhere near as deep or analyzed as your evaluation of what my perspective really was.

                    And I needed a history lesson? I am concerned regarding your apparently low view of my abilities. You have offered nothing more than your opinion and rationalizations to insist that I, (or at least my perspective), am misguided, (at best), and you are the obvious truth. I expected firmer ground from you.

                    Still, there might be at least an appearance of progress towards an understanding of the reality concerning the point of the discussion. Now BLM is  "messy and scrappy," in addition to being unable to control all factions under its umbrella.

                    We might be on the way to an agreement that BLM is responsible for its movement, message, and, the public's negative perception of that message.

                    GA

              2. RJ Schwartz profile image92
                RJ Schwartzposted 4 months ago in reply to this

                If that's what it means - then why didn't they say it?  Your entire argument is your opinion.

                1. Don W profile image83
                  Don Wposted 4 months ago in reply to this

                  Why didn't they say those exact words? Because the groups and individuals who form the Black Lives Matter movement are free to express their message in words of their choosing, just as you are free to say that you don't understand that message, or find it confusing.

                  What you don't get to do though is define the movement according to your own misperceptions. Finding out about the messaging of BLM is not difficult. Unsurprisingly that information is on the "about" page of the BLM site:

                  "When we say Black Lives Matter, we are broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state.  We are talking about the ways in which Black lives are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity.

                  #BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.  We affirm our contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression. We have put our sweat equity and love for Black people into creating a political project–taking the hashtag off of social media and into the streets. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation.
                  "(1)

                  If you interpret that message as only black lives matter, then you need to know that you're wrong, and perhaps you need to do some more searching, asking and listening, before you start "suggesting".

                  (1) http://blacklivesmatter.com/about/

                  1. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 4 months ago in reply to this

                    "What you don't get to do though is define the movement according to your own misperceptions."

                    Neither do you.

                    "When we say Black Lives Matter, we are broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state.  We are talking about the ways in which Black lives are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity.

                    #BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.  We affirm our contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression. We have put our sweat equity and love for Black people into creating a political project–taking the hashtag off of social media and into the streets. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation."


                    We are broadening...   Black people are intentionally...We are talking...   Black lives are deprived...   Black lives are no longer...We affirm our contributions...our humanity...our resilience   We have put...   love for Black people...   ALL Black lives...

                    Not a single reference to human lives, human contributions or anything else relating to people in general.  "WE" does not refer to humanity, but to black people ONLY, and your misinterpretation cannot change that.

      3. RJ Schwartz profile image92
        RJ Schwartzposted 4 months ago in reply to this

        Don, I would beg to differ with your interpretation as would many other people (this is the reason why All Lives Matter became visible as a counter to the initial impression)

        1. Don W profile image83
          Don Wposted 4 months ago in reply to this

          It's not an "interpretation". It's what people who are disproportionately affected by police violence, i.e. people of color, say it means. You and I don't get to define it. And we don't get to define what other people's experiences with law enforcement are, or what other people's movements (and their hashtags) mean. That's all part of the problem. Stop "explaining" to people what their experiences mean, and start hearing, not just listening, but hearing what people are saying.

          1. RJ Schwartz profile image92
            RJ Schwartzposted 4 months ago in reply to this

            You shifting the conversation - we were discussing the meaning of the groups name "Black Lives Matter" - you were giving the opinion that the "TOO" was implied.  Without a clear definition, then people will always attempt to decipher things - so yes, we "do" get to define it in our own minds.

    4. ahorseback profile image46
      ahorsebackposted 4 months ago in reply to this

      This is brilliant , except for one small issue .

      Black Lives DID Matter -too !    Until somewhere around  2008  ,    when the racism  FROM  that one minority and no others  , decided  that somehow  they were shorted more than all the others in the great "melting pot" of America  .   

      Sad part is , when there are those who say  "Race relations have been set back 50 years in America  " by all of this stupid rhetoric .

      They are right !

    5. Kathryn L Hill profile image84
      Kathryn L Hillposted 4 months ago in reply to this

      Black lives matter: YES THEY DO!!!
      I am still wondering to this day who says they don't?  oh... the policemen who must protect themselves from ANYONE who threatens their lives????
      NOT.

  2. MizBejabbers profile image90
    MizBejabbersposted 4 months ago

    Your idea may be a good one, but I doubt that it will fly. As long as BLM continues to be linked to Al Qaeda or ISIS, the group isn't going to matter. They are subjecting themselves to losing credibility among whites and other people of color. They claim that they are doing this to point out disparities in racial treatment, but they need to disband, go home and quit trying to put the sins of the fathers on non-blacks. They have had 150 years to prove that they matter, and some of them have proved it very well, including some Black friends and coworkers of mine. It's mostly n'er-do-wells who want to march and protest, and if they put half as much effort into being productive as they do to protesting, they could be successful. There are some who have been unfairly treated by brutal police officers, but have you noticed that almost all of them have prior records? I doubt that a name change would help them much. All lives do matter.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/06 … terrorist/

    http://heavy.com/news/2016/07/alton-ste … ent-islam/

    1. IslandBites profile image85
      IslandBitesposted 4 months ago in reply to this

      Yeah, blacks, you should prove that you're lives matter, you know, like some have proved. roll


      "But, hey, I'm no racist."

  3. colorfulone profile image87
    colorfuloneposted 4 months ago

    The brave men and women police officers who risk their lives going into high crime communities when needed to protect and server, where they are hated by the criminals, they are a group of people that cares about all lives.  Generally speaking, there aren't that many people in this world that would be so dedicated for such little pay for a dangerous job ... and many times they are heroic.  They are willing to lay down their lives for us. 

    All lives do matter, even the unborn!

    1. Kathryn L Hill profile image84
      Kathryn L Hillposted 4 months ago in reply to this

      +1 per usual! smile

  4. Kathryn L Hill profile image84
    Kathryn L Hillposted 4 months ago

    When dealing with cops its best to show respect. Even if you don't feel it, well, especially if you don't feel it. FAKE it if you have to!!!! "Yes, sir." calmly and politely. and don't move till they tell you to.  Don't even reach in your purse once they have approached you!
    Yes, I learned this the hard way.

    1. MizBejabbers profile image90
      MizBejabbersposted 4 months ago in reply to this

      So right, Kathryn. Keep your hands on the steering wheel until instructed to do otherwise. I haven't been stopped in years, and it was different then. But now that is exactly what I would do if I'm ever stopped again.

  5. Kathryn L Hill profile image84
    Kathryn L Hillposted 4 months ago

    The black culture matters. There is reality. If you are part of that culture then you are responsible for representing that culture the best way you can. If your black life matters to you ...
    well, Good!!! 
    Just remember, its all an illusion. Reality is in the invisible part in us all: our spirits which come from One Spirit.
    …. which we all know, just to remind ….

 
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