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Do Black Lives Matter?

Updated on March 2, 2016

Black Lives Matter

I read an article where Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Marissa Jenae Johnson said “white folks” should stop saying ‘All Lives Matter' because it’s racist."

In a Fox News interview she said, “White Americans have created the conditions that require a phrase like ‘Black Likes Matter’. Do you know how horrific it is to grow up as a child in a world that so hates you? While you’re literally being gunned down in the street, while you’re being rounded up and mass incarcerated and forced into prison slavery.”

No, most whites do not know what that is like. I also don't know what conditions I am causing that require your movement.

I do agree that Black Lives Matter; I don't agree its an entire race of white people fueling the need for the movement.

That being said, I understand where she is coming from; "All Lives Matter" as a reply to "Black Lives Matter" undermines their message. Their message is specifically addressing disparity in treatment of blacks versus whites, especially by cops.

Marissa Jenae Johnson’s statement blames this disparity in treatment on all 'white folks'' and in doing so ostracizes any other race than black.

Ironically at the same time, she cries for support and understanding. How can she expect a race to support her movement when she's blaming all of them for black oppression?

Does she realize that the white people she is attacking are partaking in BLM marches? Are supporting her movement?

Just as whites fought alongside blacks in the civil war, and just as they were part of the black civil right’s movements; we have always been there. Alongside you.

"We" are not "they".

We agree there's a problem, but you're making it hard for us to.


All Lives Matter

White people retorting Black Lives Matter with "All Lives Matter" is not necessarily racist, but I think it reveals white people's refusal to acknowledge the reality of black lives and continued killings by cops because they think it comes with some sort of required admission and acceptance of white guilt.

It doesn’t, unless you want it to. Supporting the movement simply acknowledges the number of unnecessary deaths of black men and children by cops. It’s real.

But I get why not all non-racist whites aren't openly acknowledging the issues. They aren't on the invite. In fact, her statement is bold. Black Lives Matter implies other lives don't matter. I'm not saying it does, but words are words and the message here is this: Whites Not Welcome.

This movement statement makes other races not feel welcome in supporting BLM. Unless entire races aren't continually blamed for the issues, opposition will ensue.

We are here. Can’t you see that? Why drive us away?

Tamir Rice's Murder

Bad Cops: Are They All Bad?

I am a not supporter of ‘all cops are bad’. That’s not the right approach nor isn’t a sound argument. I believe the majority of them are good. But they aren’t the ones causing the issues. It’s the bad ones who abuse their power to take lives when it is unnecessary.

When I saw Tamir Rice, the 12 year old boy in Cleveland, gunned down a cop, I was enraged. I wept. I wanted justice. I didn’t see a little "black" boy who died. I saw a little boy lonely in a park, playing with a toy gun and cell phone who was murdered. I get why you need me to see his race BLM, but don't forget that I don't have to be the same race to agree with you.

These cops received a 911 call about a child with a potential toy gun in a park. They pull up within 10 feet of him and don’t give him any opportunity to respond. They could have easily stopped their squad car 150 feet away and issued commands. His life was taken before he had a chance to process what the cops were saying. It was murder.

Michael Brown's Shooting

Justified Shootings

But I don't agree that every shooting is murder. Race should not define whether you want justice. Actions should define that.

I don’t think the way Michael Brown in Ferguson was handled was inappropriate. He was fighting police, attacking them, and refused to cooperate. He allegedly went for an officer’s gun in the patrol car. I won't support a criminal whose intentional behavior and violence resulted in the police protecting themselves.

When Black Lives Matter rallies in response to the death of a black man who was attacking an officer, it dilutes your message. Support true victims.

Therein lies the distinction here. Focus on who is the bad guy.

It's not "all whites"

It's not "all cops"

It's the actual people committing these offenses against blacks.


Police Lives Matter

Far too many police officers die in the line of duty. When the situation such as Brown’s arises, I believe force must be taken. Do I think aiming for legs or non-fatal areas would be a better move? Sure, but I’m not a cop. I don’t know how they are trained or if that’s even possible when being attacked.

But that doesn’t make me racist. It makes me the type of person who researches facts before opining. My point to the above comparison is, nothing has to be ‘ultimate’. I support the good guys. Be they the cops or the victims. I support what’s right.

And that's why I support the truest form of the movement BLM., because the data shows blacks are killed unnecessarily more by cops than whites.

Data Doesn't Lie

In a year-long study, The Washington Post “found that the kind of incidents that have ignited protests in many U.S. communities — most often, white police officers killing unarmed black men — represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings. Meanwhile, The Post found that the great majority of people who died at the hands of the police fit at least one of three categories: they were wielding weapons, they were suicidal or mentally troubled, or they ran when officers told them to halt.

Although black men make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 40 percent of the unarmed men shot to death by police this year. In the majority of cases in which police shot and killed a person who had attacked someone with a weapon or brandished a gun, the person who was shot was white. But a hugely disproportionate number — 3 in 5 — of those killed after exhibiting less threatening behavior were black or Hispanic (2016).

On the flip side, I’m not a cop, I’ve never killed a person, and I have nothing against blacks. But the actions of some white and nonwhite officers should not be my burden to defend either. It’s not ok to blame all white Americans for the actions of bad cops. It’s also not OK to blame all cops for the action of fraction of them. Conversely, it is also not ok to fully support officers when there is clearly an issue at hand. And there is.

And that is where we are failing to come together. We are not focusing on the good guys versus bad guys. We are putting them all into little race boxes and telling people to pick one. Even though it’s about black and white, the approach cannot be black and white.

I do acknowledge the disparity in treatment, incarcerations, and deaths of black Americans versus white Americans. It is real.

I also don't blame just the black American's for creating unnecessary racism.

I think it was absolutely absurd for a lot of white Americans to state Beyonce’s performance at the Superbowl was racist. She wasn’t dressed up as a black panther, she looked more like Janet Jackson in Rhythm Nation than a panther. I even googled it, where did this come from?

The words she sang weren’t racist, listen to the lyrics. Not one lyric is racist.

Now, is her video racially stirring and thought provoking. Good for her. These are things that should open up the doors of dialogue. Most confusing though, was the imagery in the video didn’t match the lyrics. There was no racist message in the music.

She's singing about being proud of her African nose, her designer dresses, her fro, and where she came from.

Imagery shows something different, a flash of graffiti with “stop killing us” appears, she is on a cop car sinking in the water, a little boy dances and cops put their hands up.

So what?

It’s artistry…if she feels that way, she feels that way. She's telling a story.

Her actual performance at the Superbowl had NO links to the imagery in the video. But tons of people had to chime in with assumptions and draw super sharpie lines between race and get offended because that’s what we do. We are sooo good at getting offended.

Some whites spoke out saying ‘we need to appreciate this and take a seat on the bleachers’ and let black do their thing. What? Get real.

WE need to stop separating ourselves as races and celebrate anyone who wants a better world.

I’m not sitting on the bleacher, Beyonce, I’m going to be partying with you and carrying hot sauce in my bag as well, because I’m proud of who I am too.

So why can’t people just acknowledge her pride instead of making up backstories and assumptions? Why do we continue to segregate ourselves? Both races?

White Americans are afraid by acknowledging something that is very real comes with a tandem white guilt package. It doesn’t. White people's refusal to acknowledge it fuels the fire. But so do the statements by people like Black Lives Matter’s co-founder. Why are you attacking those who could be supporting you?

I don’t feel guilt for the past, how can I? I took no part in slavery or black oppression. But I acknowledge it happened. That’s what matters. Acknowledgment from the BLM co-founder that her statements are ostracizing white people is necessary too.

I feel ostracized by you and you make me feel like I cannot support you.

Simply because you’ve already labeled me the ‘white devil’. You’ve made me feel ashamed of my skin color. See the double standard here?

This is the downfall in the movements to support change. Segregating and snubbing other races makes yours weaker. It’s a fact.

It is the very attitude that perpetuated Rich White Men’s domination over Indians, black slaves, indentured servants, and white slaves when they colonized America. It is the very segregation between races that fuel and keep them, 'the Elite', in power.

There are power in numbers, but not using that to your advantage, you tear yourself down.


Divide and Conquer

According to the US Census Bureau, Whites make up nearly 65% of the population, Blacks make up 12%.

Of those 65% Americans, let’s presume at least half are not racists (every race has them, admit it). That’s 32.5%.

Of the 12% of Blacks, let’s also presume half are not racist (come on now, I’ve read all the forums surrounding the BLM movement, lots of racism there too) So we have 6%.

Together, we have 38.5% of people who could share in the same goal of improving lives, and successfully seeing a movement to fruition. Instead….you shoot yourself in the foot and call all whites out, repeatedly.

Just as there were plenty of Northern whites who assisted in the Civil War’s commencement because of their convictions against slavery, there are just as many whites today who agree with you.

But you have to stop making us not want to help and support you.

Because what you’re doing involves the same ingredients as oppression. You’re tearing down a race because of color.

Don’t you remember history? Whites were not the problem.

It was the RICH who were the problem.

Rich white AND African elitists were who ruled us. US.

The white elitists were the 1%! Under their control they had women, slaves, indentured slaves, laborers, and poor white men whose land they owned.

They also gave the big fat finger to the American Indians….it was THEIR land.

How did they succeed for so long? By doing what you’re allowing them to continue to do right now. Segregate us. Divide and conquer.

The elite’s biggest fear was that one day, the low income whites, indentured slaves, free blacks, enslaved blacks, and the Indians would get together and unite in common cause.l

So they moved them around in different states, they separated the classes so they couldn’t speak. And it worked for far too long. And now, remnants of it are still working…today.

History proves that when our races unite, great things happen. Let me share a brief history lesson regarding repetition of the past.


United We Stand

First, the Spanish and Portuguese brought slavery to America with the agreement of Africa. Contrary to popular belief it was whites.

The search for wealth and increased trade led to the Spanish and Portuguese contact with West Africans and South Americans and eventually the North Americans also known as the Columbian Exchange, and what truly sealed the fate of our America (Brown, Clark, Hewitt, & Jafee, 2008, p. 13).

The West Africans were scholars, crafters, merchants, and had networks of kinship, agriculture production, and female dominated food production .They also used their own people as slaves for labor. West Africa encouraged trading which would eventually lead to its fate of a reduced population because the slaves that were sold and eventually stolen were young strong men (Brown, Clark, Hewitt, & Jafee, 2008, p. 29).

The European settlers came, waged war on resisting Indians, forced conversion to their religion, and infected them with small pox and other diseases. The European women were forced to work and whipped, even Europeans used their own people as indentured slaves in exchange for the passage to America. What a dream: The American Dream.

Each world involved was driven by greed: the Europeans seeking an easy life of handed wealth and free labor and land, the West Africans gaining from trade and slave purchases, and even the Indians profiting from fur trade and alliances to take out other tribes led to the demise of many, and the gain of few.

The Indians lost their allegiance to each other, women lost their power, and all lost many lives. The Europeans were dying of disease upon settling in America, and from warfare by Indians, but they stood to be the only players in the game who profited.

They settled and survived, took over America, commercialized it, using slave labor to build it and call it ‘their own’.

When poor whites were put on lower quality land or on land of Indian controlled territory, tension rose, attacks ensued.

Growing more and more discontented, the poor whites and blacks stood together side by side and fought the Indians.

The elite saw their power when together and recognized the threat of the numbers. The South was 6/7 poor and angry. The 1/7 wealthy stood to lose their power and wealth without control. They knew what forces the black slaves and white indentured servants and poor possessed together: Power.

In a strategic effort to desegregate the poor whites from the blacks, they chose a divide and conquer approach. Land access to freed white servants improved, investigations into their treatment ensued and new restrictions on black’s rights, and freedoms were introduced.

Black slaves were prohibited from co-habitating with white servants or marrying them, they were not permitted to carry guns, enslaved black women were not protected from rape, and the power of their masters was unrestricted (Brown, Clark, Hewitt, & Jafee, 2008, p. 81).

They even turned lighter skinned black slaves against darker skinned black slaves, even women against men, and young versus old.

“ You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves, and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves . . ." Willie Lynch in his disgusting letter “The Making of a Slave”.

They did the same with whites versus blacks, as well as classes within whites. Pit them all against each other. And it worked. Is it starting to sound familiar yet?

As their white counterparts enjoyed a few more freedoms, they did not think of the sacrifices the blacks were forced to make in their stead. Whites felt superior to blacks and thus the division began.

From there the elites enjoyed buying slaves and spending less, not giving up land at the end of the terms, freedom in punishment, and the colony prospered, along with the poor whites.

Although they had stood next to the slaves side by side sweating and starving, talking and living, the poor whites never looked back when benefits were provided to them, and thought only of their own rewards; they became to the blacks the very essence of the elites: selfish and superior.

And you see, the elites now feared less that rebellions would occur now that they relied more on black slavery.

As the US acquired new territory and Missouri won a slave state approval with a contingency that no states north of it would be permitted to be slave states, slaves were shipped west to expand cotton,but slavery import was now illegal. The population of slaves was spread out, and they were exposed to free blacks and northerners in industrial factories who vocally opposed slavery and threatened to encourage slave resistance. Heated debates between North and South regarding slavery ensued.

The elites controlled politics because voting and representation was tied to wealth and land ownership, silencing the voices of the poor whites. And although the poor whites were great in number, they too had their own classes within their general label. (Brown, Clark, Hewitt, & Jafee, 2008, p. 300).

This superior view and labeling system undid their greatest opportunity of binding together as one to force change more quickly. All involved were seeking higher statuses, more money, and stepping on those a degree below in attempts to get there.

While whites struggled for equality, fairness, and a greater sense of freedom and wealth, so did the slaves. They saw around them the breaking down of classes between whites; they saw the struggles and the changes surrounding the outlawing of slave import of 1808.

They were exposed to free blacks, disgruntled non-slave holding whites, literature published by anti-slavery northerners and they heard their churches speak of freedom and salvation. It planted a seed of hope to be watered with resistance, and resist they did.

As slaves prayed alongside whites, and were active in the Evangelical movement. Just as the whites' resentment grew for each degree of wealthier whites than them, so did the resentment slaves had for their owners for their abuse. Resistance began.

This behavior was culminated with the gradual emancipation of slaves as groups raised funds to send freed slaves back to Africa.In 1830 the Nation of Liberia was established on the West Coast of Africa to receive the freed prisoners, and many northern states spoke out by officially abolishing slavery as well. Hopes, dreams, and actualization of freedom was being birthed, and patience was running thin.

Whites paired with blacks and fought back against the elite. Many whites and blacks died for each other. For each other. Eventually, their united voice was heard. Slavery was abolished. Things changed.



What never changed was the elite’s efforts to insert barriers between races who share common goals. We still share common goals, we just need to unite.

Uniting takes understanding, acknowledgement and no "entire race" blame.

We need to judge the same people that impacted us upon colonization. The people in power. Whether it be police, politicians, media and the like, we need to unite and overcome.

Otherwise, we are divided and they continue to conquer.

The story has had the same ending for hundreds of years. We have to change it now.

To answer the article's question: Yes, Black Lives Matter.

And so does your approach to your movement.

"Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved through understanding" -Albert Einstein.

Do you think the Black Lives Matter group ostracizes other races?

See results

Add to the Conversation

Now it's your turn, tell me your thoughts, your experiences, and how we can work together as one race?

About the Author: master of sarcasm, expert in taking blows from reality, cannot cook an omelet.To learn more, or view her work, visit her website here.


Brown, J., Clark, C., Hewitt, N., & Jafee, D. (2008). Who Built America. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's.


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    • profile image

      big E 

      3 years ago

      If I was a cop I would prefer to be black.

    • mrpopo profile image


      3 years ago from Canada

      I can't really blame them for utilizing heuristics in their job. Much of our human evolution relied on heuristics for survival.

      I think for the most part, cops follow the same guidelines when confronting a black man as when they confront anyone of any other race. The potential issue would be who they suspect of criminal activity. I really can't blame them for keeping a closer eye on a young black man wearing gangster attire as opposed to an old Asian lady in a wheelchair.

    • Tara Mapes profile imageAUTHOR

      Tara Mapes 

      3 years ago from Cincinnati

      Agreed, and I think if they have a propensity for violence officers may tap into that preconception about all of them when carrying out their duties.....Although each perpetrator should be handled in accordance with the same guidelines-- I'm sure personal experience contributes to officer decisions.

    • mrpopo profile image


      3 years ago from Canada

      Interesting read. Just wanted to elaborate on one minor detail:

      "Although black men make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 40 percent of the unarmed men shot to death by police this year."

      This is true, but we need to consider how often black men and white men are going to be in a situation that may merit being shot to death by police. Looking at FBI data, black men seem to disproportionately commit direct and violent crimes; in fact, they're over-represented in every criminal category except for drinking violations:

      They commit these crimes at a rate 3-5 times higher relative to their population. I'd say those numbers are in line with being shot to death 3-4 times more often relative to their population.

      Could there be some racist practices? Sure, but I think the discrepancy is largely explained by the % of criminal activity.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Black Lives Matter is a hate group! As Clinton so wisely said, they are defending the lives of thugs and murderers that they say matter! I'm so sick of seeing them in their pathetic protests--one even blocking an ambulance on its way to the hospital. It's time for police to step up, get the hoses, and start getting these fools out of the way!

    • Lilith Fair profile image

      Lilith Fair 

      3 years ago

      Tara, I definitely see your point. No racial group wants to be vilified, and while I cannot speak for the black community, I can see that there is a great deal of anger out there. When a segment of society believes they are being attacked, they respond in kind. Yes, they are wrong to assume all white people are the enemy, but surely they must see all of the hostility and hatred directed at them. Anyone with a computer can visit twitter or facebook and see the overwhelming amount of racism directed at blacks. I believe that when we are exposed to such extreme and rampant prejudice, we no longer are able to see the good in people.

      I don't believe the BLM is doing more harm than good. I believe it has helped blacks feel empowered rather than helpless. I don't believe that the intent of BLM is to win over non-blacks. I think the intent is simply to be heard. At the very least, attention has been brought to their issue. Sometimes voices have to be raised in order to elicit change. The BLM may not be pretty, but neither is racism.

    • Tara Mapes profile imageAUTHOR

      Tara Mapes 

      3 years ago from Cincinnati

      Lillith, I agree with your insight. I'll never forget seeing Tamir murdered and crying for him. He seemed so lonely, a boy at a park. Murdered.

      You made good points regarding the movement. I think other races do feel instantly threatened with BLM and agreeing with it is equated with admitting contribution to it. But it doesn't. The movement is against law enforcement (of all colors as we have seen) using (deadly) force against Blacks not consistent with other races.

      However; I think BLM needs to choose their cases wisely. They are diluting their strength by using BLM for ANY black issue that isn't related and often isn't supported by evidence. People (of all colors) get tired of that. They lose steam. It needs to be focused and it needs to be all inclusive of other races. Unfortunately, go to any BLM page on Facebook and you'll see a lot of racism--mostly directed toward whites. Not law enforcement. You'll see white privilege, white devil, the white man etc. So much generalization about "whites' it's really hard to continue to support anyone that hates me because of my skin. So I struggle there.

      It lost its focus. It's become a stage for a race war rather than for the war it was originally intended to fight.

      The manner BLM carries out its message--it ostracizes other races who want to help. These other races agree there is a problem that needs to be addressed, but we (the other races) are told this is a black thing. Well, the civil war would have turned out a lot differently if we didn't all come together.

      I think a lot of things need to change, but first and foremost, its the approach of the BLM. They created this, they need to fix it.

    • Lilith Fair profile image

      Lilith Fair 

      3 years ago

      I am a newcomer to hubpages, and I must say that I find it particulary depressing that we even have to ask the question, "Do black lives matter"? I also have to say that I find many of the responses to this question equally depressing albeit predictable. I have come to the conclusion that most who are not black, are either not capable or simply refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem to begin with. The mere fact that so many, try to excuse away the murders of young black men like Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin is not only disgraceful but disgusting. Attempting to justify these killings is nothing more than a justification for denying the Black Lives Movement. Arguments such "Oh, police thought Tamir was holding a gun", "Oh, Trayvon started it." Anything to justify the killing of young black men. Does anyone actually believe that Tamir Rice, a child who was holding a toy, would have been shot dead had he been white? And does anyone believe that Trayvon, a child walking home from school and on the way to his father's house, would have been followed and killed, had he been white? Young black men have been disproportionately singled out and murdered by police. This is a statistical fact. Young black men are treated differently. This is also a fact. To deny or try to excuse away what has taken place, is the very definition of racism. Of course "All lives matter", but it's not all lives that are being extinguished like unwanted cigarettes. It's black lives. Asking the question "Do black lives matter" is incendiary in that it seems to enrage non-blacks. The very question pulls back the curtain on racism and it is an ugly sight. As the saying goes "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      You know what? I hate Black Lives Matter. They're a bunch of bullies. What they don't understand is that men Michael Brown was not a "gentle giant." On the day he died, he had just robbed a store and put someone in a head lock. He also was abrasive to the cop. Yeah, some of these guys were unarmed, but you can be dangerous and unarmed. Why don't BLM do something about the state of their people if they are so unhappy? Why don't they do something about the black on black crime, which happens far more than white cops who supposedly are so bored with their free time that they need to pick black men at random to kill? They want to blame white people for their problems. Since we have a black president and many other notable and admirable black people in high positions with a lot of money, one can't complain that one is being held down. It is possible to make something of yourself, but you have to work.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image


      3 years ago


      Interesting article, and well written.

      My opinion is that Racism is being exploited, and it is being used outside of its original meaning. Anytime we are arrested by the PC police, lol, the charge is racism, even when Race is not involved.

      Racism must have been the catalyst in over 50% of the voters in two elections bringing a Black? Man as president. Those racist bas*** putting a Black? Man as president. It doesn't get much racist than that.

      Since Obama has been in office, the number of black actors has increased ten fold. Scripts are abundant with interracial love affairs, and black women in authority positions. It is like affirmative action for the entertainment industry.

      In my opinion, the crusaders for the Black Lives Matter are going in the wrong direction. Equality has to have similarity, otherwise it is different. BTW, it is the government that is fueling racism. They do it by requiring Race to be put down on their forms. Sure they do it, or say they do it to protect the minorities, but in actuality they are really preventing them from being equal.

      The single factor that we all should relate to is that as citizens of the US we are all Americans. That is the equality factor, but when we put something in front of the word American we are asking to be treated differently than other Americans.

      African American in my opinion is blatantly and patently racist. So is not acknowledging that Barack Obama is half white, but is characterized as a Black president, and that is why earlier, I put a ? after Black.

      Isn't there even racism among blacks themselves according to the shade of the black?

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      3 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      It almost trivialize being Black when I read, Big E, that you want to cosmetically change yourself from being the majority into a minority. It is guided evolution or the grace of God, pick one, that has afforded you and me the opportunity to be who you are. It is strange that you want to be Black in a society that would make you wish you were not.

      I have to admit, when I first read your comment I was offended. I love being myself though, so I can see why you would want to be my race too. If it were 30 years ago you would n ot be so keen to be Black.

      I do not like my race being turned into a fade.

    • Tara Mapes profile imageAUTHOR

      Tara Mapes 

      3 years ago from Cincinnati

      Thank you for reading RJ, and for the compliment. It is tough writing about controversial topics, especially when passion is involved, and an utter lack of influence over the outcome or effect :/

    • RJ Schwartz profile image

      Ralph Schwartz 

      3 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

      Quite the impressive piece of work. The research alone must have taken some time. I'm not a big fan of the BLM movement nor the All Lives Matter retort. Angry people demanding change and angry people trying to dilute the first groups message - nothing will get accomplished. I give you the highest praise for having the courage to write about such a controversial topic.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      3 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Tara, it says that you are human. Your are a person with feelings! It is unpopular for me as a Black person to say I dislike my race sometimes for any reason, but my kids see crazy events like young men running up to older people and punching them in the back of the head and saying they hate Black people. My kids hate the culture that identifies the behavior of hurting people as a Black thing since the young people doing the action are Black.

      I hate the fact that I get embarrassed when Black people do stupid things. I think it is normal to feel that way however for all people and their respective groups, ethnicity, creed, religion, nation, region, and so forth. I am no psychologist, but I do have an undergrad in psychology which gives me enough information to be dangerous!

      Depending on the group we identify with mostly, we feel responsible for that group and the image associated with the group. I Identify as American, so when I was in South Africa during the Clinton impeachment I was embarrassed for my country.

      It goes both ways. I also identify as Mormon. When Mitt Romney ran for president I was proud. I was proud when Obama won because I identify with him as Black. I would have won not matter who won in 2012 for president because both groups I identified with.

      For the first time in my life in 2012 I was able to feel what it is like to be the dominant culture because no matter who won I found a way to identify with the person that won.

      We realize that we are more similar than different when we pay attention to human behavior and less attention to the item causing the behavior.

    • Tara Mapes profile imageAUTHOR

      Tara Mapes 

      3 years ago from Cincinnati

      I agree with you there as well. It is very insightful to become deaf to any race that fully hates another. It is the fallacy that is used in any 'unsolvable' debate. It speaks volumes to their efforts in research and understanding.

      Although, I do have to admit Rodric, I too, loathe my race at times, especially when I read their comments on social media. I am so embarrassed. And I'm wrong for it, its just as wrong as judging any entire race, but easier when you're stuck in the same skin I presume.

      Yesterday, there was a news story. A black American, in Cincinnati where I live, was videoing himself as his walked down the street to show this white Officer 'trolling' him. He said he'd been following him and asked him if he had a problem.

      As he films, the officer says "now I need to stop you" just walked across that street as the sign said 'don't walk'.

      He then told him to put his stuff down, to which the man said he didn't have to, he would just give him his ID. After arguing, the cop forced him against the wall and handcuffed him. For jaywalking.

      I was SO angry. Now, I don't know what occurred up to the point of the video, and at face value, it was a violation of his rights.

      Every single white person started commenting -Stop looking for trouble and do what you're told, or he started it by filming. He shouldn't have been filming. Or, it's always a huge deal if its a black person, but if it were a white person we would have listened.

      NO, if it were a white person we would be crying in front of the news cameras as our attorney filed a lawsuit.

      It was evident that what occurred was wrong. And when I read through the comments, I saw the opportunity for a lot of black Americans to start hating insensitive white Americans.

      As I went to comment, as I usually do, I gave up. There was no use. My words wouldn't be read. My message not received. I just shut my phone down and looked at my boyfriend and said "Sometimes, I hate being white". Not always Rodric, but sometimes I do.

      It was right on the tail end of watching Zootopia. Which has strong undertones of racism and stereotyping. I loved the message embedded into a child's story because it was a beacon of hope-at least for my son. And an hour later, I was disgusted by my own race.

      What does this say about me?

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      3 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      I think it takes a conscientious effort to not allow ourselves to be swept up with the culture. I purposely try to avoid the pitfall of anger because of our culture. People become angry, and as you mentioned, look at things only from a singular perspective rather than from a community view.

      I saw a program recently for Black History Month o the History channel that taught me about the slave labor of America and how far it went. I, for years, thought slavery only occurred int he South. I was wrong. I had to change my world view. I thought slaves only picked cotton. I was wrong. They did all manual work and helped ot build Washington, which seems ironic.

      I constantly must point out that White people made it possible for slaves to become free and have equal protection under the law or it could not have happened. I find myself in the company of people so filled with indignation about the past that they do not actually SEE the past.

      It took Black people to be ready for the change that White people would help occur for freedom for all people. You mention that and it is not heard, but I mention it and people listen just because I am Black. It takes us working together on different aspects of the problem, in a areas of influence for people to listen.

      Nobody wants to hear the angry Black/White person other than another angry Black/White Person. No one wants to hear the self depreciating people either. It becomes pathetic after a while and uncomfortable.

      I think that if we choose our words carefully, deliberately people will listen. I tend not to listen to White people who try to make White people in general look bad. I listen to people who recognize history in the shaded way it is given without apologizing for it. It cannot be changed.

      My history teach, a Caucasian man villainized other White people and had me almost hating America by the end of my semester with him. I resented him for that after I learned to do my own history research. We have to support each other using verified documents put in the proper context of culture.

      Ultimately I think it is less about race and more about class today. I went to an event with my a friend of mine, who is White. I had on a dress shirt and tie. He had on a t-shirt. We went to the store asking for directions from the store clerk who was also White. He would not recognize my friend though my friend was the person asking questions. He spoke only to me because of how I was dress. I noticed it and tried to encourage the clerk to respond to my friend since he was the one driving.

      I have experienced that on many occasions over the past twenty years I made notice of it. If I am in a suit and tie, no matter my color I am respected. That is the culture presently anecdotally. It may have been race in the past, but presently it is more about class and appearance.

      Generally speaking we as a society are embarrassed by racially charged things because of Slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. We look any type of discrimination as bad because of what happened in the past. I think that is a great error.

      I would like to get passed this race thing eventually.

    • Tara Mapes profile imageAUTHOR

      Tara Mapes 

      3 years ago from Cincinnati

      I do agree and believe acknowledgement is the first step. Most whites refuse to, because I do believe they feel its some sort of admission. It's not!

      Most whites I talk to and see commenting over social media are tired of 'feeling attacked'. This blocks out any opportunity to begin dialogue. It's a wall. But on the flip side, I see the same from black Americans too. It's a nauseating game of trying to make a point instead of trying to come to an understanding. Uncensored Politics is a great FB page where you can see some of the absurd interaction between races. It's sad to read. It's tiring to try to talk civilly with any of them.

      I remember feeling this way as a teen. My Grandpa was raised racist. In fact, he didn't just hate minorities, he hated anyone who wasn't a white man. I remember fighting with him because he didn't approve of my multi-racial friends, and when I dated a Jordanian, he walked right up to him, looked past him and asked me "why are you dating a sand n***" I was mortified and so angry.

      Then, I did a project for school. I found our family members were direct descendants from Egypt. On his side. I couldn't wait to tell him of his heritage, and when I did, he denied it.

      I felt sorry for him and Grandma in a way though. They were raised to hate and feel superior, and in that regard, like WildBill said above, I do think we will make more progress when older generations pass. I just hope we are setting the right stage for our children. I don't think we are though.

      My son was raised like yours-color blind. In the sense that I didn't reference race, I referenced skin color as 'tanner' than me, or you. I thought, naively, this was the right approach. But, then when they enter school....we lose control over the world we've created. Differences are pointed out. Culturally there are differences. Of course. But he didn't judge based on that. He began judging other kids through his own experience.

      The trouble they got in, the way they talked to teachers, the way they treated him. I think that's normal. And of course, the way other kids talk about other kids.

      We all have our bad apples. I, too, am embarrassed of that side of my race. White trash, heroin addicts, trailer living toothless whites spewing racism every chance they get. Confederate flag displaying hilljacks not for history but to light the fires of racism. We have them too. It's embarrassing. And I know as much as you do, our race's stereotypes are born from these types.

      And so the prejudice begins with those expectations set in stone early on.

      I think its brave to share your opinion on behavior and reaction in some of these cases with black Americans being shot. We just had a case a couple weeks ago where the man literally reached for his weapon and the officers were saying "DONT DO IT DONT DO IT" and he did. It was as if he wanted to be shot. And he was. It was captured by a bystander's cell phone. End result? His actions led to his demise. But that cannot be where we stop reviewing things.

      Samuel Dubose was shot while attempting to drive away. Tamir Rice was murdered while standing in a park. They aren't all right, and they aren't all wrong.

      I just wish we could find a better way to tackle the overall divide that continues to occur while addressing the specific issues fueling the fires. I don't think it's possible though, because I think people like us are outnumbered by the deaf and angry.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      3 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Now, I was going to hub this, but I will write it here. Black lives do matter. In our society we tend to not pay as much attention to minorities as we do to the majority. THAT IS NOT RACISM!

      I don't think it is anyway. If Black people act like fools antagonizing the police, then of course they are going to catch a case, at worst a bullet. Cops put themselves on the line everyday dealing with all sorts of people not knowing what to expect. Most of the time they find themselves arresting some loud mouth minority claiming brutality.

      If you point your gun at an American police officer you will get shot Black people. All of these black gangs and such, I would be inclined to shoot too.

      Black lives do matter, but so does the cop's life matter. We forget that the cop uniform is blue not white or black. It is not just White cops shooting people, but all races who find it needful to do it.

      I saw a cop getting beat my some extra strong Black man just for giving him a ticket! Yes, Black lives matter, but I will shoot you dead if I was White and you we kicking my butt while your were restrained and I could not gain control.

      I know I will be hated for that, but at least I am honest. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Do not resist the police! Take them to court if you feel treated unfairly. That is the system people.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      3 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Tara, you have not been a fool! I, in fact, until this year, only advocated the color blind approach to race. I thought there was more unity if we put these things behind us.

      What changed my mind is how my kids responded to color blind Dad. My kids are surrounded by White people and do not like Black culture or understand what it is to be Black. My kids are not attracted to other Black people because in this European culture, it is not attractive.

      I decided that it does more harm to forget racial differences than to point them out. It is okay to be different. It is okay to point out in history where White people in general treated all other people poorly because they could.

      We can work together only when acknowledgement of the great damage to my people is recognized because I have to live with it every day with minorities who love themselves based on how White they are.

      We have to recognize that we are different and that it is okay to point it out. What does working together look like to you? Does it look like a small segment of society struggling to get recognition a voice by forgetting their heritage? That is how it has been so far. As long as I do not behave to differently I am acceptable by many Whites--not all though.

      I hate what has happened to Black culture. I was looking at an awards show that celebrated the uncelebrated movies and actors. It was some type of Black awards show that celebrate any good film or actor. The problem was, the award was a model of a pimp! The show was crass and ugly. I watched it like a train wreck growing more embarrassed as it continued. The Black people kept making fun of White people and using vulgar language.

      It has become acceptable for Black people to be loud and crass. I find myself defending White people when talking to Black people and trying to represent Black people as faithful contributors to the world society when talking to Whites. I have a double edged sword and that sword is blunt.

      There are so many factors in play besides race alone, but race is the first factor. People like you who benefit from White privilege are the only people who can help because no one listens to a Black person who speaks about the injustices towards Blacks and other minorities.

      Native Americans are disparaged so terribly in Arizona. I have heard the most terrible things about them just because they are Navajo here. They apparently are lazy, fat and drunkards--this coming from other Navajo! The White people do not say it to the Navajo. Many of them think it because the dealings that they have are with lazy, fat, drunkards who happen to be Navajo. It is hard not to pass judgement. It goes the same with Black people. If all White people experience are angry Black people, well....

      If you read some of my other hubs you will find that I support any group that is unfairly characterized. White people rule the world. That will not change. White people represent the smallest racial group--European Whites that is, but they have the most power and influence without even trying to have it! So far, that influence supports a great measure of equality. It has not always been there so I think it should be nurtured.

      I do not believe it will be nurtured by hiding just how much Europeans destroyed many cultures by mixing with or enslaving other cultures.

      I would like more Europeans to acknowledge what happened with their heritage that destroyed mine AND THEN move on. I do not want what my ancestors suffered to be equated to mere indentured service that Irish Whites experienced with isolated bouts of violence.

      Multiple nationalities of people were captured by other nations and sold to pirates who thought of them as animals. Yes, these people from these nations were Black. Yes they enslaved each other, but never to the extent that it occurred here in the US. Never in the history of the world has a group of people been completely and utterly cut off from there nationalities unless you include the nation of the ten tribes of Israel. We still don't know where they went! I assume my ancestors come from Uganda, but I cannot know for sure because of all the breeding and the mixing that occurred during slavery.

      I want you to get my point because I get you. I cannot help but get you because we share the same cultural heritage from Europe. If I go back to talking about forgetting color and race and focusing on the future you think it is helping. The future is not very representative of my family.

      And of course Black People are still wary. Our ancestors were sold into slavery! It took three hundred years to end that practice another one hundred to give Blacks rights. It will take more than a few generations for Blacks in the US to get over what has happened to them. A culture developed out of all of that strife. Give it another 30 to 60 years and you may have what you and I want a society build on character not color.

      My generation is the first one not segregated. My mother was reared in the racist society being born in 1940's. Maybe my grandchildren will be better equipped to give us the ideas of unity that we want.

      It does start with me. I do not blame White people of today for what happened in the past. I do hope that White people will understand it better though. You have some good ideas, but they are still limited by our culture so that you reject things that make you and other White people feel bad.

      I was told when I was in South Africa that I am a White Black man because of my heritage and culture. I believe them and embrace that heritage now. I am a mixed pot racially but culturally I am European.

      Remember, Black racism hurts peoples feelings. White racism can do that and keep minorities economically disadvantaged.

    • Tara Mapes profile imageAUTHOR

      Tara Mapes 

      3 years ago from Cincinnati

      Responding to your first point, the class separation referenced whites. Not class separation between blacks and whites. It's a small point I wanted to address.

      My article was not written with multiple sources. It was written with 3. An article, a book, and my passion. It combined perspectives from a black American and her endeavors with BLM, factual History, and my own perspective. I don't think that is 'little little research'. That was a bit insulting. But I've moved on.

      I agree with your point about Christianity and expand it to any organized religion creating dominance for a self-serving purpose. All of it has been repackaged for control. But it was introduced by the Portuguese and Spanish first here in the Americas, forced assimilation started in the Americas with their splitting of the world. White is used so broadly and inaccurately attached to every single wrong doing and its accepted because others don't take the time to research. Are they innocent, no way. But did they do it all, and all alone? No!

      Regarding effective racism-it is not oppression. Racism is as defined straight from Websters: "the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

      prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior."

      I have never felt so much hatred from your race until I began researching it. So I disagree that your race has not been effective. I've been called the most terrible things because of my skin and my heritage. On the flipside, I have hated my own race because of their comments too. Such nasty vitriol has been spewed. No one really wants to listen.

      Finally, I can understand your last point regarding white dominance in America. With businesses catering to the majority and advertisements, marketing, television toys to a white preference and perspective. Obviously business-wise it makes sense. They aren't going to market to 12% of a nation if they want to capitalize. That doesn't make it right, but it makes 'sense' to them.

      However; I've though of it many times while watching commercials and movies thinking how relevant it is to me, but not to other races. Same with dolls and other toys reflecting race. Yes, I see it. Even though it doesn't affect my awareness. And...I can understand the constant fight upstream to not just 'fit in' or assimilate. I hear you.

      I guess I'm a little disappointed overall, I've tried so hard to reach out to different races and perspectives to see how 'we' can work together. I've received mostly the same response: from one perspective only: theirs. Although I am an advocate of understanding, it must go both ways. I have not received reciprocity in my understanding.

      Nothing has been offered or discussed regarding the desire to work together. In that regard, I fear I have been a fool.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      3 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Tara, I think that you put a lot of passion into this article and did a little little bit of research. Blacks and Whites did not separate due to classism. Yes, the Poor Whites worked along side of slaves and even the masters worked alongside their slaves from what I understand. It was necessary to survive.

      Black people were cattle. The were treated as cattle after the first groups were brought to America as indentured servants. The White slave owner realized he did not have to let the Blacks go. The Blacks were alien to European culture, which is what dominates the world today. Every nation has European culture now. We call it TV and Iphones and internet and t-shirts and Easter and such, but it is all based on European mythologies and customs filtered through Christianity, which was packaged and remoded by Europeans before it was spread to the world by Catholic missionaries.

      White people, and I include the majority, do not understand that it is not about being White as a race only. It is about being culturally stifled. Everything is geared to service White people. It cannot be helped.

      My camera will not even take a picture of my kids well because of their dark skins. The cameras are moded to capture low melanin. I am not saying that is racist. It is what it is, culture.

      What Black people, every people except European Whites have to do is learn how to accept White dominance. In a system where European heritage reigns supreme, Blacks have a short stick because of our hair and complexion. That does not mean that we do not try.

      I am sure you have never been asked if you hair feels like carpet. You walk on that. I am sure you have never been asked if you skin color is paint. Those questions exist with a small group of people because this culture in the world supports people who look similar to and are White.

      I hope I do not sound offensive. I have experience enough racism to understand that much of it is learned through culture and it goes both ways, but mostly from Whites. Blacks have very little power still to effectively be racists against Whites. Black racism amounts to hurt feelings mostly. White racism amounts to that and low earning potential. In order to earn, the majority of minorities must fit in with White Culture.

    • Tara Mapes profile imageAUTHOR

      Tara Mapes 

      3 years ago from Cincinnati

      That's just it! It's a tennis match of racism. Someone has to be the first person to put down the racket and say "let's talk". But it's not that simple. I've been trying these last few days via social media to talk to the racists. From different races. None of them want to listen and open their minds. They want to spew hate and close the doors of communication. It seems hopeless.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      3 years ago from Beautiful South

      Wild Bill and Tara, I agree, but it's not just social media. Or maybe social media just gives black racists a place to spout. I have several educated African-American friends at work that I've highly respected. I've been disappointed twice when I've overheard racists comments from a couple of them talking in the breakroom. (separate incidents, different people). I've never had those thoughts about any of them, so it disappointed me when I heard those remarks coming from them. what do they expect in return?

    • Tara Mapes profile imageAUTHOR

      Tara Mapes 

      3 years ago from Cincinnati

      I would have agreed with that, until social media revived and strengthened the lines between races, and gave a voice to otherwise silent racists. I literally need breaks from it because I'm horrified to live in a world like this.

    • profile image

      Wild Bill 

      3 years ago

      I heard someone once say that the overwhelming sense of racism (against African Americans) will end when the last of the Baby Boomer Generation die off. This is because they were the last ones to see the institutionalized segregation. I once thought this would be true, but now I am not so sure. It seems as if the minorities want to keep racism alive.

    • Tara Mapes profile imageAUTHOR

      Tara Mapes 

      3 years ago from Cincinnati

      I agree, I don't know how many times I've seen comments from minorities who state specifically "I am not racist, I cannot be racist, in order to be racist you have to be a majority race with the ability to oppress". I saw that comment so many times I thought wow, they cannot truly believe that. Who are they parroting? How does that help? Are they fn serious? I've known plenty of racist people in many different shades. The lack of accountability is sickening. But the focus is more on defending oneself than understand the root cause of conflict here. Misunderstanding, misguidance, misinterpretation, and misleading media. We are all so quick to point the finger at each other (even if they deserve it) instead of asking "what is this going to solve?". I am not an advocate of not addressing issues, but I am an advocate for opening minds through conversation. It's difficult when so many minds are sealed off with Armageddon doors.

      So what next? What do we, the intelligent people who know there is a bigger issue at hand that needs a different solution, do? Can we do anything?

    • profile image

      Wild Bill 

      3 years ago

      Tara said: "But I think both races are at fault in numerous situations, to analyze them all would be counterproductive and eternal."

      I completely agree. Can white people be racist? Yes. Can black people be racist? Yes. I think everyone has some sort of bias against those that are not like them. I just don't think that white people are the sole owners of this. Case in point. My sister married a man from Trinidad and my father didn't approve, so he was labelled a racist. I married a Cuban and my father-in-law did not approve because he thought she should marry a Hispanic man. He was not labelled a racist. (or prejudice in this case since Hispanics can be white). This is common in every race/ethnicity/religion, yet for some reason, only white people are prejudice for this.

      Tara said: "But something needs to be the changing factor here. The intelligent need to be influencers. The ones who focus on the bigger picture."

      This is a great point.

      Tara: "Revolt against the media, those in power pulling puppet strings...but most importantly the people need to change."

      I completely agree; it is the media's fault. They sensationalize these issues and when it comes to a fever pitch, they switch gears before it is too late.

    • Tara Mapes profile imageAUTHOR

      Tara Mapes 

      3 years ago from Cincinnati

      I agree the BlackLivesMatter responds to any black related issue, whether its right or wrong. And too many are quick to believe allegations of white versus black, but often the media is silent when it is the other way around. But I think both races are at fault in numerous situations, to analyze them all would be counterproductive and eternal. It will never stop unless we all choose to make it stop. Do I think all blacks and whites are going to gather and sing Kumbaya? Nope. But something needs to be the changing factor here. The intelligent need to be influencers. The ones who focus on the bigger picture. Revolt against the media, those in power pulling puppet strings...but most importantly the people need to change. Stop being puppets, stop believing everything. Stop hating for any reason. It's a horrible world to live in for all races.

    • profile image

      Wild Bill 

      3 years ago

      The problem with the way that racism is approached is the reason that it will never be solved.

      When America talks about racism, it is assumed by all that it means white versus black. White is the attacker/Black is the victim. Battle cries like #blacklivesmatter, Rev. Al Sharpton marching for black rights, etc. show that the battle cries for racism are not really about ending racisms, it is about payback for blacks. It is viewed as a self-serving forum, so no one really gets behind it except black people. Even the talk of diversity at the Oscars was not really about diversity; it was about black people being left out.

      Cries of racism are usually false or at the very least, not quite what they seem. Instances of so called "racist killings" of young African American males are prime examples of that. Tamir Rice and John Crawford brandished what appeared to be guns. Michael Brown attacked the police officer after robbing a store. Travon Martin attacked his shooter. These are all high profile, so called 'racist' attacks.

      In a recent case, 3 black females accused 3 white men of calling them racist names and attacking them, but now we know the shoe was on the other foot.

      (The people who supported them by only taking their word are now suggesting the videos and testimonies of 30 witnesses is not enough to prove these ladies lied. lol)

    • Tara Mapes profile imageAUTHOR

      Tara Mapes 

      3 years ago from Cincinnati

      Wow, great input. I agree with you, we need to work together against the forces undoing us. We are our own demise. Thank you so much for your insight.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      3 years ago from Beautiful South

      I agree with you that we are not focusing on good guys v. bad guys or good cops v. bad cops. Each case should be looked at separately before the professional rabble rousers are called in or are allowed to disrupt a community.

      You have a good analysis of U.S. society. Too bad the classes didn’t stick together instead of forming racially motivated groups. No, we didn’t participate in our ancestor’s slavery, but we spent 50 years of affirmative action being put behind blacks in schools and at the workplace, and that should be enough repentance for white people. Now it is Blacks who are keeping themselves segregated. It is time for them to stop complaining and work with the rest of society.

      Yesterday’s paper carried a story about a cop shooting a boy in a park. Two boys were in a fight with pipes, and the officer commanded them to put down their weapons. One boy did, and it is questionable as to the actions of the other boy, but the officer shot him and killed him. The other boy said his opponent was in the act of putting the pipe down when he was shot. Race was not mentioned in the article and nobody has protested. Is this race at work here? Was the boy white and there is nobody to protest his killing? That is why some white people say “All Lives Matter’.

    • Tara Mapes profile imageAUTHOR

      Tara Mapes 

      3 years ago from Cincinnati

      Very good follow up question. WHY? Why can't we? Thank you for taking the time to read Dana!

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      3 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Great subject Tara. As I read my bible I am painfully aware that injustice and slavery of some form has always existed; it's more of away to oppress people than anything else. Whether a person is targeted individually or as a group it's all about control and wanting to have more than your share of the pie. Police are not all bad and I believe most are decent. White people are not all bad and I also believe that most are decent. And certainly not all blacks are criminals but just as in any race there are a few bad apples in every bunch. As far as I'm concerned "ALL LIFE FORMS MATTER" Who do people think they are when they feel they have the right to take away what someone else has created. Don't they realize they are destroying someone's valuable property. I have always been very passionate about human suffering and suffering of any kind. As for the question of "How can we work together as one race? well, all I can say is "why" won't we work together as one race because we all know that is the solution. Great article. looking forward to the next one.


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