My Understanding of "Black Lives Matter"
Correcting my Mistake
A few years ago, I wrote an article explaining how the Back Lives Matter "slogan" does more harm than good. I explained how the saying is seen as exclusionary, and it pushed people further away. At the time, I backed the "All Lives Matter" movement, but during recent events; I've come to understand what Black Lives Matter truly means.
Why the Change?
I'm sure everyone knows what is currently going on. Right now, 2020 seems like a waking nightmare. Instead of discussing all the wrongs in the world, I'm going to only discuss Black Lives Matter, and why I've changed my viewpoint.
I, like many, am heartbroken at what is happening right now. A man was murdered in the streets by cops, leading people to riot and protest out of heartache and anger. While I don't agree with rioting, I understand. What bothers me is the violence. I've seen videos showing extreme measures by police officers against peaceful protestors, some of which are smiling while harming innocent people. This doesn't sit well with me.
As I was watching these events unfold, my heart broke and I understood the anger. I understood the meaning of Black Lives Matter. They aren't trying to exclude anyone, it's not racist to say that you matter. They are tired of being oppressed, and treated as less than. They are a group of individuals that need help now!
There is a meme going around saying, "When people say the rainforest needs saving, do you say all forests need saving?". Of course you don't, we typically agree that the rainforest needs help. Why can't we do the same for the Black Lives Matter movement? We have no problem putting "dolphin free" on our tuna cans, but we can't stop and listen to a group of people that need to be heard.
We all face oppression at least once in our lifetime, but some groups face it daily. You can push a person into a corner for so long before they come out swinging. This is exactly what is happening now. They are tired, angry, and want to be heard. Wouldn't you want the same thing if you were in this situation?
I shouldn't need to say this, but of course all lives matter. In order to get the point of "Black Lives Matter" across, while keeping people calm. Perhaps adding a " too" to the end would make others understand that all they are trying to say is, "Black Lives Matter, too". They are here, and want to be heard; just like you.
I suppose with all the hate in the world, there will never be a fix. Cops will continue to do what they do, racists do what they do, and hate will never die. It's really sad, we were given a beautiful gift, and we've destroyed all the beauty it holds.
© 2020 Michelle Battle