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Yes, Black Lives Do Matter

Updated on April 14, 2016
Lilith Fair profile image

Lilith Fair is a freelance writer living in the Southwest. Her articles often address issues of race and the nature of politics.

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This article was inspired by a question that was posed on a forum. The question was "Do black lives matter?" I knew of course, that the provocative nature of that question, was designed to elicit responses either good or bad. The answers were predictable for the most part, and to me the reasons for that were painfully obvious. The glaring reality is that many whites cannot or do not want to acknowledge that racial injustice does in fact exist. Racism has become the elephant in the room that they refuse to see. If we choose to deny it, then it doesn't exist. Some whites have expressed disgust at the images of blacks protesting and have even questioned their very right to do so. They raise such questions as "Why don't they protest black on black crime?" I don't have the answer to that question. But whether or not blacks choose to acknowledge what is happening in their own communities, does not take away from what is happening to them at the hands of those whose duty it is to protect and serve all citizens equally.

Black Lives Matter is not only about abuse by police. It's also about laws such as "Stand Your Ground." Laws designed to excuse the violent and deadly actions of vigilantes like George Zimmerman. It's about white juries that let killers of black men go free and grand juries that fail to indict. There are some whites who seemingly fail to see blacks as being human. What other explanation could one give, for those who can so callously excuse the murders of black children, and then continue to vilify them, even after their dead?





Blaming the Victim

First, let me state that the majority of the responses to the question "Do black lives matter", seemed to reflect the view that the Black Lives Matter Movement was threatening in nature. Many respondents seemed to view BLM as anti-white. The arguments against the movement more often blamed the victims, the very ones who were the inspiration for BLM. It also appeared that those opposed, believed that by vilifying the victims, they would undermine the movement itself. After all, if there were no victims, then how could the existence of such a movement be explained? How could it possibly be valid? Many of the responses that I came across, seemed to question the innocence of the victims, regardless of the facts in the case. Arguments such as "the police thought Tamir Rice was holding a weapon and followed procedure," or "Trayvon Martin attacked Zimmerman first." It appeared that no matter the instance, there was a response to justify the outcome.

Fox News Justifies Murder of Trayvon Martin

Fox News Blames BLM

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The Faces of Victims

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Statistics Don't Lie

The argument is often made that "All lives matter', but while that is of course true, there are many who are missing the point. It is not all lives, but black lives that are being affected. It is young black men who are being killed by police time and time again. They are killed without hesitation and often without provocation and at a much higher percentage than other races.

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A Mission for Justice

I have finally realized, that most whites cannot understand the Black Lives Matter movement because they cannot relate to it. Sometimes people fear what they cannot understand. Many whites are threatened by the very phrase Black Lives Matter. They see groups of angry blacks demanding justice and wonder what the outcome will be. They imagine riots in the streets and see themselves as victims. The reality is that BLM has not set out on a mission to harm whites, or any other race for that matter. Black Lives Matter is simply a movement designed to effect change. Justice and change does not come about through a whisper. Voices must sometimes be raised, in order to be heard.

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    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 22 months ago from Yorktown NY

      What does the BLM group want? I watch them protest and chant but what is it they really want to happen? I wish they would put it down on paper.

      I am also suspicious of a group that seems to be funded by groups with a different agenda.

      Race relations has been an on going issue in this country and as far as I can tell, things were moving in the right direction since the 1960s. What has changed recently to reverse this trend?

      Let me suggest in many cases of black shot by police, if they would just be like MLK and take a peaceful position, they would have diffused the situation. If BLM wants to reduce these type of incidents in the future, I have a sure way to do that. Just educate your youths, all youths, to respect the police and address any grievances or injustice back at the police station.

    • profile image

      Brian 22 months ago

      ALton sterling. Police needed to be black.

    • profile image

      Brian 24 months ago

      It would help if the white police could disguise themselves as black.

    • Lilith Fair profile image
      Author

      Lilith Fair 2 years ago

      Thank you! I took a look at your articles and find them to be very interesting. I'd like to follow your writing as well. I need all of the inspiration I can get.

    • RJ Schwartz profile image

      Ralph Schwartz 2 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

      I like your civility, I'll be following what you write. I'm certain it won't disappoint.

    • Lilith Fair profile image
      Author

      Lilith Fair 2 years ago

      I definitely agree. If only bringing about change were that simple.

    • RJ Schwartz profile image

      Ralph Schwartz 2 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

      Worldstarhiphop is the site I was referring to.

      I absolutely agree on the protesting being a right, just that's it's never been shown to produce real tangible results.

    • Lilith Fair profile image
      Author

      Lilith Fair 2 years ago

      You have made some excellent points, however I think you hit the nail on the head by stating "White America." There should not be a black America or a white America. This country is a melting pot comprised of countless races.

      Political protests are older than I am, going back as far as the civil rights movement and the Vietnam war. To suggest that BLM is the only organization to vigorously and as you put it disruptfully protest would be inaccurate. I could understand the objection of BLM, if their mission was infringing on the rights of others to live their lives, and if they were invading neighborhoods. Whether we like it or not, protesting is a right in this country, regardless of how it might inconvenience political candidates.

      You also mentioned online videos depicting blacks harassing and attacking whites. I don't doubt that there's anything that can't be found online. But if anyone wants to experience true racial hatred, they might log on to twitter. I would venture to guess from what I have seen, that the percentage of hate groups targeting blacks is 95% compared to maybe 5% of black hate groups targeting whites. I do agree that black on black crime is prevalent and it should absolutely be addressed. You asked the question, "what do they want from whites?" I would have to guess the answer is nothing. What I do believe they want, is for the police to stop shooting them.

    • RJ Schwartz profile image

      Ralph Schwartz 2 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

      If it's your belief that white people cannot understand the BLM movement as a whole, then why are BLM protests aimed at predominantly white audiences. I agree that whites do feel threatened by BLM protests but only for the simple fact that the protesters act in a threatening manner. Does barging into and disrupting a political event, or blockading stores on Black Friday serve any educational purpose? What are the goals of the group? What is their opinion of justice? Why aren't they addressing black on black issues? What do they want the white community to do - solve their problems for them? I tried to check out their website but its not on-line. I certainly can appreciate your perspective, but its been demonstrated time and time again that street protests simply do not work. Yes, there have been very destructive riots that led to change, but they also carried years of unnecessary baggage in the process. More hatred was created, not less.

      It seems that the only thing the BLM movement is achieving is to further divide people and create fear in the community. Why does white America have to abide by different rules - why does white America have to care about the lives of blacks when the organization shows no attempt to demonstrate to white America that they too care about white lives? Isn't it a two way street? Or are they simply lining up to demand repatriation for something in the distant past?

      If you look at organizations which are actually making progress on their issues, such as Greenpeace or the Human Rights Campaign, they get it done with effective lobbying, knocking on doors, meeting people, petitions, and many other methods that don't carry the mantra of intimidation and perceived violence.

      Why aren't BLM protesters demanding justice for young black youth who get gunned down by other black youth, which is a significantly higher number than any police shooting figure. Why aren't BLM members developing black youth educational programs to give them the skill set necessary to survive in the world? I'm sorry, but you'll get no white guilt from many people because of these and many more reasons.

      When black youth stop playing the Knockout game, or randomly attacking white people so they can videotape it to put on line for people to laugh at, or all the other interracial crimes blacks commit against whites, then America can start to heal the divide between races.

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