Yes, Black Lives Do Matter
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
The Faces of Victims
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.
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.