Why Black Lives should Matter to us All

I am a white Irish woman who grew up in Wisconsin in a low income neighborhood. Growing up in that neighborhood allowed me to interact with people from different backgrounds and equally as important, my mother taught me a very important lesson at a young age.  It was a simple lesson of empathy and love. Love everyone without exceptions.

Let me start by saying I will never understand what it is like to be black. But I can emphasize with the struggle of the racism and discrimination minorities face in America. I have seen it firsthand, how my black friends are treated differently. Including one time when I was pulled over and had my black male friend in the car.   The police officer interrogated him (he was not even driving, I was) and asked if he had drugs or guns in the car (mind you I have never been asked that when pulled over as a white woman).

It is so easy to see the prejudice stereotype of black women being portrayed as loud and ghetto, just turn on the TV. Though untrue, I have seen it over and over in the media as if it is a universal truth. What about all of the educated, hard working, sophisticated black women, where is their representation?  Then there is the stereotype of black men as thugs, cheaters, bad or absent fathers which is also unfair (especially because many black men are locked up for non violent crimes at extremely high rates, causing them to be away from their families). What about all the black men that are educated, great fathers and husbands, where is their representation?

When stereotypes are as prevalent as they are officers are already going into situations with the mentality that black men are aggressive thugs and they need to be scared for their life (though a ridiculous notion).   Their prejudices are causing the officers to react in an overly aggressive way, like murdering innocent black men. Their racism is uncalled for and sickening and EVERYONE should be outraged. Why? Because black men and women are our brothers and our sisters we are ALL God’s children and because an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

The system is very flawed. Minorities getting more than twice as much time for same crime (crack/cocaine laws), being pulled over for being black, being killed by police and the officers continually getting away with it, being denied jobs or housing based on their skin color.

So please for the love of God stop telling black people to get over it  (and why do racist white people always bring up slavery and say get over it as if when slavery ended so did racism wtf). Black people CAN’T get over it because they live it every day. Racism is not over because we have a black president. Racism is just institutionalized now in prisons, in schools, in housing, and with officers blatantly killing black men, and getting away with it.

I know I have white privilege (no I’m not rich and neither is my family) but my skin color allows me privileges like not having to worry about being pulled over solely based on my skin color and if I am pulled over I do not have to be afraid of the officer killing me, like I would be if I was black. I have talked back to officers in my younger days and never was afraid for my life.

So Dear racist white people:

  1. Telling people they don’t have right to feel oppressed, is oppression.
  2. Colin Kaepernick doesn’t care if you burn his jersey, you already paid for it, so he got his money.
  3. Black people are discriminated against you don’t get to tell them they aren’t (because you are not black and you don’t experience what they do).
  4. Stop being patriotic over a damn anthem but disrespecting the president and not wanting to follow federal laws
  5. Stop using minorities as your scapegoat (you are your problem not Mexicans for “taking jobs” or anyone else)
  6. Not seeing you have white privilege is privilege.
  7. If you are trying to find all the reasons the officers were justified in killing all these black men. You are a racist and please go seek professional help (from a non-racist party).
  8. Stop telling people if they don’t like America to go somewhere else. News flash your ancestors are not from here either, so please just stop (and African Americans were brought here forcefully in case you forgot).
  9. It is so narcissistic to say all lives matter when people say black lives matter. It is like going to a cancer walk and saying well AIDS walks matter to. We know that but right now we are talking about black lives (as they are being treated like they don’t matter) so stop that BS.
  10. Get that hatred out of your heart and love others.
  11. Even if the men were resisting arrest, (which they were not), that does not mean they deserve to die.  PS white people resist arrest too (have you seen the show Cops), but they aren’t being killed for it.
  12. Please stop saying well what about black on black crime.  Black people kill more black people…Stop.  That is like saying well Americans kill more Americans than ISIS does, so ISIS is not a concern.  We are talking about officers murdering black men in routine traffic stops, so let us stay focused on that.

I could go on and on but the main point is black lives matter, and if you are not black, guest what, they should still matter to you. Try and have some empathy and compassion for what your brothers and sisters are going through (instead of justifying it).

I will end with words from Martin Luther King Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

 

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