Thursday, July 21, 2016

A White Guy Talks About Black Lives Matter


OK, a caveat before we begin today: I am a white guy. I am the epitome of whiteness. I consider mayonnaise an essential food group. I like Taylor Swift.  I don’t know where BET is on my cable channel package. 


Having established my bona fides as a certified white person, I would like to address the topic of Black Lives Matter.


The Black Lives Matter movement came about in response to a break down in the relationship between the African American community and local police departments. Specific to that break down was a propensity for black men to die while interacting with the police even if the black man was of little or no physical threat. There is statistical analysis that supports the view that this is a very real problem. The mission of Black Lives Matter is to focus attention on this particular problem.


There are various objections to Black Lives Matters. For example: 

  • All lives matter, not just black lives. Well, yes, all lives DO matter. But BLM is addressing a specific problem with police regarding their interactions with a  specific race. These incidents get swept under a rug it seems and there is the association, fair or not, that race has something to do with that. But it’s not just an exhortation to white people and to the police.  I also think that sometimes black people have been so beaten down by these events to the point that this is almost accepted as some sort of status quo; BLM reminds them that their lives do matter.
  • Why should black lives matter more than others? But no one is saying that. The movement is not called Black Lives Matter More Than Others. The movement is fighting a perception that the lives of black men and women matter less.
  • We should respect law enforcement and the hard work and sacrifices they make on our behalf. Well I say “Amen!” to that. But the noble calling of protecting and serving our citizens should not preclude seeking fairness and justice in those specific instances where they may be in short supply. 
  • More black people are killed by other black people than they are by police. You know, that’s probably a true statement but how does that correlate with unarmed black men dying when interacting with police? Black on black crime is a problem that does not excuse the continuation of the other problem between police and African Americans. 

Calling on the police to account for themselves in these real grievances of the black community is not a blanket commendation of all police officers. Yet you hear the refrain from individuals and groups from the political right that Black Lives Matter is virulently and violently anti-police. This is a condemnation that persists in the aftermath of the police officers killed in Dallas and Baton Rouge for which leaders in the BLM movement spoke out in no uncertain terms against the killing of police officers.


There was a recent online petition sent to the White House requesting the Black Lives Matter being listed as a terrorist organization. The White House responded that the President has no power to determine which organizations are labeled as terrorists. But it doesn’t matter, somebody’s got their headline now. “Obama Refuses To Label Black Lives Matters As Terrorists”. Or even better yet: “Obama Sides With Terrorists Against Police”.  It is such political gamesmanship that just adds more fuel to the fire. It adds nothing to the discussion other than to make people who are already mad even more mad.


Look, calling out incidents of police injustice against a segment of the population is not a rebuke of all law enforcement. Defending the men and women who serve in law enforcement is not a repudiation of the grievances of the African American community. As long as we as a nation see ourselves as enemies on opposing sides instead of united in the cause of justice for all citizens and the police who protect and serve us, we may never know peace.


That’s all I have for this post. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll go make a ham sandwich.


I hope we have enough mayonnaise.
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Tomorrow and Saturday, this blog delves into the Republican National Convention.  

Friday, the spotlight falls once more on the Texas Senator we love to hate with a BRAND NEW installment of TED CRUZ IS A LYING FUCK BASTARD. 

Then Saturday, I take a look back at the week long convention, AKA Hate Fest 2016. 

If you don't care for politics, Sunday comes around with a new Doctor Who post. 

Until next time, remember to be good to one another.



Dave-El

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