I think I’m going to come up with a new saying for 2016. I think that new saying is going to be ” All Lives Never Mattered.” I’m going with this phrase because whenever the term Black Lives Matter comes into conversation, there is always the rebuttal that All Lives Matter. Well I thought “all” was an inclusive word. Since ALL means everything, the total lot, nothing or no one left out, why is there offense taken by some people when someone says Black Lives Matter? I didn’t see Only Black Lives Matter or Black Lives Matter Most anywhere. I mean, let’s be honest; if all lives truly mattered, #BlackLivesMatter would not exist. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. My tendency to do this is waning due to the fact that I find it hard to accept that society can really be that obtuse. We wouldn’t feel the need to remind people that Black Lives Matter if Black lives were treated with the same sacredness as say, White lives. I am Black and I am also a woman. If I were to start a slogan that Women’s Lives Matter would men start getting upset? If I wanted to bring awareness to save women from the Brock Turners of the world, would I get drowned out by the cries ALL GENDERS MATTER! I don’t think so. The #AllLivesMatter crew only seems to care about all lives when they need to refute the arguments of Black Lives Matter. Why didn’t all lives matter when the people of Flint, Michigan were drinking contaminated water? Where was the public outrage? Why didn’t all lives matter when the victims of Hurricane Katrina were waiting on public aid for months, and even years? Why didn’t all lives matter when two thousand people died in India last year due to the heat wave? Since America seems to feel so strongly about the well-being of all lives, why aren’t we all out here advocating for all the marginalized people of the world? I completely agree that all lives matter. Every life is sacred and has meaning. However, certain lives in this country are requiring a little more TLC and social justice than other lives right now. If you’re a parent and have a sick child, would you tell that sick child “all my kids deserve good health!” No, you’re going to nurse that sick child until it’s back on the same plane as the other children. Lets use some common sense here. We have a problem in America. Is this all underlying tension that has been kept under wraps for too long and now its bubbling over? Are we at some type of transition and a major change is coming? I don’t know, but I know people are getting fed up.
We all know of Mr. Kaepernick. Former starting quarterback for the 49ers, now backup quarterback, but great athlete all the same. As of late, we have all become very familiar with him and his decision to no longer stand for the national anthem. Due to the frequent shootings of Black people from police officers who then face no consequences, Kaepernick doesn’t feel it’s appropriate to stand for a song and flag that is not protecting all American citizens. Seems pretty hypocritical to him. A flag that is supposed to represent freedom but allows its residents to be killed for no reason doesn’t seem to represent the best interest of everyone across these 50 states. It was of no surprise to me the backlash he received for his choice to sit down and now kneel, for the anthem. I have seen him called a plethora of racial slurs, have seen people say he has no respect and some have told him to leave the country if he hates it so much. Kaepernick has said he’s even received death threats. What I find so interesting about this whole scenario is that when people are rioting and looting, the response is that this is not the solution to the problem. When Kaepernick decides to peacefully and quietly demonstrate, he is told he is disrespecting our country, veterans and that this is not the answer. Well I would like to know, what is the answer? Act out in rage and now you’re a disgrace. Act out in peaceful silence and you’re a disgrace. Whenever a Black person shows resistance regarding his current situation, he is now a problem and he should just shut up and be grateful for his current status. Sweep the problem under the rug and it no longer exists. According to #VeteransForKaepernick, they fought for his right to stand or sit and many of them do not feel disrespected. The anthem and the flag is not solely about our military, but about the freedom of all Americans. If one sect of America is being killed by law enforcement at disproportionate rates without consequences, then how free is this country? I admire Kaep’s willingness to take a stand on what he believes in (or seat I should say) and its been interesting to see others follow suit. If you are upset over Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the anthem but see no issues with police officers murdering people in cold blood, you are a part of the problem. You can’t proclaim to be an advocate for freedom but try to justify senseless murders, especially when the people committing the murders are those sworn to protect and serve. But all lives matter, right? Lets cut the B.S. If you stand firm by all lives mattering, why can’t you see the logic behind Kaepernick’s protest? I don’t know if people lack empathy or if they are just unwilling to understand, but put yourself in a different frame of mind. Imagine that whenever you saw a police officer your anxiety levels shot through the roof because you feel you may be the next hashtag. Imagine that your car breaks down on the side of the road, and now you’re afraid to wait for assistance because you don’t want to become the next Terence Crutcher. There is absolutely no reason why anyone in America should feel like their life is on the line when they encounter someone sworn to protect and serve. There is no excuse to justify these murders.
But What About Black on Black Crime?
The most frustrating counterargument in response to #BlackLivesMatter is “well, what about black on black crime?” This is a ridiculous statement for several reasons. The topic of black on black crime is just meant as a distraction to draw people away from the real issues that predominantly Black communities face due to factors such as gentrification, the “war on drugs” (aka the war on Black people), underfunded schools and mass incarcerations of people of color. If you place the blame on the citizens, then there is no accountability to be taken for those who contributed to the community’s demise. When you rob communities of necessary resources and leave them to fend for themselves, of course crime will ensue. Impoverished communities no matter the race tend to experience higher crime rates, so this actually fuels the logic that black on black crime is a ridiculous sentiment. You are going to commit crimes against those in closest proximity to you, so you will see that Whites tend to commit crimes against other Whites, Mexicans against Mexicans and so on and so forth. Tragedy strikes, and the first thing #AllLivesMatter brings up is “they’re killing each other in Chicago daily, they don’t even care about Black lives!” Well I didn’t know that Chicago was the only city that had high rates of crime,
Black people do protest black on black crime, and if you really did care about all lives, you would be trying to curb the violence in places like Chicago as well. Even if Black people wanted to kill each other off like it was going out of style, since when did they take an oath to protect and serve American citizens? Tyrone kills Greg and Tyrone is going to jail for 30+ years. Officer Tom kills Tyrone and Officer Tom is getting paid administrative leave, aka a paid vacation. Not only is he getting paid time off, but his reason for neglecting all of his training to subdue someone without the use of deadly force will be justified. The media will vilify the victim, and if he has some type some mug shot, that will be the first thing plastered on the news. The social media warriors will start on their usual banter of the why didn’t he comply, he shouldn’t have reached in his car, he should have done this or he shouldn’t have done that. No one should be all that upset because Black people kill each other at alarming rates everyday, so what’s the big deal? It is extremely upsetting that people get killed based off of how they look, and so many find a reason as to why the murder was just. If you are that afraid of Black people then maybe you should have chosen another profession. I am deathly afraid of snakes, so why would I chose a job as a zookeeper and work in the reptile room? Every time a snake slithers its tongue at me I would want to chop it down, and now I’m blaming the snake when I’m the one who is too fearful to be working in that profession. Go be a gardener, go be a dog walker, but don’t choose a career where you don’t have the heart to do your job without resulting to deadly force.
All Cops Aren’t Bad
What is the next favorite argument? “All cops aren’t bad” and “All White people aren’t racist.” Of course all cops aren’t bad and obviously all White people aren’t racist. We have a problem when the cops who ARE bad are not held accountable for their actions that result in deaths of innocent people. People are being taken away from their families, and America does not seem to care. All White people aren’t racist, but go on Facebook and Twitter and read the comments on a controversial post and you will see how many White people feel confident enough to call Black people niggers and tell them to go back to Africa behind a keyboard or touchscreen. I was appalled at the types of comments I’ve seen over the past couple of years, yet people still deny that racism exists. I’ve encountered extremely friendly cops and I know plenty of White people with whom I am friends that have treated me with nothing but respect. However, if you do have Black people in your family or social circle, it is imperative that you take it upon yourself to listen to our experiences and to not try and convince us that things are not as bad as they seem. So many think that our demands and cries for justice and dramatic and unnecessary, but how many more Black people need to be killed by trigger happy police officers before everyone can accept that we have a problem here? Caring about all lives means that you are willing to open your mind and eyes to reality and accept that change needs to happen. Caring about all lives means that you are no longer content living in the denial that the freedom the anthem and flag is supposed to stand for is actually inaccurate. You don’t have to agree with everyone’s method of protest, but you can attempt to empathize with the turmoil the Black community is facing. How do we fix this problem? First things first, police officers need to be held accountable. It isn’t just Black people who see this as a problem, there are people from all walks of life and races who are outraged by the state this country is in. If we can all get on the same page, we can start to enact change. Lets create some open dialogue, keep protesting and get out of denial. Since all cops aren’t bad, the “good” cops need to start calling out their peers. There is no way I would allow my colleagues to make me look bad. I’m putting you on blast! I’m not putting my best foot forward everyday and waking up before sunrise to have the next person put all my hard work to shame. One bad apple spoils the whole bunch, so we need to find a way to rid ourselves of the unfit. Recent events have proven that we have not come much farther since 1965; racial tension is at an all time high. Whether you choose to stand, kneel, march or write for change, advocate somehow. Inaction is action, and silence when people are in need does nothing but condone the turmoil.