In the wake of the violence of this week, I feel it is important to stop everything and make sure that my stance on everything is known. I have had personal milestones that I’d love to share with you, and I will, but right now, what is going on around me is more important than me personally–it is about us as a civilization, as a country, as a community.
This is my official disclaimer: I am not saying that you need to support–or even agree with–my stance on the issues surrounding race in the United States. I would love if you would join me in standing up for Black lives, but at the end of the day, I can’t make you. If you can respect that, you are more than welcome to stay. If you can support that, you’re more than welcome to raise your voice with me–as a matter of fact, I encourage is wholeheartedly. I am open to respectful comments and debates from both sides. However, if you cannot (or will not) conduct yourself with respect here, I ask that you do not comment and will not be offended if you choose not to read any further. I respect my readers and their opinions with the expectation that they will respect mine in return.
I had a debate with someone last night about why #BlackLivesMatter is important. Her constant argument was that “all lives matter” and “whites are shot more than blacks though! Why isn’t that being pointed out?”
My skin is white. My racial background is that of an Eastern-European Jew–Danish, British, German, Welsh, Polish, Romanian, Italian, and some other country that I can’t remember right now, but is undoubtedly White. I have two skin tones: Casper-white and sunburned. I could never be mistaken for anything other than what I am: a white woman.
And that’s why #BlackLivesMatter is important.
#BlackLivesMatter is important because I don’t have to be afraid that I’m going to be shot at a routine traffic stop. Because I don’t have to worry about people crossing the street and walking on the other side simply because of what I look like. Because I won’t have my wrap sheet and mug shot be the first thing that comes up in the news if I commit a crime or if a crime is committed against me. Because there likely wouldn’t be a discussion of whether or not I “deserved it” or “shouldn’t have done” something if I were shot. Because I am seen for more than just the color of my skin BECAUSE of the color of my skin, when so many others are not.
Now, that said, I absolutely DO NOT condone the actions of the Dallas shooter this morning. I do not condone police brutality, nor do I condone the senseless murder of police officers.The #BlackLivesMatter movement is not about revenge or vigilante justice. It is about accountability for the actions of the judicial system towards people of color. I do not support those who shoot first, ask questions later, as so many officers have been shown to do as of late. That is not justice. That is not keeping the peace. I am, obviously not, a police officer, but I have read the opinions of others who are, and I am of the opinion that there are plenty of methods of detainment and questioning that do not require the use of lethal force.
I support the men and women in blue who act respectfully and accountably within the confines of their badge. They are the true examples of justice in this country; the ones who fight against the corrupt within their ranks, who recognize that sometimes, the police are in the wrong, that recognize that keeping the peace and justice are about more than just who has the bigger gun and who is able to shoot first.
At the end of the day, however, this is not about whether cop lives matter, whether all lives matter, or whether some lives inherently matter more than others. This is about why Black lives matter RIGHT NOW, and why they’ve been fighting to matter for the last 300 years. This is about white privilege and white supremacy, and how they exist in this country whether you like it or not. This is about the disproportionate amount of violence and vitriol thrown at Black lives in this country and what I–and we–can do, should do, and NEED to do to stop this. If we cannot stand together, united as a country, regardless of the color of our skin, then we cannot stand at all.