I’m not the type of person to go all political, but quite frankly, there’s no possible way that I cannot avoid writing about racism in our country. While so many are rallying with the African American community, others are just choosing to ignore the real issue and are coming up with nonchalant excuses. As a black, educated, female writer, it is my obligation to shed some light into some of your misguided hearts. “Property Matters.” “All Lives Matter.” If you insist on showcasing any phrase other than “Black Lives Matter,” then you’re missing the entire point. Black lives are the ones who need dire help right now!!! Black Lives have been gunned downed, imprisoned, and silenced by the government for far too long. You can keep living in denial and saying that we are no longer slaves and we have the same opportunities as white people, but this is not a country that provides justice and equality for all. We are enslaved by systemic racism with legislation protecting abuse of power and oppressive practices. Until black people can have a non-stereotypical job, own nice cars or live in a nice neighborhood without unnecessary interrogations, then “ALL LIVES MATTER” will continue to be a part of the problem. In 2020, black people are still being overlooked for admission into some of the best schools in the country while white privilege for years has been given a leg up because of legacy or wealth status. Little black girls or boys continue to hear or see negative commentary about how their lives are invaluable because of the color of their skin. Honestly, I could go on all day about the multiple disparities in our country. So, please understand that until ALL the injustices we’ve faced in the black community for generations have been eradicated, ALL LIVES MATTER is just your ignorance and privilege showing. Until you’ve walked a mile in the shoes of those oppressed, you shouldn’t judge or ridicule other protesters who are sick of being unheard.
With that being said, the so-called “property destroyers” you’re describing are not protestors. Looters and protesters are separate entities. Looters are destroying without purpose or meaning. Protesters are stripping away symbols of hatred and bigotry. If you’re focusing on the looters, then once again you’re distracting yourself from the true message here. If you’re angry about the protesters tearing down statues of prejudice, ask yourself this, what’s worse: dismantling a statue that represents slavery or bombing a black church full of African American women and children just because it could be done without any ramifications? What’s really demoralizing and unjust: burning a Confederate flag or the hanging of countless slaves, who back then, were only viewed as property? We’re not living in the age of Jim Crow, but yet we are still talking about young black men and women losing their lives left and right. There are black people still being hung from trees and dragged through the streets. If you still feel that these points are not valid, then there is something wrong within your soul.
I don’t see how one decently moralized person, can simply shrug off the horrors that black people have faced. However, I know that there are those people out there. They are the ones who claim themselves to be faithful Christians, but get upset when we “disgrace” the Confederate flag and not when crosses are being burned. They are self-righteous people who view kneeling during the National Anthem as an insult, when we are kneeling because of social injustice. I bet they don’t think about the “sweet” words promised in The Declaration of Independence; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and don’t forget all men are created equal with certain unalienable rights. America has created the fallacy that this country is the land of equal opportunity, but the African American community had a late, late start in this equal opportunity race. Perhaps small-minded individuals don’t even recognize their white privilege because they have run so far ahead in this race that they never looked back at those who were left behind.
If you were in a race and someone was bleeding or injured, would you keep running or pick them back up? Right now, your white privilege has held the rest of the heap back. But imagine what would happen if that privilege was used to bring others closer to the finish line. Stop running for a minute and look back at the ones who didn’t get a head start. Think very carefully about how you want to use the privilege you’ve been given in this race. The African American community cannot win this equality race alone; everyone’s support is needed. Before you say anything about what black people are doing wrong, educate yourself and you may very well educate someone else. Be willing to step out of your privilege bubble and stand up against racist innuendos you know are biased. Combat the unacceptable behavior and others will know it is no longer acceptable nor tolerated. Stop letting your ignorance cause you to fear those with black skin.