I live in a place where black people are not very common. Most of them live in the big cities and a large portion are foreign exchange students or workers with families elsewhere. I grew up knowing exactly one black kid in elementary. I can’t even remember if there were any black kids in high school, and if there were I didn’t know any of them personally. I’ve never met any black coworkers if I ever had any.
Thanks to the internet, I’ve come to know many wonderful people all over the world. This includes black Americans; smart, compassionate and generous individuals who have made my life better for being in it. They have also taught me something that I never felt before: fear for someone’s life because of their skin color.
That is why I’m pro-BLM. Because there is something wrong when, out of the hundreds of friends I have in America, I primarily fear for those whose skin is of a darker color than my own.
I’m also pro-law enforcement, because there is something wrong when, out of the hundreds of friends I have in America, I primarily fear for those whose jobs are upholding the law and advocating peace.
My heart aches for everyone on both sides who are innocent and have fallen victim to the consequences of racism. None of this is right. A lot is wrong and needs to be fixed.
But I am furious that the higher-ups in law enforcement who have not only the power, but also the obligation to prevent racism in the workforce, are holding their own to different standards and not accountable for their outright crimes. I am furious that there are black people who decided to take up guns and take away innocent lives on the other side out of a misplaced sense of vengeance. I am furious that hate is being met with hate, which has never before resolved anything for anyone, on both sides of the fence. None of this is the answer.
I am not for the All Lives Matter movement. I do believe that all lives matter. In fact, that is what BLM means to say: ‘we matter too, so why are we so disproportionally targeted and slaughtered if all lives matter?‘. Saying ALM marginalizes the real problems we are seeing between black people and law enforcement. Saying ALM is hiding behind inaction. It is a form of sitting by in silence and doing nothing to prevent more lives from being taken away from us. Being pro-ALM is condoning the senseless loss of people of all colors because you refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem that needs resolving.
Yes, there are more white people killed overall than there are black people. But this statistic is meaningless if we don’t take something important into account: the proportions between innocent white people who get killed, and innocent black people who get killed, are flipped. A large percentage of white people who fall victim to police brutality actually committed crimes, resisted arrest or otherwise gave a reasonable indication that use of force was necessary. On the flipside, a large percentage of black people who fall victim to police brutality did not commit any crimes, did not resist arrest or otherwise gave a reasonable indication that use of force was necessary.
No, quite on the contrary, just following a police officer’s request to show ID gets you KILLED if you are black. How many white people do we know who got shot for reaching for their ID when the officer asked for it, when their only offense was a busted tail light? Not many, if any at all.
That is the problem. It’s not about total numbers. It’s about proportions. Having a dark skin color increases your chances of being murdered in cold blood absurdly even if you did everything right, cooperated and were respectful.
We should not deny this problem’s existence. We should speak up about it. We should bring attention to it. We should demand action. Not dismiss this by saying “WELL WE MATTER TOO!”
Well we aren’t getting killed on standard traffic stops for being white now, are we?