I know what many are thinking, #AllLivesMatter is more accurate. Right? Wrong! Check yourself in a mirror and adjust yourself because your privilege is showing. *Gasp!* Many white leaders decided to detract from the #BlackLivesMatter campaign to claim #alllivesmatter because they fear that for once in their lifetimes their ignorance about race and racial discrimination is being not only challenged but put to death. It is evident that there is a problem in the USA. We are not and should not pretend to be colorblind.
You don’t need to be discriminated against to understand the plight and pledge allegiance to the cause. No one should be discriminated against, shot dead on the middle of whatever you were passively doing, for being who you are. Yes, maybe you will never understand the pain and injustice the Black and minority populations go through as members of the same society but that does not give you the right to minimize their experince and claim all lives matter. Trust me when I say I have been denied services because of my country of origin and heritage. I have been treated like a second class citizen all my life without realizing there was a hegemony out there that disliked my kind. Like many other US citizens, I have been denied the advantage of not having unconfirmed and unconscious biases used in my favor. I don’t appreciate being bullied by a bunch of Caucasian people that claim I should go home. I AM home.
We live in an America where not being white is a crime. Where sentences are handed down to the “darkies” by a judicial system that is prejudiced against a contingent of its own citizens. It doesn’t matter that you are legally carrying your gun in an open carry state or that you are just selling CDs in a corner. If you are black and armed you are seen as a threat that must be neutralize. Heck, all you need is to be black and refused to follow what the officers say and you automatically become a threat. The benefit of the doubt is not extended to this law abiding citizens because they are not a certain color. This has to stop now.
Where was the NRA’s outrage when this happened? Can’t a brother carry a firearm legally too? Where are the guys with AR-15s protesting that a fellow gun owner was put down by a government agent that doesn’t want them armed to protect themselves? The nerve! The NRA members who are minorities and/or sane should be demanding that their representatives take action. The police is violating black people’s gun rights. Do something!! Guns don’t kill people. Prejudiced and unreasonably frightened people do. This is appalling! Officers get slapped on the wrist while the families are left burying innocent bodies. Where is the justice? No wonder the cities are burning down. Rage, rage against the dying of the light!
People think that maybe if we had more “colored” folk in our police departments and better training we could avoid incidents like these. Sadly, we can’t erase centuries of white supremacy and privilege with a magic wand. You’d think that with an African American President we’d be over black men being thugs and thieves. These are fathers, sons, husbands, brothers and friends. Their lives had meaning; they did and still matter. There have been so many incidents of innocent death by cop that I am tempted to petition that all officers be psychologically evaluated to detemine if they are biased against minority groups. I am scared that one day the police officer that stops me will shoot one of my own because we are too dark to warrant respect and dignity during a routine stop.
It won’t be long before this starts happening to Latin Americans or Asians or Africans or anyone who happens to have curly hair and an accent. I rue the day someone asks me for my papers because of my Spanish name. The way things are going my children will have to learn how to be polite to a police officer so they don’t end up dead. This is why we can’t have nice things; the envy of those who can’t imagine we are capable of earning a good wage and paying for luxuries like the white folks do is going to cost us our lives. Black people in particular aren’t supposed to be civilized. How dare they aspire to have the same rights and values as the Caucasian people!
I’m sick to my stomach. Flabbergasted. I can’t even think straight. When is this nonsense going to end? When are we going to be able to feel safe in our own communities? When are we going to listen to our fellow Black Americans and end this cycle of discrimination and endless violence against their kind? When are we going to protect them against ourselves? With so many lost to this prejudice isn’t it time we took color out of the equation and started to value their lives as the white folk value their own? For the sake of our children it is time we educated ourselves and erradicated hatred from our lives?
If you read this and have no clue why I am so mad, please Google Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile or the Charlotte riots. Look up recent police shootings. Check out the Tweeter feed for #BlackLivesMatter. Think about this: A little girl witnessed her dad die in front of her because a reckless police officer decided her dad didn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and must be reaching out for a gun. Shame! Shame!
We need to unite and stand against bigotry and racism. Against any type of discrimination. It is up to us to make these lifes lost to violence matter. Never forget. Never give up. Fight the power!
Updated September 23rd 2016.