I’ve seen quite a few of my friends and family post with the hashtag #alllivesmatter. And for the vast majority of those people, it’s with good intentions. They are saying that black people, and police officers, and gay people etc. all matter. And they do, absolutely, I agree. But there’s a problem with simply saying #alllivesmatter, it tends to dismiss the real issues that black people face in our society.
#blacklivesmatter rose in response to the killing of black people by the hands of police officers where the suspect was unarmed, or not being confrontational, or already subdued by police. This has happened at at alarming rate. I really think the BLM movement should have labeled it #blacklivesmattertoo because that would cause less controversy.
The problem isn’t just that it has happened, it’s that in a lot of cases, the officers in question never get punished. Take the Eric Garner case, they had an officer ON VIDEO taking down Eric with a chokehold that is prohibited by the NYPD. There’s no disputing any of it. That banned chokehold killed that man, but the police officer was never charged. It was fully documented on video, and you couldn’t even press charges then.
That’s why Black Lives Matter exists, to try to help right these wrongs when and where they occur and to bring awareness to the fact that there is still a real problem when it comes to race.
I have friends and acquaintances who are (and who were) police officers, and I know that they are decent, awesome people who would never commit these kinds of acts. In fact the majority of police in general never would. But when it happens, all I want to see is that the bad cops who perpetrate such acts are brought to justice. And that doesn’t happen enough.
And if you don’t think this is about race, google for pictures of white people with guns around police. You can find lots of pictures with white gun advocates armed to the teeth where police aren’t flinching and killing them. In fact take the guy who shot up an abortion clinic not too long ago. White guy, who killed a police officer, wounded several more, and killed two civilians was taken alive. If there’s ever someone who should have died in an incident, it should have been him. You shoot at police officers, all bets are off, you SHOULD be gunned down. But he wasn’t.
So there IS still a problem, and that’s what BLM is about. I still really wish they were called #blacklivesmattertoo as I think that’s really the point they are making. They aren’t saying that ONLY they matter, they are saying they should matter as much as a privileged white person, of which I am one.
So please, don’t use #alllivesmatter even though your intentions are good, because it sweeps the real problems black people face to the side and it’s still a very real issue.
So in case any of this is unclear, my stance is the following:
- I support law enforcement
- I support the rights of people to protest injustice
- I want to see bad cops face consequences for their actions
- I want to see actual criminals face consequences for their actions
- I want unnecessary killings to stop
- All lives do matter, but there is still a racial problem in our society
The Black Lives Matter march in Dallas was peaceful, no incidents, in fact the Dallas PD twitter account was posting pictures including ones of protesters and police officers shaking hands and posing together. The attack was a disgusting, horrible thing perpetrated by a sick mind. It’s not anything anyone in BLM wanted.
Right now I’m scared for our country. I’m scared that violence will escalate and we’ll see more of these incidences. I fear for the safety of my police officer friends, and I fear for the safety of my black friends. It’s not a good time, but maybe, just maybe this incident will help people come together. People will support police, and also weed out injustice when it happens. We can only hope, and hope is a commodity that I have precious little of nowadays.