There is a fire and anger burning inside of me that is a result of America’s deliberate ignorance and her blind-eye to the valid, active and pertinent issue of race and what it’s materiality means to the imploding future of all of us. -ETK
The movement #BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, and dead 17-year old Trayvon was post-humously placed on trial for his own murder. –Black Lives Matter
Just yesterday, August 8, 2015, in the aftermath of the death of 19-year old Christian Taylor, in my adopted hometown of Arlington, Texas, I went ahead and shared these thoughts below on my Facebook page:
“Another unarmed young man in shot down in Arlington, Texas. Yes, he was involved in a criminal activity, but was he a danger to any of those officers? I want someone else to tell me again that this is a so called “humanity” problem and has nothing to do with race! My God! RIP Christian Taylor.”
Considering how offensive, absurd, and preposterous, some of my friends find the tag and movement #blacklinesmatter, I was not a all surprised to receive some negative feedback on my post. I’ve been in this social justice game long enough to know that anytime I talk passionately and unapologetically about race and gender, “people’s minds are gonna be turning” and “mouth’s gonna be moving.”
Earlier today, someone posted a comment on my public wall which I want to share with you both the comment plus my response. Now, sharing my Facebook posts is not something that I would usually do, but since I had already been debating sharing another blog post on #blacklivesmatter, and this comment and debate is directly connected to everything this blog is all about, I say why not.
Do you think white people who break the law automatically get an immunity from being shot at by the police? You don’t cry “injustice” when a black cop shoots black suspect, or a white cop shoots white suspect. But the moment a white cop shoots black guy: gosh, that’s because he is black. When police respond to a crime, they don’t have X-ray vision, or ability to predict an individual’s actions. If someone acts in an aggressive manner at 2am, after breaking in and vandalizing dozens of vehicles with a crowbar and not responding to officers’ commands, they may get shot. Plain and simple! Stop making it about the race! You don’t hear about all the incidents of cops shooting unarmed white teenagers because it’s “not media worthy” but a criminal who gets shot while breaking and entering makes national news because he black. If someone breaks into my home, I’ll shoot him first and then look at his color
I respectfully appreciate you posting this on my wall because it is my belief that dialogue is extremely fundamental in transforming systems of power and the minds and ideologies that make up those systems. When I talk and share my thoughts on the black lives that continue to be lost at the hands of police, I am not in any way or form discrediting white lives that have been lost in similar circumstances. As you am sure are aware, in relation to race and gender, the notion of privilege in the United States of America is something that is first and foremost reserved for white males. Thus, when a white man in shot down at the hands of police officers, the REALITY is that the procedurals of that case are going to be fundamentally different than if a white woman is shot down, that if a black woman is shot down, and God forbid, a black woman is shot down. That is white privilege signifies. It signifies that certain lives matter a lot more than others. And I am speaking that from both from a sociologist perspective and as a black woman, who has seen this happen time and time again. I cry INJUSTICE when I see black young women and young men shot down because the aftermath of those cases, is not treated with the same level of significance as it would have been, had the color of their skin been different. So in as much as I appreciate you pointing out the fact that I should stop making this about race, you speak as a privileged individual who doesn’t always have to consider the fact that while you are driving, you might be stopped precisely because your skin colors comes is a baggage of stereotypes that follow you everywhere you go. You can tell me to stop talking about race because there will never be a point in your life, where you will have to fear that you might not come back home that day because someone saw you on the street, made assumptions about who you are based on your skin color, and decided to follow you and take you down. It makes me upset that we still are in a country, which refuses to even slightly SLIGHTLY sympathize, and see the world, and see America the way that we do. See the injustice in the number of black bodies that have been falling off over the last year, see in the injustice in how the law has failed to bring justice to those lives. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, #blacklivesmatter is not a testament about other lives not mattering. It’s a testament to get all of us thinking about why it is that black lives cost so little in this country. Why we have black men and women shot down left and right. I really don’t understand the need for people to remind us that all lives matter just because we want to talk about BLACK LIVES! Should my right to talk about black lives mattering also be taken away?
Share your thoughts and Unravel Away Artist.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -Martin Luther King, Jr.