“WE MUST TAKE SIDES. NEUTRALITY HELPS THE OPPRESSOR, NEVER THE VICTIM. SILENCE ENCOURAGES THE TORMENTOR, NEVER THE TORMENTED.” –ELIE WIESEL
I didn’t find that quote on my own. I found it on Door Sixteen’s blog HERE. Elie Wiesel is a hella famous, remarkable human being who recently passed away, so I should have probably known it.
I am mad. I’m pissed off. I’m sick of trying to talk about these issues in a non-confrontational, calm, understanding way so as not to spark discord on my Facebook feed. No one on the other side tries not to hurt my feelings. I’m not well enough informed on these matters, nor am I a good enough writer, that I should tackle them in a public forum. But I need an outlet. And what better outlet than a running and makeup blog? (gee, I dunno Briana, maybe a political blog?).
I’m not putting forth these opinions for argument or judgment. I don’t want any discussion. Reading comments section on anything about racism makes me sick to my stomach. Fuck hearing both sides. Does that make me just as bad as the other side? One could argue that. But I’m sick of arguing. I just have some shit to get off my chest.
All lives do matter. They do, truly.
#BlackLivesMatter is not in opposition to #AllLivesMatter, but #AllLivesMatter IS in opposition to #BlackLivesMatter. It’s like going back and criticizing the “No Child Left Behind” act because it’s only for children. How about the “No Person Left Behind” act??? Huh??? How about it?! Yeah, now you just sound dumb. Almost as dumb as #AllLivesMatter. UGH.
All Lives Matter, while true, only serves to ignore the problem that Black Lives Matter is trying to point out in the first place.
The above is paraphrased from the article, The next time someone says ‘all lives matter’, show them these 5 paragraphs.
There are SO. MANY. REASONS. why America needs BLM. Why it means something. People getting butthurt about it because it excludes them is kinda the fucking point. Black lives have been excluded since the beginning of this country – from having basic human rights, from voting, from earning a wage, and still today, they are excluded from justice, from empathy, from fair representation in the media. For all of the people begging for the violence to stop when police die, and when there are protests become violent, WHERE WERE YOUR PLEAS WHEN THE BLACK PEOPLE DIED? WHERE WAS YOUR OUTRAGE?
In the court of public opinion, white lives matter more. No one person would agree with this (well, I’m sure some would, but let’s leave overtly racist scum out of this) and I’m not accusing any one person of feeling that way, but in so many subtle, insidious ways (media representation, social media outrage, NRA response, etc, etc, etc….I can’t et cetera enough), white lives have, and continue to, matter more than black lives. That is why #BlackLivesMatter is a thing. It’s saying they matter AS MUCH as white lives. They deserve AS MUCH justice as white lives. They deserve AS MUCH sympathy and empathy as white lives. It is a statement that recognizes that black lives have not mattered for as long as anyone can remember. And #AllLivesMatter is a slap in the face. It devalues and invalidates the black experience
…I imagine. I’m not black. I’ve never experienced systemic racism. I am white and I am privileged. Saying that I’m privileged is not the same as saying that everything has been easy for me. But the things that are hard for me are not hard because I am white. Many things that are hard for the black community are hard because they are black.
If you are white and do not understand the ways in which you have experienced privilege, please read: Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person.
If you stand up for #AllLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter, but not #BlackLivesMatter, please try to understand the experiences of black lives. Boiling it down to a sentence that, yes, I saw in a Facebook meme – When a black man kills a police officer, he is sentenced to death or life in prison. When a police officer kills a black man, he gets administrative leave…maybe. If you feel the need to argue (which I’m not letting you, btw, because this is MY outlet, and MY space), please educate yourself here: Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism.
I’m exasperated. I’m frustrated. I’m hurt, but I’m not even the one that deserves to feel hurt. I don’t know what to do about it, how to fix it. I just want to make people understand. At least as much as I understand, which (see above paragraphs) is not much. Wouldn’t life be easier if everyone agreed with you? It would certainly be easier if people weren’t dying at the hands of police sworn to protect them. Or at the hands of religious bigots who can buy assault rifles. Or at the hands of terrorists butchering the words of the god they believe in just to support their cause. More et ceteras. The world is an exhausting and hurtful place – and that’s coming from a privileged white girl, who has the ability to now ignore Facebook and Twitter and just read wedding blogs about pretty dresses.