"Did you hear about what happened to the police officers in Dallas?"
I did and I mourn for them and the families affected by it. But did you hear about Alton Sterling? Philando Castile? Where's their media coverage?
"Why are we focusing on black lives when we are all people?"
Right; we're all people. So why are we not standing up for those 100+ innocent, black people who were killed by police just this year? Seems a bit off.
"No, it's not #BlackLivesMatter - #AllLivesMatter."
Well, yes, they do, but that's not the point, is it?
Then what is the point?
When I say "Black Lives Matter," the very last response I want to hear is the retaliation that All Lives Matter. Stating that all lives matter erases the fact that black people are suffering right now. Every day they live in fear that if they come into contact with a scared police officer, they will be killed point-blank, no questions asked. How can we sit here and say that all lives matter when clearly our society does not see it that way? A man was killed in his car when he reached to grab his license as the police officer told him to and another was killed "because he posed a threat" while he was detained on the ground, pressed against a car, completely empty handed. And we are going to sit here and say that all lives matter when clearly black lives do not matter in a systematically racist society.
As a white female, I do not fear the police. And I never will. I know that the only way I will ever feel in danger of the police is if I assaulted or came close to assaulting the police. And even then, I'm not sure. But, I know, that if I were black, all it would take would be a funny look and the color of my skin to send a police officer in a frenzy.
You see, racism is not gone. And anyone who claims that it is does not notice the injustices happening right in front of them in their every day life. We abolished slavery but merely replaced the term "slaves" with "thugs" and "criminals."
"But not all policemen are bad!"
You're right. I agree. I mourn with the deaths of the policemen in Dallas. I realize that not all policemen are racist and most are truly looking to help and protect others. I am not against policemen; I am against police brutality. There is a large difference. But when you say All Lives Matter or even Blue Lives Matter, you are claiming that these lives, our lives, are more important than the black peoples' lives who have been lost.
This is not your movement. This is not about us. We live every day knowing that our lives matter, but black people, especially recently, question their very existence and importance every day. This movement is a cry for help and hope that there will be change. Do not take that away because we are no longer focusing on you.
Yes, all lives matter, but black lives are the ones we are losing. Our black brothers and sisters are losing their lives for doing virtually nothing. Do not stand by and claim that we need to focus on all lives when that takes away from their pain, their hurt, their suffering, their tears.
No, this is not a people issue. This is a race issue. I fear for my black friends lives and as their friend, as a person, I stand with them. I will fight for them. I will use my privilege that I was born into because of the color of my skin to give them a voice when society does not allow them to.
It is often said, "If you are neutral in times of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." Speak up. Fight for those who cannot. Without a unifying voice, no change will ever be made.
All lives cannot matter until black lives matter, too.
Do not stand by. Fight.