Why #AllLivesMatter Is Racist

Why #AllLivesMatter Is Racist

You May Have Good Intentions, But Let's Take A Closer Look
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Black Lives Matter was created after the 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin, and George Zimmerman was acquitted for the crime. However, the movement skyrocketed and gained national attention after the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. In both cases, unarmed black men were killed, no justice was served, and throughout the trials these men were continuously dehumanized by the media. Words like “thug” were used to rationalize and justify their deaths.

It’s important to note that Black Lives Matter is a movement. They have a website, specified guiding principles, and chapters across the United States. All Lives Matter has none of these, and does not exist on its own; it is a phrase that was created as a reaction to the Black Lives Matter Movement. While the idea of all lives mattering in the eyes of our government is nice, it fails to acknowledge the presence of racism in America. All Lives Matter was created because when black people said that their lives were important and deserving of respect, all that the egocentric white supremacy that exists in this country heard was that the lives of white people somehow didn’t matter. By saying the phrase “All Lives Matter”, you may have good intentions, but you are erasing the voices of African Americans, and other people of color, and essentially implying that what you have to say is more important than their lives.

The methods used by Black Lives Matter echoes some of the tactics used in the Civil Rights Movements. Similar to sit-ins, the Freedom Riders, and Martin Luther King Jr.; they believe in using the tactic of nonviolent, direct action. One small but vital aspect which sets their nonviolent protests apart from those of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), is their apparent disinterest in assimilation. Black Lives Matter does not aim to please white audiences in their fight for justice. On their website, they answer the question “What does #BlackLivesMatter mean?”:

“When we say Black Lives Matter, we are broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state. We are talking about the ways in which Black lives are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity.”

It’s no secret that racism exists in America. We were created on the ideas of freedom and liberty, but we can’t deny how slavery built up our economy, and for some time, our country. The “system” is not rigged against people of color by accident; it was built that way. From the beginning, Africans and African Americans in this country were legally (and morally) treated as property, and eventually were considered to be only three fifths of a person according to the Constitution in 1787. Fast forward over two centuries, according to a 2013 analysis at the Pew Research Center, in 2010, black men were more than six times as likely as white men to be incarcerated in both state and federal prisons, as well as local jails. In addition to this, according to a CNN report in 2014, over 27% of black Americans live in poverty, almost three times as many as the less than 10% of whites living in poverty.

So while the phrase “All Lives Matter” may sound inclusive, it is quite the opposite. It ignores the daily struggles of African Americans and other people of color. All Lives Matter pushes back against the fight waged by people of color who promote equality not only for heterosexual black men, but black women and members of the LGBTQA+ community as well. You may not agree with the tactics of Black Lives Matter, but you cannot deny the importance and relevance of their message. As the South African archbishop and civil rights activist, Desmond Tutu, once said: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor,”. To be blunt, by saying the phrase “All Lives Matter” rather than acknowledging the message behind “Black Lives Matter”, you are choosing the side of the oppressor.

Cover Image Credit: Red Millennial

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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To Prevent Another Shooting, We Need To See The Red Flags First

We have had 18 school shootings this year and it's time to do something about it; it's time to talk solutions.
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There have been 18 school shootings in 2018 and it's beginning to look like an epidemic. More people have died from school shootings in the last 18 years than in the entire 20th century. Yet here we sit, waiting for the next one to happen, without many bipartisan solutions to stop the next one. I get that we need to let families grieve and I want you to know this isn't me pushing a political agenda.

I'm simply sick of hearing about dead children and I know that basically everyone is as well, so why can't we come together and do something about it?

This isn't about taking everyone's guns away, revoking the 2nd amendment, a gun registry, background checks or assault weapons bans.

This is about doing something when we find kids struggling with mental illness who seem to be in danger of harming themselves or others. Keep reading to find out about some actual solutions for these tragedies.

School shooters don't care about background checks or weapons bans or age limits.

The Sandy Hook shooter took his mom's legally owned guns and there was a weapon ban in his residential area.

The Columbine shooters had their friend buy guns for them because they weren't old enough to buy any themselves and this shooting occurred during a nationwide Assault Weapons Ban.

The Virginia Tech shooter passed background checks regardless of his personal history. According to one New York Times article,

"Under federal law, the Virginia Tech shooter ...should have been prohibited from purchasing a gun after a Virginia court declared him to be a danger to himself in late 2005 and sent him for psychiatric treatment, a government official and several legal experts said Friday."

Also, the shooter killed 33 people with simple handguns! This is the highest death count for a school shooting in recent US history!

The Parkland shooter? A CNN article found that the Broward County Sheriff's office had "39 calls from Cruz's house over a six-year period."

Some claim that this is because Broward County was following Obama's guidelines that intended to reduce school arrests in an attempt to diminish the effects of the school-to-prision pipeline. A National Review article explains,

"Despite committing a string of arrestable offenses on campus... [the Parkland shooter] was able to escape the attention of law enforcement, pass a background check and purchase the weapon he used to slaughter three staff members and 14 fellow students because of Obama administration efforts to make school discipline more lenient."

The Parkland shooter obtained his guns legally regardless of his history of violence and was able to keep his guns even though people knew of his threatening nature.

Why is nothing done to prevent these situations? A few reasons.

Outbursts erupt in JCPS board meeting over effectiveness of school resource officers

1. We don't want to criminalize children - even when their actions are life-threatening.

2. Background checks have limits; sometimes, the checks don't include specific mental health history checks because this breaks certain patient privacy policy laws.

It's time we put these worries aside. If people have certain types of mental illnesses or violent histories, they should not be legally allowed to obtain guns and should be institutionalized!

I've heard it before, "criminals are already not allowed to legally get guns." Well, guess what, they'll somehow do it anyway because they don't care about laws, and, heck, some have done it legally!

It's time to put our feelings aside and institutionalize those who need to be away from the general public. These individuals should be in a mental facility or a prison or a combination of both for some restorative justice or whatever is deemed fit by a court ruling.

Anecdote: Would you like to know what happens when there are children with "school-shooter" vibes?

While volunteering at a school, I learned that, in such a case where children are exhibiting menacing thoughts or behaviors, the teacher tells the social worker. The social worker then notes this information and may have a conversation with the student. The student sometimes gets some counseling and...the cycle repeats.

If a child comes to school with dismembered animal parts again and again, nothing more than a few conversations occur. This is unacceptable!

No, this doesn't mean we "go after" all of the depressed and anxious kids in our schools.

This means we create plans for the kids who have threatened others with death, who have repeatedly mutilated animals for pleasure, who consistently make gory projects, blogs, or essays about murdering, who have purchased t-shirts saying "Born to Kill" or who have stalked others.

These are some of the warnings and red flags we gloss over and we can't afford for it to happen anymore.

Additionally--parents!--it's time to get real with yourselves! If your child exhibits these violent tendencies, turn them in! As much as it hurts, it could save lives!

The time to talk about solutions is now!

Saying, "Oh, they have a tough home life and are bullied, so we'll just get them some therapy" isn't going to cut it anymore. We need to follow up on red flags and kids who are at risk at endangering themselves or others need to be institutionalized. Only then will we see some change!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay at Pixabay

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