Black Duffle Bag Discussion
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Black Duffle Bag Discussion

There's something missing in the sentiment of #AllLivesMatter

91
Black Duffle Bag Discussion
Carter Maggipento

This weekend I had the opportunity to watch the cutest dog, Orlando Richard, while his parents were away (See Orlando’s Instagram Here). I brought my black duffle bag to spend the night, and it was packed tight with textbooks, my laptop, and clothes for the weekend. On Sunday, I was lugging this big bag around as I was transiting around Manhattan: To Tribeca for Church, SoHo for Coffee, Randall’s Island for a Soccer Game, and Union Square for Hillsong. When I was in public places or on the subway, I started to get weird looks. Were people observing me simply struggling to carry this heavy weight, or were they thinking something else. I’m a young male, half Mexican and half Caucasian, with tan skin and course, curly hair. I’ve been told I look Moroccan, Indian, Greco, Portuguese, Arabic and more. When a nineteen-year-old male steps onto your train, wearing all black and carrying around a stuffed duffle, what do you think? With the recent bombings in Manhattan, your awareness and fears of terrorism are amplified. What do you think of this young man?

At the same time, I have to step back and realize where I’m at. Being mixed, I can enjoy being white when it’s advantageous and enjoy being Mexican, or a minority, when it’s advantageous. I come from a middle class household. I go to a great college. I live in New York City. I am Privileged. Regardless of who I see above me on the societal ladder, I’m still pretty high up and I was born into this. Simply being born into a good situation has made me a racist, a sexist, a classist. I have a blind spot for those people who know others are looking at them weirdly, just like I felt this past weekend. The difference is that some people have this thought everyday of their lives, wondering how they’re being perceived and judged by those around them. The duffle bag metaphor not only is an object of fear for those observing, but a heavy burden for those carrying.

The black duffle bag benefits no one.

Unless we carry it together.

Humanity’s black duffle bag right now carries a lot of soundbites. “Black Lives Matter.”, “Police Lives Matter.” “Women's Lives Matter” “Gay Lives Matter.” “Unborn Lives Matter.” “Mothers’ Lives Matter.” “Muslim Lives Matter”. As much as the majority—the white, straight, male majority—would love to see the slogan “All lives matter” placed in everyone’s bags, it’s simply not.

“All lives matter” sounds good, really good, in theory. I wholeheartedly agree with that phrase, at least when it’s disconnected with the context of our current situation. But as a juxtaposition to the statement of “[insert minority] lives matter”, it is used as a ploy to hide the current problems we face. An All Lives advocate argues that all lives are equal. A minority advocate agrees. The difference is the urgency of the situation, because minority lives aren’t being treated equally. Carl Lentz, my pastor at Hillsong Church here in NYC says this,

“At THIS church, we are not saying 'all lives matter' right now because this is a logical assumption that most reasonable people agree with. All lives are not at risk right now. We ARE saying BLACK LIVES MATTER. Because, right now, black lives apparently are worth LESS on our streets. It's "our fight" not "their fight.”

An analogy that depicts the Black Lives Matter movement so well is this: If your house is burning down, and you call 9-1-1 and ask them to send help because your house is burning, the dispatcher won’t say “Sorry, but all houses matter”. Your house gets help because your house is the one in peril. Black lives are in peril.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but much of the “All Lives Matter” conversation is generated from those who are White, Conservative, and often times, Evangelical Christians (of which I fall into 1.5 of these categories). While the last thing I want to do is to degrade you for your race, your ethnicity, or your religion, I do want to share a parable from one of my favorite teachers:

Jesus answered by telling a story. “There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.

“A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’

“What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”

“The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded.

Jesus said, “Go and do the same.” (Luke 10:30-37 MSG)

Lets not be the like the “religious” people in this story, too busy caught in their pompous pride to lend a hand to the urgent situation at hand. Our perceptions and our empathy to the minority will change the painful situations they live in. This could all be a symbiotic relationship, really. When we, the majority, show empathy and love to the minority, we help them get out of a hole that our ancestors, and maybe even a little bit of ourselves put them in, and we are enriched by the sharing of experience and love, the only nonperishable thing we have on this Earth. Empathy is not All Lives Matter. Empathy is Black Lives Matter. Empathy is Gay Lives Matter. Empathy is Women's Lives Matter. Empathy is Marginalized Lives Matter. I want stand next to people and be with them, and be for them.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1097152

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

696516
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

724852
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

466915
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

286181
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

428472

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

287608

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

193541
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments