Lately, it seems like racism is spreading like wildfire.
Some blame Trump for this and it’s easy to do so.
However, I do not think Trump caused any of this.
Racism has always been here. Trump just revealed it to us.
With each protest and battle for each side to be heard, everyone stomps on the negativity and lets the aggression speak for the fight itself.
While actions do speak louder than words, I’m afraid the actions of some often overtake the message of many, causing you to completely miss the point.
I constantly hear white people clap back that "All Lives Matter" the minute someone speaks up and says "Black Lives Matter," but again, you’re missing the point.
Let’s think about something for a minute. Do you even know how the #BlackLivesMatter movement got started or WHO started it?
Before you start shouting that "All lives matter!" just think about what you’re saying.
They wanted to draw attention to the violence coming against the Black community. They wanted to highlight the egregious ways in which Black women, specifically Black trans women, are violated.
So, they came up with this political conversation, a way to announce to the country that not only are they HERE but that they matter. They ALL matter.
Which seems like it goes right along with the "All Lives Matter" campaign that keeps coming back around.
#BlackLivesMatter is an affirmation of Black folks’ humanity, their contributions to society and their resilience in the face of deadly oppression.
It was never about saying white people don’t matter or that black people matter more. It was simply to say, "We matter too."
I have no idea why this concept is so damn difficult to understand. I am white, and I understand it.
Mostly because I am neither deaf nor blind. I think that’s kind of all it really takes to realize that we’re not exactly being treated as equals here.
It doesn’t take having a black friend or coworker or knowing a person of color. It is as simple as opening your eyes to what is happening in front of you.
In 2015, 38 unarmed black men and women were killed by police officers in the United States.
In 2016, another 19 unarmed black men and women were killed.
In 2017, another 20.
And so far in 2018, there have been seven murders of unarmed black men and women by police officers here in the United States.
That’s 84 men and women that were labeled a danger by their skin color that never got to go home to their families. 84 people in four years’ time.
That averages out to nearly two deaths a month.
At what point did everyone decide this wasn’t a big deal?
#BlackLivesMatter really broke ground in 2014, after Ferguson Police Officer, Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown. Organizers rallied and developed a plan of action to head to the occupied territory, and over 600 people gathered to support one another and give voice to the injustices occurring across America.
What most people remember about that is the violence that ensued. There were people that got angry and started destroying property and while it gave a great name to the movement, it cast a negative light on its mission.
Ferguson was not meant to destroy a town. It was an aberration.
It was the start of something. It was a new voice.
What you don’t know is that Ferguson launched the beginning of a growing and powerful movement that’s sole purpose is to fight for the equal rights that should have already existed.
There are now over 40 chapters of #BlackLivesMatter communities. There are community organizers and centers and teams of advocates that have come together to support one another and promote healing and create bonds and allies within these communities.
No one should have to fear the police or fear walking down the street just because of their skin color.
No one should have their character assassinated in defense of a harmful act against them that was never warranted.
It’s easy to try to make everything sound equal by calling out "All Lives Matter," but all that does is redirect attention away from the injustices that are plaguing America.
Women are not treated equally to men. The LGBT community is not treated equally to the binary heteronormative community. And no one is treated the same as the white community.
At least not yet...