I am not a person of color. I cannot and will not sit here and waste your time and mine by pretending to understand what people of color go through every day in this country. In fact, this piece won’t even scratch the surface of the strata of injustice that the large majority of this country turns a blind eye to on the daily. But that’s not the goal here.
While I hold deep in my heart an ardent, unwavering belief in the power of journalism, I don’t believe for a single second that a five-hundred word piece written by an upper-middle class white girl from a cul-de-sac in the middle of Suburbia, USA, will transform a nation so deeply divided as ours.
I know this article won’t change the world, and that’s okay. I’m far from a saint; there is a surfeit of others who are better qualified to speak on this topic than I. But I have been given a voice and a platform, and it’s time for me to take a break from writing about Grey’s Anatomy and my insane love for all things New Jersey and start taking advantage of it. (You can wait another week to find out what I’m currently watching on Netflix and what I think of Justin Bieber’s latest shenanigans.)
I’ve lived nearly 20 years without having to worry about things because of the privilege I have as a white person. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t faced hardships and discrimination (I’m a female in America, after all!) It just means these hardships weren’t a result of the color of my skin.
White privilege doesn’t mean you should be ashamed or embarrassed to be white. It means you should make a point to keep that privilege in check and remember that there are some things you’ll just never experience or understand because of the color of your skin.
I didn’t understand all of this from the very beginning-- but I’ve made it a point to educate myself about a movement for equality that I am behind 100%. It took time for me to really comprehend this concept of white privilege and how dismissive, rude, and ignorant saying “all lives matter” really is. But I know now, and I know that this silencing of a cry for justice needs to end.
Because here’s the thing: “Black Lives Matter” isn’t up for debate. To quote Louis C.K., one of my favorite comedians,"When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t." When someone says “black lives matter”, you do not get to dismiss them by saying “all lives matter.” You do not get to disavow their feelings and silence their cry for help. Yes, we are all important and all of our lives do matter. But that’s not the point.
The point of the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t to say no one else matters. It’s to bring attention to a community that is in dire need of justice and awareness-- not to tear others down or suggest supremacy of any kind. That’s what Trump is here for.
All lives do matter. But right now, certain lives need more attention than others. Individuals across the nation are coming together to demand justice- It's time to stop wasting breath trying to silence a cry that is more powerful than feigned ignorance will ever be. Saying “all lives matter” serves no purpose except to repudiate awareness. So please, just stop.