Why do so many people immediately get defensive when we say that #BlackLivesMatter? Why do they immediately scream that #AllLivesMatter, damnit!? Do they really think we're not capable of caring for everyone while we work hard at undoing one particular injustice? I promise: Our complex brains are made exactly for this! Empathizing and caring about more than one thing at once!
People that fling the #AllLivesMatter around fail to really grasp the concept of #BlackLivesMatter, so I'm gonna break it down for you:
When we say #BlackLivesMatter, we don't mean that #WhiteLivesDon'tMatter or #AsianLivesDon'tMatter or #LatinoLivesDon'tMatter. We know in our hearts that all lives do truly matter, but at this point in time, when Black men are being murdered by police officers, apparently we need to remind folks that #BlackLivesMatter too, damnit.
Full comic from the above tweet can be found here.
If you say that we need to save the rainforest, you're not saying we should go crap on every other type of forest out there.
If you say that we need to protect the endangered Western Lowland Gorilla, you're not saying that nobody cares about kittens. Trust me, kittens are in no danger of being ignored, and in fact hold the monopoly on much of the attention people pay to animals online. White people: you are the kittens of humans. Trust.
I think you get the picture.
This country was started by white folks... many of whom owned Black people as slaves. And our constitution was created to serve the needs of those white men. That's just how it was. Our country was built on that blueprint. Somewhere along the line, folks got their heads out of their asses and added amendments that made women and POC equal in the eyes of the law, but those years of having a country built on the backs of slaves can't be erased with the addition of amendments.
Despite claims of equality, there are no laws in place that offer to rebuild the racist infrastructure that this country was built upon. No plans to disassemble and rebuild a system that promotes white lives over black ones.
As a white person, I do not fear walking down the street or being stopped by a police officer. I do not have to teach my son that he is going to get pulled over at a much higher rate because he is white, because that doesn't happen. I don't need to teach him that as a white kid, if he has a problem that he should look for a helper that is NOT a police officer because who knows what the outcome might be. My friends with Black children do not have this luxury. This luxury to not worry about their children in this way. That is not okay.
One thing I notice that #AllLivesMatter folks like to spout off is that we don't know what it's like to be a police officer. And they're right. I don't know. But neither do most of these armchair commentators. So, I will listen to the police. I will listen to Police Chief Jody Kasper, who posted this yesterday in response to concern from those in my community about what our police station is doing. THIS is how police officers all over the country should be responding.
Know better. Do better.