" If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."
The debate is so silly. "Why do they say that only black lives matter? Don't all lives matter?"
Let's think about that for a minute. The name of the movement is not only black lives matter, or, white lives don't matter. It's not even something as intimidating to hear as say, Black Panthers, or Black Power. The name itself is tame: Black Lives Matter. All of us who identify with the movement in one way or another are still scratching our heads over the majority population's issue with what it represents.
To listen to people like Sarah Palin and other right- wing zealots, you would think that the black lives matter movement is right up there with Isis as a group that should be feared in this country.
It's why I am not sure of what to make of some of the platitudes coming from politicians in Washington. There is a disingenuous nature to all of it. Let's just strike the right tone. Even though deep down we feel just like Sarah Palin and Bill O'Reilly.
I listened to Charles Blow on CNN last night, and he made an excellent point to Don Lemon, who was doing his usual best to make his white listeners feel comfortable.
I am paraphrasing, but he said something to the effect that he should not be apologizing for his blackness, and the burden shouldn't be on him to have to teach folks in the majority not to be racist. He argued that he is the one being victimized. Why should the one doing the victimizing, he wanted to know, get a pass?
He is right. The debate about racism and injustice in this country has always been about blaming the oppressed. If you call out racism, you are the racist. If you see injustice and speak on it, you are rocking the boat. "Can't we all just get along?"
We could. But the charlatans and hucksters who are profiting from making poor and marginalized white people believe that black people are the root of all of their problems would never stand for it.
On a personal note I need folks to understand something: If we never come together as a country it will not effect my life one bit.
It won't make my home or wife any less beautiful; it won't take a dollar out of my bank account; and it wont raise my golf score or improve my second serve or the quality of my backhand in tennis. I will continue to enjoy the life I have now, and the memories of a wonderful life that I have lived to this point.
This debate is about the people (black and white) who have been marginalized in this country, and the systematic and institutionalized racism that keeps tearing our country apart by denying people at the bottom of the social and economic ladder real opportunities.
To blame this on the black lives matter movement is just silly and wrong. It strikes me as people who need to look at themselves and their own short-comings, trying to find an excuse for something that they have failed to do.
This struggle for social justice and equal rights is not about black versus white; it's about the survival of this country. The sooner we all realize that and stop trying to blame or situation on a movement formed around a hashtag, the better off we will be.
*Pic from wikipedia.org