I’m sure anybody reading this has seen the big social media buzz of #blacklivesmatter #bluelivesmatter #policelivesmatter #alllivesmatter and so on. This is all really starting to get tiresome. Not the #blacklivesmatter movement, but everybody that tries to make some other clever hashtag to combat the #blacklivesmatter movement.
We all know that #alllivesmatter. That is a no-brainer. What people are trying to accomplish with the #blacklivesmatter hashtag, however, isn’t that they’re trying to say black lives are more important than other lives or any of the such. They’re merely bringing to light the fact that yes, all lives matter, but right now we’re trying to focus on black lives because there is a growing number of people coming out of the woodwork that seem to believe that black lives are somehow inferior to other lives. These people are not just police officers, too. These people are lawyers, doctors, teacher, bartenders, and really anybody from any walk of life, rich or poor.
I read somewhere a little story that sums up the #alllivesmatter crowd quite nicely and I’ll paraphrase below:
- Imagine you’re at a party and everybody at the party receives a piece of cake but you. You’re irritated at this because you are being treated lesser than everybody around you. You say out loud, “but I want my fair share!” Somebody overhears you and replies back to you, “No! Everybody wants their fair share!”
How does this make you feel? Does this make you feel like you’re asking too much for your fair share? Now imagine we’re not talking about cake. (I know… I’m having a hard time not thinking about cake, too) Imagine we’re talking about being treated like a person, instead. Having a hard time imagining that? That’s probably because you’ve never been treated differently based on the color of your skin before.
The sad thing is that most often, people don’t want to believe inequality exists. It is easy to turn a blind eye to such things when you’re the one who stands to benefit from it. I am a white male. Louis C.K. said it best when he said that being a white man is truly the best thing there is. Louis C.K. (and I) are not saying that white men are better, either, but being white is clearly better. I’ll link that video below, but back to the point. Even though I stand to benefit from inequality, I am still fighting against it. The most hardship I’ve ever faced is in being an atheist, where I’ve had narrow minded individuals (who think they’re Christians) attack me for my beliefs. This is nothing compared being bullied by authority figures, such as the police, for being black, Hispanic, etc.
Here’s a little anecdote for you all to illustrate this. I live in Mankato, MN. This is mostly a college down. One night I found myself downtown and ran into some friends who I ended up sharing a few drinks with. I knew there was no way I would touch a vehicle after this. I called my friend up who happens to be black and live next to downtown to see if he could give me a ride, in my vehicle, to my house. He came downtown, picked me up in my vehicle (which he wasn’t acquainted with) and proceeded to drive and be pulled over because he didn’t fully turn the lights on (only turned them to fog lights). Upon being pulled over he handed the police officer his driver’s license and my insurance. I explained to the officer that this was my car and my friend kindly came to pick me up because I ended up having a few beverages. What did the officer do? He had my friend get out of the car, was screaming at him and his complacent face and asking if he had a problem with the officer. My friend was 100% cooperative, never once rose his voice, never made any threatening gestures and tried to be as kind as possible. Finally after two other squad cars showed up and they wasted 20+ minutes of our time they let him drive his intoxicated friend home. During this whole time the officers never asked anything of me, or even said a word to me after my friend was out of the car. How is this fair? Tell me how much his life mattered compared to mine? I was the only intoxicated person and yet my friend was the one they treated like garbage.
So despite that I personally have nothing to gain from this movement I will gladly stand next to my fellow men and women in this world and say that #blacklivesmatter. I say #blacklivesmatter because I am intelligent enough to realize that all lives matter, but right now we need to give some extra attention to the black lives that are being left behind. We, as a society, can only move as fast as our slowest member, so we can’t leave anybody behind. And by anybody, I mean that bigot, too.