If you have ever considered, thought about, or even actually asked “Why do black lives matter?” you are a racist. I’m not sorry to say it, and yes, it is that simple. Here is why.
If you even have to consider why a black person’s, or any PoC’s life, matters, then you are a racist because you are automatically assuming that it is questionable that they matter all. I guarantee you have never thought to yourself – why do white lives matter? Why does any white person’s life matter at all? And you know why you’ve never thought of this? Because you have never, ever been taught that your life is insignificant. In fact, all you ever hear is that your lives are the only ones that matter. White people (and no, I do not exclude myself from the issues that I am writing about) believe so strongly that it is RIDICULOUS that any other races lives could matter as much as theirs that millions of them got behind #AllLivesMatter – the definitive proof that progress is non-existent.
How dare we perpetuate white superiority and eradicate black pain and black experience (in fact, all ethnic minority pain and experience) by ignoring the specific issue of the white race throwaway attitude to black existence? How dare we make light of the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile and countless other black men and women, black queer and trans, black non-binary and homosexual and all types of black and non-white PoC by even suggesting that their deaths were their faults because they don’t matter?
#AllLivesMatter is a self-refuting detraction of PoC importance. Here’s why:
1) If #AllLivesMatter to you, then why wouldn’t you support a movement that promotes the advocation of the meaningfulness of black people’s lives? Sure if you care about the life of all people, as you profess by using a hash tag that says #AllLivesMatter, you would support justice for those unfairly murdered by police who are meant to be protecting the lives of ALL people… not just white lives? #BlackLivesMatter was not and is not a hashtag that is trying to say that black lives are more important than any other life. That is categorically NOT what the hashtag is about. It is saying that black lives need to acknowledged at the same level as any other life, especially white lives. All lives should be seen as equal as we all have the fundamental human right to life, and black lives matter is a movement that is advocating the equality between us. Black lives matter as much as anyone else’s, and that is what they are trying to say. Here is a direct quote from the #BlackLivesMatter website itself:
“#BlackLivesMatter doesn’t mean your life isn’t important–it means that Black lives, which are seen as without value within White supremacy, are important to your liberation.”
2) You are deliberately detracting from the focus of injustices about black people and making it about you. The concept of acknowledging that people have the fundamental human right to life, no matter what race or ethnic background, is not something to made into a white person’s privileged complaint. We, as white people, HAVE to stop making the injustices against black people about us. We are NOT systematically repressed. Why are we trying to make it look like white people are the ones being oppressed? I see countless white people on twitter literally trying so hard to relate oppression to the most insignificant events in their lives, which black people can literally be murdered for. This HAS to stop. Why are you trying to detract from the black experience and ignore the fact that as a white person, it is literally impossible for you to be systematically oppressed like black people and people of colour have been for thousands of years?
It has to stop.
We need to educate ourselves. We need to see that the continued systematic oppression and the white supremacy has NOT ended, and is not going to be over unless we use white privilege to combat racism.
I also, as part of the emphasis on Black Lives Matter, strongly recommend that everyone watch the new Netflix original show, Dear White People, which conveys in an accessible and contemporary fashion the EXACT issues that young PoC, and especially black people, are facing in the increasing racist world of 2017. I watched the Dear White People film and thought it was incredibly important, and personally the TV show is even better. It shows you the different experiences of several young black people at a university in America in the wake of a Blackface party by white students, demonstrating how no black experience is exactly the same as any other and how activism and awareness (or staying woke) of systematic oppression and its effects is essential. As a white person who will never experience what these people experience, watching this has been incredibly important for me. Liberation cannot be achieved unless we use our white privilege to say what black people cannot say or do for fear of losing their lives. White privilege is one of the most powerful tools in our society, and it’s about time we started using it the right way.