This is my take on #blacklivesmatter. I understand the emotions that some people get when they hear or see #blacklivesmatter and they are polar sentiments. There are some people who hear this and think, “Doesn’t my white life matter?” There are others who think, “Of course my life matters, how dare you mitigate my struggle?” in response to the former notion. These are both valid responses, but I think they are mildly myopic.
I think that because of the current condition of the union, we have to have some polar responses. I think that these charged activities are necessary for change in the same way that women’s liberation and tree hugging are necessary. When I meet feminists, I tend to sympathize with their feelings. I understand that they feel alienated in a masochistic and fairly patriarchal world hierarchy. This life isn’t fair to so many marginalized personalities and demographics. When you want to push in a nail, you use a freaking hammer, not margarine.
As for those who are offended by #blacklivesmatter, calm down. You’re getting offended, because you feel like this is reverse racism. You enjoy privilege that you aren’t even aware of. You’ve been able to use any toilet you wanted to all your life and you can sit anywhere on the bus. There are people who still live and breathe whom survived the days of Martin Luther King. Nobody is going to destroy your way of life, your comfort. They just want to be treated equally.
If you are black or Mexican in the Ventura County area. If you are dark skinded practically anywhere in this country, you will be racially profiled against. You will be treated as though you have a greater propensity for violence and fraudulence. White people don’t have to worry about tinting their windows so that the police can’t tell how many people are in the car or how likely it is that drugs are on board. Many of our officers assume that white folk don’t get high like that, or carry weapons into banks.
I’ve been robbed at gunpoint once in my life. I was working at a perfume outlet off Maryland Pkwy in Las Vegas. I had a feeling this dude was gonna try and steal a bottle or two, so I gave him my attention while I tended other customers. As soon as the ladies left, this white young man pointed a .45 at my face. I swear to you I felt what felt like heat emanating from that barrel from 3 ft. away. I dove, I was terrified. He was white and they never caught him. I don’t know how much harder they would have tried if the dude was Afro-American. I really don’t know.
What I do know is that we need to try and foster an attitude of acceptance among us. We gotta stop fighting. We gotta stop hating. The police need to condition their minds to avoid stereotyping. You can judge a book by it’s cover, but your eyes can tell lies.
I share this following story a lot, because it moves me toward compassion. I understand that the world is broken, but I choose to hope. Forgive me for paraphrasing, I haven’t’ read it in a while One day, Jesus was in a foreign land (yet within Israel.) He walks up to the Samaritan woman and asks for a cup of water. She looks at him incredulously and said, “Are you seriously a Jew asking a lowly Samaritan for water?”
The Jews hated Samaritans, they despised them in much the way that some current Israelis dislike Palestinians now. Some Jews might be inclined to spit on them. Some Jews would let a Samaritan bleed to death in the street without batting. This one Jew of whom I am quite fond, well he loved everybody. With absolute indiscretion he loved that Samaritan woman.
So he says to her, “Listen sweet heart, I know who you are… I know who I am, but if you asked me for a cup of water; I’d give you a drink that would cool your tongue for life. She stammered for a moment, ringed her hands and then her face hardened again as she asked a bit flustered, “Who the fuck are you?”
And Jesus said, “I know that you’ve had five husbands, and you’re with a dude right now who doesn’t even love you; in fact he beats you and you’re out here by yourself, alone at a well, in a dangerous way.” She fell to her knees and started crying, she couldn’t believe what this psychic had just said to her. He came over and put his arms around her in a gesture of comfort. He gently took the cup from her hand as she sobbed. He filled it with water (from thin air) and gave her a drink.
When her heart had slowed to a normal pace again, she took a deep breath, kissed his hands and in a flurry of excitement ran back to the Samaritan township and spread the word that Messiah had come and he’d told her about all her life’s woes without ever knowing he before. Some of them believed, some of them kept hating Jews; but all of them knew within their hearts… they knew that it wasn’t right to hate people for no reason at all. We know that hate can never actually have a good reason. We know how to love, we just need to do it. Love your neighbor, love your self… love your enemies and the world will be a better place.