“All Lives Matter”
I will start off by acknowledging this statement may seem offensive to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, and I understand why…because right now the focus is on the tragic death of a black man, George Floyd. It’s recent and it’s raw. I’ve watched the video of his death and it made me sick to my stomach and overcome with grief. I have been seeing all the support posts, the black out posts, and have wanted to post something supporting those who have been hurt and affected by this tragedy. I do believe racism is still a problem in this country, but it’s just not that simple.
I’ve also watched all the protests and rioting and looting. I believe in protest and it has successfully served different movements throughout our history. What I do not support is using one tragedy to justify another. Using the death of George Floyd to victimize communities, business owners, and this nation is absolutely unacceptable. I believe that, instead of bringing awareness to the intended cause, these violent actions are undermining the cause and fueling further division, anger, and hatred. It has caused me to remain silent because I cannot support the response, even if I want to acknowledge and support the hurt and need for change.
I recently read a post asking Christian leaders, “why now?” Why the public support and outrage over this particular death when there have been so many others (referring to the deaths of black people). I would ask the same question…but with a little different meaning behind it. Why is this death more significant than the deaths that occur on a daily basis? Is anyone going to have the audacity to assume or assert that there has never been the death of a white person at the hands of a black person? Where was that outrage? How about the death of a hispanic person? What about the death of a black person at the hands of another black person? What about the death of a white person at the hands of another white person? Murder is murder and hate is hate. Why is one more significant than another? All murder should outrage us. All hatred should outrage us.
I understand that there are black people who have experienced hate and racism. I would also argue that there are white people who have experienced hate and racism. I would argue that every race has experienced these things. The degrees to which some have experienced them widely varies across race, religion, sex, culture, status, what have you. However, the issue is not one sided!!!
I believe there are crooked police officers. Like the rioters undermining the cause of the protesters, these crooked cops undermine the 99% of police officers who do actually put their lives on the line for all people of all races and gender…and they’re the ones who will pay the price and receive the hatred from what has transpired. I also believe there are criminals of all race, age, and gender…all of which deserve justice, none of which deserve to die the way George Floyd did.
The bottom line here is that there is injustice everywhere. No injustice is more important than another. No injustice justifies another. Continued attempts to overpower and dominate the narrative doesn’t change what is…this world is full of darkness. Every human being, regardless of race or gender, has a choice to make. We cannot continue to meet hatred with hatred. I’m not at all saying we need to stay silent when things like this happen, but we cannot continue to spew blanket statements that paint a false narrative. Not every black person is oppressed. Not every white person is a privileged supremacist. I am a blond haired, blue eyed, white skinned, middle class, heterosexual, conservative, christian. I grew up very underprivileged, at times homeless, with an absentee father and a drug addict mother. I was not afforded the same opportunities growing up as other more privileged children. I did have the same opportunity to an education and, when I became an adult, I had every opportunity I was willing to pursue and work for to make my future what I wanted it to be. It’s time we stop pointing the finger and take some responsibility for who we want to be as individuals and the legacy we want to pass to future generations.