With everything in the media going on, there's a lot of conversation surrounding what happened to George Floyd, the black lives matter movement, and police brutality. This is by no means new, it's not surprising, but it doesn't make it any less wrong.
Today I re-posted on Facebook what a friend of mine said on the subject because there's little more I could add to it without making it seem redundant. After thinking about it, there are only a few things I can say from my point of view.
1. Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter - Although I do not subscribe to the 'all lives matter' movement, I do believe that every life should be weighed equally and that ALL LIVES do in fact matter. However, I realize that would suggest that all lives started off on the same playing field, which they of course do not. Some (myself included) are more privileged than others.
Unfortunately, history has shown that in the majority there has never been an equal start between different people (in race, religion, nationality, sex, etc).
Women's suffrage.... did it change things? yes. Has it demolished sexism? no.
Abolishing slavery....did it change things? yes. Has it gone away completely? nope
Civil Rights Movement....did it change things? yes. Does that mean Racism is gone? absolutely not
Where there is a clear divide in social class, there is a growing amount of life privilege, and as history has shown it is incredibly hard to get rid of no matter how hard people fight for equality.
This videos is a great example of 'Life Privilege':
2. Protests & Riots are NOT the same thing - There are so many posts going on about how people in Minneapolis are burning down stores, looting businesses in 'protest' or to 'get justice' for George Floyd. I can't even...fathom... just no people. no. I saw this video on Facebook that I agree whole heatedly with:
Cliff notes version:
- Stealing TVs is not getting justice
- Burning down a Target is not going to bring George Floyd back
- You've just taken away jobs from people in your community that NEED it to survive
- Destroying your own neighborhood is antithetical to what you're trying to achieve
- Go Home
3. I am part of the problem - I am fully aware that I am a privileged white girl. Most of the reason why I don't speak up about the injustice of racial headlines is because I feel like it would by hypocritical and none of my business. I see it as the same way I see the United States getting involved in foreign conflicts -- "We're bigger, badder and better than you little country, so we'll just come over and fight your war for you". No. Don't be a dick about it U.S.A. And I refuse to be a dick either and butt in when I've not been asked to.
But I'm beginning to realize now through other people's posts that me staying silent is perpetuating the problem. I'm inadvertently accepting racism as the status quote by not speaking out or acting on my beliefs- It's wrong. Police Brutality is wrong. The fact that racism is still alive and kicking is wrong. People say that racism is 'getting worse' and that's SO not true.
In a era where everything is documented on social media with videos and pictures, it's getting harder for people to ignore. Hate crimes continue to be caught on film and spread on the internet like wild fire. Each time it doesn't mean there's more of it in the world, it just means that people are wise enough to film what is happening and spread awareness.
I myself have not publicly witnessed anything like the brutal death of George Floyd, but I have been in the presence of people who make racial slurs and comments. The only thing I have done up until now has been to scoff and call them out on their racist comments. Best believe THAT isn't going to stop anytime soon. I will continue to speak up about how distasteful those slurs are, but now I have the job as a parent to make sure that my little boy knows that while he is so blessed, others are not as lucky and it will be up to us to try and end the cycle along with so many others.
(Thank you Adam, for the following article on this subject:
I will have to warn my son about the injustices that surround people of racial minorities, people of colour, and that it is wrong. I will teach him to have the courage to speak up against these injustices & how that may save someone's life and make him a superhero in another mother's eyes.
In the end, I know now that I'm not 'fighting others battles'. I am refusing to be complacent & I'm promising to teach my son not to be complacent either. The Cycle must end. There has to be a better future for our kids, especially for black men and women who fear for their lives because of dipshit bigots.