Why is it that every time people find a non-violent way to cry out against racial injustice we find a way to turn it into an offense toward some group it has nothing to do with? #BlackLivesMatter DOES NOT mean others don’t. That was a leap we made. And let me clarify here. When I say “we” I mean people who have not spent their lives feeling the brunt of racial injustice. Additionally, #blacklivesmatter does not mean “blue lives” don’t matter.
“…they were crying out against INJUSTICE, not people…”
During the week Philando Castile and Alton Sterling were shot and killed I saw many of my friends and acquaintances become VERY vocal on social media. They were sad, angry, scared, hopeless, etc… They cried out that Black Lives Matter because they felt like it needed to be said. At the same time, many who were arguably on the “other side of the equation” were silent. During the hours and days after the shooting of five police officers in Dallas, those who were previously silent cried out at that Blue Lives Matter because they felt like it needed to be said. And those people who had been shouting that Black Lives Matter stopped for a second. Not to be silent, but to cry out “No! This isn’t the answer!” “My prayers go out the families of the officers in Dallas.” And yes, for a moment, “Blue Lives Matter.” How could they say black lives matter in one breath and blue lives matter in the next? Because they were crying out against injustice not people; because this country has always been about coming together and reaching out to those in need. You know, “your huddled masses yearning to be free”.
“Please hear me, care about me and please help me! Because I cannot do this without you.”
Now we have athletes, professional, college and even high school, taking a knee during the national anthem and somehow we have determined that this is a disgraceful show of disrespect toward the military who make such an incredible sacrifice to allow us the opportunity to make protests like this one. First, if I were to sacrifice my safety and time with my family and possibly my life to create an environment that allows for freedom to protest and you protest, I would not be offended. I would be glad someone is actually taking advantage of the thing I’m sacrificing so much for. Second, taking a knee during the national anthem is NOT an f’ you to veterans or active duty military. It is a plea that cries out, “Please hear me, care about me and please help me! Because I cannot do this without you.” And if that’s not what this country was meant to be about, I don’t know what is.
“Rather than deflect the uncomfortable reality of racial injustice with manufactured righteous indignation, lets try compassion for a change.”
Rather than deflect the uncomfortable reality of racial injustice with manufactured righteous indignation, lets try compassion for a change. So when our fellow countrymen, our fellow human beings, our neighbors and friends are crying out to be heard, to be cared about and to be helped can we all just please “take a knee” and listen! What if rather than getting outraged at the perceived “injustice” they are committing we just reached out our hand instead?