At least it shouldn’t be.
I understand the potential backlash for one of my very first posts being on such a divisive topic. A lot of people feel very passionately one way or the other about the Black Lives Matter movement. And they should. It’s an important topic, one that deserves attention and conversation. As Americans, we must band together to fight the injustice that takes place against any group, whether it be race, or ethnicity, or religion, or profession. But the critical thing is that we do it together.
There are a lot of statistics that backup every side of this argument. But I’m not going to talk about statistics, because in my experience most people have a very emotional response to this topic. And that’s exactly how it should be. Statistics show numbers, and we’re not numbers, we’re people.
These are my uncles. They are both police officers. Like the vast majority of police officers in the United States, neither of them has ever beaten anyone, discriminated against anyone, targeted anyone, or killed anyone. They’ve each worked and patrolled in predominantly Black, Hispanic, Asian, you-name-it communities and never once had an issue with any of the citizens they are sworn to protect.
I’ve never been male and I’ve never been Black and I’ve certainly never been both, so I realize the irony in me writing about this issue. What does a white female who was born and raised in Idaho know about Black Lives Matter?
Well, I know this:
I know that all lives matter. And I know that the Black Lives Matter movement is bringing light to the fact that the institutions in our nation have rarely acted as such. I empathize with the organizers and protesters, and I support their agenda to make America a truly equal nation.
I know that this is my country, and my fellow citizens are hurting. It doesn’t matter that I’m white and they’re Black, Hispanic, Muslim, and Asian. It doesn’t matter that I’m not religious, and they’re devout Catholics, Mormons, Christians, and Hindus. If one of us hurts, we all hurt.
To me, this whole thing is not about Black vs White, or Cops vs Citizens. It’s about good vs evil. There is good and there is evil in every grouping of people. After the shootings in Dallas, I saw Black Lives Matter protesters band together to help the police and offer them comfort. In the wake of Ferguson, I saw police officers helping store owners pick up the pieces of shattered store fronts that had been burned and looted during the riots.
Here in my own city, a peaceful and cooperative protest was held, where Black Lives Matter activists walked shoulder to shoulder with members of our police department. They had open dialogue and communication and they were working to understand each other. At the end of the evening, as officers were directing traffic so the protesters could make it home safely, a single group of about 15 individuals started destroying property and hurling water bottles and insults at the police. Which part of the protest do you think made the news?
I think the most important thing to remember through all of this is that we are all in it together. You can be a part of the BLM movement and still respect and support our law enforcement officers. You can have the utmost respect for law enforcement and still demand that their tactics and practices be improved. Don’t be divided by “Black vs. Blue”. Neither group is going away, so it’s better to collaborate than it is to incite conflict.
“Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples by judging ourselves by our best intentions.” – President George W. Bush