The Black Lives Matter Debate

I have grown tired of the endless back and forth. I have grown tired of having to defend my right to shine a spotlight on the killing of Men of Color without also having to prove I’m not anti-police. I have grown tired of specific segments of society telling me to stay quiet, not protest, not interrupt their day-to-day activities, turn the other cheek, and move forward. Yet here I am again today watching the news, and there it is predictable as can be, individuals like Sean Hannity and Rudy Giuliani using the tragic events of Dallas to denounce Black Lives Matter. I am again going through my social media feed and seeing an increase in the number of individuals posting the hashtag All Lives Matter. While all lives matter, we need to be honest and real about why the hashtag All Lives Matter became a counter-response to Black Lives Matter.
First, by saying Black Lives Matter, you do not state that other lives matter less or don’t matter at all. It never was. Black Lives Matter calls attention to an inherent problem, and that is the senseless killing of Men of Color by those charged with protecting the public. Now let me be clear because there are those out there who would jump on that statement and call me anti-police, which could not be further from the truth. To be a police officer, to know each day you risk your life so society can be a safer place takes a special person. However, there are always bad apples in any group, and even if it’s only 1% of the nation’s police force, the spotlight must shine on that 1% until that 1% is stripped of their power. Those who blame the senseless killing of five police officers on Black Lives Matter either don’t get it or don’t want to get it. They are the real race-baiters. No person of color who says Black Lives Matter wants to see any officer of the law killed. Communities of color did not celebrate the death of five good men; we mourned it. As we grieve, however, we cannot let individuals like Sean Hannity and Rudy Giuliani take a tragic event like Dallas and, through the power of the media, attempt to silence our voices against police brutality. It is not about getting over it and moving forward. It’s about this country no longer pretending that there are not very real issues that need to be addressed. It’s about people no longer using the lame excuse that you are anti-police by calling for the end of police brutality. It’s about finally having a brutally honest conversation about race relations in this country. Understanding that while All Lives Matter countering Black Lives Matter with All Lives Matter is like bursting into a cancer fundraiser and saying, hey, Heart disease is a problem too, you know. It’s true, but it is missing the point.

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