Here’s the thing. I don’t really want to write a political blog, but today, I have to. If you want to tune out, then, please, go. No problem. Come back tomorrow and there will be pretty pictures of sunsets. Or animals. Or something.
Today, though, is my birthday. It’s my day. All day. And since this is my blog, every day, today I’m going to write about what I must. Please don’t mistake my typically light-hearted approach for a lack of caring about this serious and potentially explosive issue.
Today, I’m writing about things I’m not supposed to have an opinion on.
Today, I’m writing about Black Lives vs. Blue Lives vs. All Lives.
You see, I’m not black, so according to many I’m not supposed to have an opinion on black issues. It’s like the woman thing: I’m not one, so many believe that I should have no opinion on things that I can’t experience, such as pregnancy, or child-birth, or hormones.
Those perspectives have some validity. Some. Further, I’ve never experienced “driving while black,” so how can I know what it’s like to be truly afraid when being pulled over by a cop? Media reports would have me believe that too many cops just want to kill people of color.
If you believe the media, that is.
And, if you believe the media, Black Lives Matter has an important message that needs to get out. At this point, though, it’s very much at issue whether that message is helping us, or hurting us, as a society.
Here’s one thing that’s wrong with Black Lives Matter. The Movement, if I can call it that, feels that they have the right to say what they want whenever they want. They want to be rude and condescending if it suits their personal goals. They’ve interrupted public gatherings. They’ve blocked traffic on freeways. They’ve done all manner of things simply because they want to get attention for their cause. The Movement feels that they deserve more attention, because they aren’t getting enough consideration.
They want me to believe that Black Lives Matter … and I do. I did. My beliefs had nothing to do with a demonstration on I-70.
And I don’t know about you … but I’m certain that I learned that being rude is NEVER a way to get people to help you. At this point, it’s hard to care what BLM is concerned with when all I hear from them is racist screaming.
There’s another problem: the Movement has now been usurped by evil doers, like the sniper in Dallas. He used a BLM protest to target and kill policemen … and far too many people in the Movement act as if they are happy with that. OK with that. Not responsible for that.
They act like they’re getting attention now, so that’s a good thing. No matter what caused that attention to happen, and no matter what pain has resulted.
That, simply, shows a callous disregard for human suffering. That is unacceptable.
It’s not OK for black lives to be treated as having less than full value … but it’s also not OK for that tragedy to be used to justify the suffering of others. Yes, we have social issues that continue to need to be addressed. Political issues that need to be addressed. But harming more humans, other humans is not the answer. More deaths will not help any of us.
I don’t see the world in black & white. The world is much more nuanced than that … as Trevor Noah recently explained on The Daily Show (full video link is below):
I am pro-human. I am pro-American.
I am anti-hate. Anti-discrimination. Anti-rudeness.
Those that seek to divide us are wrong.
We are human, and we all fall short of the glory of God. We humans make mistakes, every day. We must endeavor to end them, however, and strive to be fair to all of our fellow humans. OF COURSE our police should be fair to all. OF COURSE our citizens should be treated fairly and given every opportunity our freedom allows.
The Black Live Matters movement is a problem. They seem to believe that if they scream at people who are not their enemy, then they will achieve their goal. They seem to believe that everyone must embrace everything they say, yet they need not be responsible for how they are communicating their message of separateness and hate.
While BLM protestors were marching in Minnesota – just hours after the shooting in Dallas – they were chanting “Pigs in a blanket, fry’em like bacon.” That incredibly insensitive, ill-timed message of hate has no place in our society.
Police should protect and serve all of us. However, it’s foolish to think that they do not need to be concerned with their safety while dealing with the great unwashed public of all colors … which includes evil doers. And unthinking drunks. And emotionally unstable criminals. And hallucinating drug users. And rude people who don’t think they need to obey instructions from anyone, including legitimate authority figures such as our police.
My nephew is a police officer, and he had an occasion for some community policing this week with a young black man who wants to be a police officer someday:
I trust Paul is a more accurate representative of our society than those hateful protestors in Minnesota. I believe he best represents us – Black. Blue. All of us.
End of political statements. You’re entitled to your opinion, too, so please feel free to send me your thoughts.
On your birthday.
Meanwhile, please enjoy the links below that offer a full spectrum of opinion on this issue.