Black Lives Matter – When me generalizing “you” is bad, then you generalizing “you” is bad
As part of my efforts to stay informed, I read many articles about politics and sociology. Because I often feel like the “news” article presents a singular point of view of the author and most particularly of the organization, I also scroll down to the comments section.
I find that reading the comments section gives me a view of what others are thinking. This is true no matter what “view” is presented in the actual piece. Angry people and intellectuals of both sides will present “their” story.
What I am finding is that there is a tremendous amount of anger on either side of the race issues troubling our society.
Regarding the Black Lives Matter “movement not a moment”, the originators of the “official” BLM group are three women who intended for the movement to meant “Black Lives Matter Too”. That is not what they said though.
What they said was simply “Black Lives Matter”. This slogan has been used by groups promoting violence, by groups loudly protesting the statement “All Lives Matter”. This has been done to the point of guilting one politician into an apology and by pushing another politician who was likely the most supportive of the movement, off of the stage at his own political gathering, depriving the thousands of people who had come to hear him speak, the opportunity to do so. Other times, it has been done with much greater violent efforts.
Many white people have responded in anger, hate and vitriol with statements of “F*** You” or other statements that are much, much worse and sometimes SHOUTED on the internet. Others who attempt to be more reasonable state simply “All lives matter”, often provoking a stream of “F*** You” from the black “side” or other statements that are much, much worse and sometimes SHOUTED on the internet.
The BLM position is that saying “All lives matter” is inherently dismissive of the original intent of Black Lives Matter…Too. But they didn’t say “Too” and many who are co-opting the name and slogan, seem unaware of that unsaid “too”.
They promote violence against “whitey”, “crackers” and “pigs”. “Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon” and all – specifically directed against white cops, not all cops, but white cops. Many tirades on comment streams and YouTube openly demand the killing of whites – in retribution, or just because. My daughter and all of her white friends are called “Becky” at school, by a particular black girl. Her name is not Becky, nor are any of her friends named Becky. I would never have named her Becky because the name brings up bad memories but she is called that because the black girl said “That is the whitest name I can think of”. Not violent, but racist. Imagine if my daughter called the black girls “Tamika” or “Quanesha”? Neither are violent, but racist. One is OK, one is not.
One blog I recently read, entitled “I Don’t Discuss Racism With White People“, written by a black man, an apparently peaceful man (and I say that because I don’t know him), had the position that all white people were inherently responsible for correcting a problem of racism because “they” had all benefited from “white privilege” even if only tangentially. He stated that in his view, even white children were responsible.
The Black Lives Matter and many of the peaceful who are not members of the movement, bristle when they feel like they are generalized as part of a group who is promoting violence and say “I” am not like that. They dislike the generalization of “you”.
But they also bristle when white people who are given examples of virulent racism, say “I” am not like that. They, even as peaceful as they are, want to believe in the “you” of racism against blacks. “You” whites are all racists, whether you know it or not.
Many of the angry black people inevitably bring up the KKK and white supremacists as examples of why promoting violence against whites is OK, at the same time, denying membership in new groups that are violent. Whites who say “I” am not a member of KKK, white supremacy or any other hate group are dismissed as ignorant people who just don’t get it because “we” are “privileged”.
Why is it OK to support the violent anger of some young men and women, to deny participation, to object to generalizations about blacks, while is also OK to generalize about whites? Why, if you as a peaceful person are not responsible for the views of a few, do you insist that I am responsible for the violence of the KKK, slavery, and Jim Crow laws that largely happened before I was born.
I am not a young woman and yet the civil rights movement which ended Jim Crow – and much of the KKK activity, happened before I was born and I am to be responsible. Slavery ended before my great, great, great grandparents were born yet I am to be held responsible. In an even greater offense, my children who are not even yet out of public schooling are to be responsible. They have never used the “n” word but cannot utter the word “black” for threat of being labeled a racist. They are identified as racist even if they say nothing, simply because they are white.
They cannot help the skin they were born in any more than the black children can.
Cities are burning, people live in desperate poverty, people are dying – yes, many of them are black. Those black people deserve attention.
As a white person, I know that many whites live in poverty and die at the hands of another race as well. That is dismissed as unimportant because even those poor, dead people must have benefited from white privilege at some point and so were inherently responsible.
What happened in our country years ago was wrong. I cannot change that. What is happening now is today.
It seems as if the violence of “Hands up, don’t shoot” is not a noble attempt to bring a change so that all people are equal, but to drag others down into misery with them.
Don’t you see, that if you truly believe “we” whites have not changed, allowing a violent group of young, angry black men and women to take out their frustration on “us” in violence will bring back the violent behavior that you believe has bubbled under the surface back out so that “we” will be forced to act against “you” black people. Don’t you see?
Why do more of those who are not a part of the violence not speak out against the violence? Don’t you see that standing by, while angry black young men and women commit violence against white people is silent support of their violence?
Don’t you see that when a group of angry black young men and women commit violence against a group of young white men and women, you will make them angry even if they weren’t? Don’t you see that we can still become the thing that you fear? “We” once were, some of us still are – and we can, as a group, become that again.
I assure you, that the capacity for my children to become hateful, violent racist is there. In the same way that you can make a puppy into a vicious dog, you can make children into vicious adults. Is that what you want? Just like “you” stand by today, defend the rights of the oppressed young to be violent or even just stay silent, “we” can stand by tomorrow when the clock turns back 50 or 60 years.
I am not asking that you lay down in submission. I am asking that you hold your head high and speak for what is right. I am also asking that you not expect my children to lay down in submission, to pay retribution for since of their forefathers. I would rather they hold their heads high and speak for what is right but someday, they may not.