The chaos of our culture at the moment is making me ill. I am constantly distracted by ignorance, and then when I do manage to focus on a task, I’m pulled away yet again trying to put words to my frustration … so here we are.
For White People: Please read this. First take a deep breath. Deeper. Maybe take one more just because… I’ll wait…..
It’s not about you. And that’s ok! It’s not about your need to defend or placate or explain YOUR side. It’s not about YOU. You, as a white person, are doing fine. Whatever hardships your life has dealt you, and I’m sure you’ve had a fair share as have we all.
….. let that sink in
Whatever you have had to endure, you did it with the basic human respect for you as a white person. However you may have fu&*ed up that original respect, that’s on you. You were probably even forgiven for it. Not the point. You have an unconscious ability to drive to work and home, to the store and home, to the doctor and home and know that if you had a flat tire, a car accident, ran a red light, or rolled through a stop sign you were still safe. If you were pulled over by a police officer you get that sinking “oh shit” feeling of an impending ticket, insurance payment spike, argument with your spouse, whatever. What you don’t get is immediate fear for your life because whatever that police officer wants to do is overlooked and your voice is not heard. You get to drive away with the worst outcome being a ticket.
I will not argue the semantics of this notion. You can metaphor that into any life situation you want. Expand it to any normal, everyday situation and you still have the same outcome. If you are white, you are likely to walk away.
Stop saying “All Lives Matter”. Please, for the love of God and Bud Light, stop saying this phrase. It is asinine. It’s hypocritical, to say the least, because it’s a different way of telling people of color that they are unseen in their own movement. The people saying this phrase are the ones who contributed to the need for the Black Lives Matter movement! It is uncomfortable to admit that as a culture we have not done enough to uphold and continue the civil rights movement. It’s comfortable being white. It’s not a struggle.
Do you have struggles IN your life? Yes. Is your basic life as a human a struggle? No. No it isn’t.
Stop telling people that All Lives Matter when you refuse to acknowledge the rampant problem in our country of racism. I saw a brilliant analogy on TikTok explaining if Karen is standing in front of her house, and Debbie is standing in front of her BURNING house, Debbie calls out for help to put out the fire. Karen quickly points out to Debbie that HER house matters, too …. but there is nothing wrong with Karen’s house… it is not the point of the issue.
It is exactly what you are doing by INSISTING people say “ALL Lives Matter”. If you break your leg and go to the ER and the doctor asks what’s wrong, what do you do? “Uhhh, my leg is obviously broken, doc, please fix it!” and the doctor just looks at you, chuckles and responds, “It’s ok, ALL legs matter buddy. No worries.” and sends you away…. what are you left feeling? You don’t give a flying fart about anyone else’s leg but the broken one.
Acknowledge what is happening. There is truth to this fight. Stop arguing the main sentiment. YES, there is horrible, awful racism and a police and justice system that is out of balance. YES. Agreed.
Then you can have a dialogue. Stop cutting off the hurt to point out the healthy areas. People of color are just trying to get society to admit this is happening. Be an ally for this truth if you cannot bring yourself to do anything else.
Also, to the allies that are doing all they can, thank you so much. On behalf of myself, I appreciate you. For all the people of color who have ever been effected by racism or bias or violence because of this, I am deeply deeply sorry and completely agree that it happened, and it’s horrifying in 2020 we are still doing this to you.
One last thought for you Caucasian folks out there; please just do the right thing. Stop flashing your “woke”ness in front of your black friends. They are working and living too hard to be your cheerleaders. Just do the right thing, people. Don’t do it to prove you aren’t racist. Don’t do it so you can be appreciated. Don’t do it because it makes you feel good about yourself. Do it because you would want someone to do it for your son. Do it because you would hope someone would do it for you. Do it because we are the only allies that can make a difference for the Black community and therefor it is our job to do so. You don’t get to wait for a pat on the back from a person of color because you put in effort. Once the message gets through, once there is actual change and we can all start to move forward safely together, then we can all celebrate. I can’t wait for that day.
And for any Black readers or people of color, there is nothing I can say other than I am sorry. I am so very sorry that this seemingly endless fight was not over before your time and I am certain you are tired. I see you and I am with you and I will do whatever I can.