While I do believe that all lives matter, I do also think that it’s critical that we are aware and acknowledge that something very wrong is happening to people of color. Black lives are just as important as white lives. There is definitely an inequality that is happening. There are far too many black deaths that occur on a regular basis. Something needs to be done, and something needs to be done immediately. I think it is important that as white people that we stop and listen to what people of color have to say. To allow them to speak their truth and what reality is like for them. To hear their stories. To really listen and listen with compassion and an open heart and mind.
I was trying to explain and have a conversation with my nephews who are 7 and 11 last night about the injustices that have been occurring for black people. I found myself trying to explain to them about stereotypes and how these stereotypes create fear. That there are general stereotypes for different ethnicities and because of this people are treated differently.
This morning when I was walking home I started thinking about stereotypes again, but I started to think of them from a different perspective. When I was younger I used to think that stereotypes were given for a reason, because that does tend to be what the majority of said race or group do. Today I started thinking about that if you were told you were something from the moment you were born then chances are that’s what you are going to turn out as. If a child is called stupid every day of his life by those around him, by the media, by movie and tv characters, after awhile they are going to believe that is who they are. What if a stereotype isn’t even real? What if stereotypes are actually just someone being conditioned over and over to believe something until finally at some point they believe it?
It is time to acknowledge that there really is something going on. That not everyone has an equal opportunity. It is time to open our eyes and see what is really occurring in the neighborhoods of black people. To listen to what black people have to say. Hear their stories of what life is like for them, because until we take the time to truly listen then the senseless murders and inequality is going to continue to happen. BLACK LIVES MATTER.
By saying that black lives matter does not mean that everyone else does not matter, or that black lives are now more important than other lives. All it simply means is that they matter just as much as everyone else does too. You support black lives and this does not mean that you think someone else is less than. This is not an either or situation. This is a black lives matter, AND white lives matter, AND mexican lives matter, AND asians lives matter, AND muslim lives matter, AND gay lives matter. It does not mean anyone else matters less. We are all humans. We ALL matter, but black lives are the ones who need our help right now. We are only as strong as our weakest link. Lifting those up around us, lifts us up too! Love and compassion is the answer!