Understanding the BLM movement as a white person

I’ll admit when I first hear “Black Lives Matter” I thought, hey all lives matter, and all lives do matter. However after reading stories and actually taking time to reflect on BLM I began to understand what it really was. By saying BLM, does not negate other lives. The purpose of the movement is not to disregard white people, Asians, Hispanics, and so on. Its mission (at least IMO) is to bring light to the devastating facts of how black lives are often ignored and thought of as less than by so many. Now of course that is not say that there are those out they aren’t meaning only black lives matter. Of course (just like in all walks of life) there are going to be people who take it too far. There are going to be bad people involved in the movement, it’s unfortunate and even more unfortunate that these are often the voices that are seen but I don’t believe it’s the majority. The majority want to bring to light that being black still has negative implications. Being black in a store means you are more likely to be followed around, being black means working twice as hard to prove your just like everyone else, and most of all being black means being seen in a negative way by those who have authority. If anyone takes a moment to think about what it must be like to be in that position, you may begin to understand why BLM is so important.

I can hear the complaints now “black people are racist too”, and honestly that’s true. There is not one group of people who doesn’t have someone who is racist or prejudice but (and it’s a big but) the effects of white person’s racism is completely different from the effects if a black person’s racism. Having someone racist against you as a white person might mean being called names, or given dirty looks but it rarely goes farther than that. Having someone racist against you as a black means being suspected of being a thief, or a felon. It means being viewed as less educated, and worst of all it means your life is at stake especially if said racist person has authority over you. It’s scary to think that if someone thought less of me as white person that it could potentially endanger my life and those I love.

Also as far as racist against whites go I want to mention one more thing. While I am in no way condoning racist behavior or beliefs I can’t imagine what it’s like to have so few positive interactions of a particular race that my only encounters to go off of are negative. Have I had negative interactions with a black person before? Sure, probably but I can’t really name any off the top of my head. Why? Because I’m not treated badly because of the color of my skin. I’ve had plenty of interactions with people of different races (like I hope everyone does) and not once was I truly made to feel bad because I am white. Now I’ll be honest when I am hanging out with people I am not focused on their race or ethnicity so I can’t recount every single interaction ever. However I am also not forced to think about race not matter who I am hanging out with. There are so many people out there who have had so many bad experiences with white people that they have a hard time believing anyone can be different. Now I will also say is if you fall in the category of have poor opinions of an entire group of people based on experience please stop with it and realize that belief system is not going to lead us (as a whole) forward.

I want to add I know there are more races and ethnic groups, as well as religions that face prejudice, so I am sorry that I am not directly addressing that. I also know that his may seem redundant, U;ve said many times that this doesn’t happen to me because I am white, but I really want to stress the fact it is different for different groups of people. I also clarify one more thing I know there have been some very nasty and life threatening things that have happened to people for being “white”. It’s unfortunately going to happen but the numbers of it happening directly related to race are just extremely low. Let’s hope and pray that it stays that way because no one, including white people deserves to be devalued based on skin color.

I never wanted to think of things in an “us and them” way. I recognized diversity and was happy to see we were not all the same. I didn’t want to create a divide in my brain, because we are equal or at least we should be. Recent events have made me take a step back and realize that there is an us and them currently. I hate it, I wish I could close my eyes and it could all go away, and honestly if I did, I could probably easily ignore the injustices because I’m white but someone who is the minority does not have this luxury. This is their reality. I would love to reach a point where we can I can go back to not ever needing to think of us and them and just celebrate diversity and different cultures. Sadly, we aren’t there yet. So yes all lives matter, but let’s focus on rebuilding the view and value of black people in the country (as well as other races and religions) so we can stop focusing on skin color and then be able say and truly mean that all lives matter.

This isn’t something that is my usual topic I like to write on. My hope is that maybe it could reach someone, and make them see the truth. Writing this, served as a purpose to help me sort out my feelings. I know there are grammatical errors, and while it’s  not something I want to ignore, I needed a quick way to express myself.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have suffered loss this weekend, including those involved in the Dalas shootings. I’m also sorry to those who atteneded a peaceful protest and were part of what could only be a tramautising event. As wrong as recent events have been with certain cops, we cannot blame all cops. My heart was truly broken to hear of how many lost a loved one this weekend. One of my favorite quotes of all time is “hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that” (MLK). It’s always served as a reminder to me (in all parts of life not just those relating to race) that love is more powerful than hate.

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