Black Lives Matter

The subject pretty much says it all. Black Lives Matter. ALL Black Lives. Cis. Trans. Non-Binary.  Other identities that I may not be aware of; there’s so many more identity terms than when I came out as lesbian in the late ’90s. I may not have all the right terms. I’m always willing to learn. And whether I have all the terms or not, I mean it: ALL Black Lives means ALL Black Lives.

This is not the place for you to argue with me that all lives matter. All lives can’t matter until black lives matter.  Not to mention that most of the people I see saying all lives matter (or cops lives matter) are hypocrites when it comes to pretty much any lives than the ones that look just like them. I don’t believe that “all lives” really matter to these people; I think it became a rallying cry/point that they can say to feel good about themselves but not really have to mean.

Sort of like when people offer up “thoughts and prayers” but don’t want to actually DO anything that will make an actual difference (armchair activism, anyone?).

I am white. I have white privilege. I know enough to know that is not a judgement on my life; it simply means that the color of my skin isn’t one of the things that has made my life harder.  Things that do/can make my life harder: Being gay? Yes. Being a woman? Yes. Being autistic? Yes. Being disabled? Yes.  Not being Christian? Yes. But people who are any or all of those things and not white? Have it SO much harder. And that is completely unfair.

White people, stop getting mad when someone tells you that you have white privilege!  And while you’re at it, stop saying you’re colorblind too. The only people who should be saying they are colorblind are the ones who physically cannot see colors/most/some colors (true colorblindness where you only see shades of black & white is considered pretty rare) and is more aptly called poor or deficient color vision.

It’s not a compliment. It’s not a good thing. If you can’t “see” a person’s skin color, you are erasing a huge part of their identity! It invalidates their identity, invalidates any racist experiences a person has had, it equates color with something negative, which it isn’t and should never be seen as.

 


As a white person, I acknowledge that I won’t always get it right. I cannot ever know the experience any BIPOC has. What I can do is stand by and support BIPOC in any way I can, and always be willing to learn – first and foremost from BIPOC. But without expecting them to put loads of emotional labor into educating me, or any other white person. BIPOC people have been treated horribly for hundreds of years.  The onus is on us to do better, to learn more, to research on our time. And if any BIPOC are willing to take their time and energy to educate you? Let them. Listen without arguing.

Be willing to learn without judgement or assuming you’re being judged.


Here are some articles which say some of the above better than I’m sure I did. Note that many of these are not recent articles. This isn’t a new issue.