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Is ‘Black Lives Matter’ Hurting More Than Helping?

Jeff Linamen

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BlackLivesMatterIt’s trending and blowing up on Twitter and Facebook– #BlackLivesMatter. I get it. I understand the intent. Is it really helping though?

I personally find it a little offense and I need to explain.

Don’t #AllLivesMatter?

Here’s the thing: Singling out a particular race, as a call to action; in an effort to end racism, protest inequality and police brutality– Isn’t it just broadening or solidifying the divide instead uniting us?

I can completely identify with the expressions of sorrow, anger, and disappointment. Then when I see the hashtag– I feel like I’m being alienated. I understand this is intended to draw attention to one issue but I still feel it creates an us against them mentality.

We need unification in this country, not a divide. We’re already divided. People pick sides. We need to come together in order to make real progress.

Throughout my life, when discussing the race issue, I’ve been told, “you don’t understand– you can’t understand”…. but I do understand. As a gay man I’ve experienced many of the same issues. If I say that, then the response is usually, “but people don’t immediately judge you because of the color of your skin.” This is true. Still, I’ve experienced hate. I’ve experienced prejudice. I’ve been angry and afraid. Not the exactly the same, maybe, but at the gut level, it is.

When you say “you don’t understand” to anyone, regardless of the issue– you alienate them. How does this help the cause?

If you say #BlackLivesMatter is to draw attention, show anger or disapproval– then I’d say the campaign is successful. If you tell me #BlackLivesMatter is to bring about change, then I’d suggest there might be a better way.

Yes, Black Lives Matter. Gay Lives Matter. So do Hispanic, White, Poor, Rich, Disabled…. need I go on?

UnificaAllLivesMatter2tion.

Attack the problem.

Prejudice, Stereotypes, Assumptions, Racism, Sexism, Unlawful Judgement, Inequality, Police Brutality of any kind… those are the problems.

Preaching to the choir is pretty pointless.

If #BlackLivesMatter is building solidarity that’s great– but why not include everyone?

Make a difference. Talk about it. Unify everyone.

#AllLivesMatter.


2 Comments

  1. Mary says:

    Well said. Another thing that offends me is when they blurt out “check your privilege.” Excuse me? So just because I’m white, I don’t suffer like they do? I’m not discriminated against? I don’t have financial problems? So white people are just automatically guaranteed a better quality of life? And I hate it when they inject slavery into the argument. That was a completely different generation. “White people enslaved Africans!” And a WHITE MAN who believed that ALL MEN are created EQUAL signed the Emancipation Proclamation and set them free.

    The way I see it, it’s more ignorance than racism.

    Like

    • jlinamen1229 says:

      I agree. I have often felt the victim of reverse racism. Both from minority groups and our system of government that, in the effort to encourage minority participation, has put me at a disadvantage. I am NOT “all white people”, just as I try not to stereotype anyone else. I’m just me. I want to be considered for jobs, government sponsored ‘perks’ and generally treated equal– that’s all. Our differences are obvious. I don’t think we need to keep wasting time pointing them out in a negative way instead of bringing us together and uniting our fight for equality.

      Like

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