One of the reasons we started this blog was to have a voice and encourage others to share theirs. We want to share our interests, our journey in life, and our feelings on events in our world. We feel it’s important to speak up and out , especially when big things happen. In the last week with the new footage of more black men being killed by police, and the killings of Dallas Policeman, you’d think we’d have had something to say, yet, we’ve been quiet.
The truth is, I’ve been processing, thinking and reflecting a lot. There aren’t many things that keep me up at night, by this latest news has. I live my life in many shades of grays. Here is a list of things that are black and white to me in no particular order …
- Marriage Equality
- Gender Equality
- Racial Equality
Other than that, I’m grays all over the place. I typically agree with one side more than another, but I can usually understand and appreciate another situation, perspective or opinion even when it is not mine.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been struggling so much with the recent news. I feel like the world is telling me I have to pick a side, #bluelivesmatter or #blacklivesmatter, and I’m completely split down the middle. With all the social media comments, and differing of opinions I feel like I’m the weight in the middle of a game of tug of war. I feel like speaking for one side brings so much hate and backlash from the other side, even though I support them too.
I’ve been seeing many quotes about those who are silent in times of injustice have chosen the side of the oppressor. I don’t believe in remaining silent, but how do I speak up when I want to defend yet equally expect more from both sides? There seems to be so many levels and depths about how I feel that ultimately, it’s left my voice paralyzed.
When the #blacklivesmatter movement began three years ago, I have to admit I wasn’t completely on board. Not that I don’t agree that black lives matter, of course do. I just also felt like there was a lot of hypocrisy to it at first. There is a lot of black on black crime so I was confused how it could be shouted that black lives matter but only if it’s a white person doing the killing.
I was a person whose initial response was, All Lives Matter. Again, a sentiment I completely agree with. I’ve seen a lot of posts lately how saying All Lives Matter is racist. While I’m starting to understand why it’s important to say Black Lives Matter instead of All Lives Matter (which I’ll discuss in a minute) I caution against those who think it’s racist. For me, the idea of all lives matter is just inclusive. My viewpoint was not that I wanted to belittle or make the black lives matter movement less important; I just wanted everyone to be one. That’s the point right? To not segregate? To all be treated equal?
However, what I’m now coming to understand is that being a white girl, I’ve never had to fight for my life to matter. Yes, all lives matter, but today, in 2016, still not all are treated equal. It’s a shame that the obvious needs to be stated, that black lives matter. But I’m starting to understand why it needs to be said. Just because we don’t experience or perhaps always even see racism, doesn’t mean it isn’t still very real. What I’m starting to get is that although the conversation of black on black crime is a very real conversation that needs to be had, its place is not here. Just because there is a lot of black on black crime, does not mean that it is okay for black people to be profiled or treated with more force.
I believe in our cops, I support the men and women behind the badge. I will teach my children to put their faith and trust in cops. No cop should be gunned down the way the Dallas Department was, but no person should either.
There is no denying the unnecessary, excessive force these recent videos have shown. Can’t I still stand behind our police but expect them to be held accountable? To expect them to be better? I understand right now our men in women in blue are taking an unfortunate beating. I KNOW that there are many, many wonderful cops out there. However, I also don’t understand how anyone can deny that there’s a problem. This hasn’t been a one off situation; we keep seeing this time and time again.
The point is, I feel stuck in a dark hole. It feels like there is so much hate on both sides. It feels like so many people are backing their side without opening their eyes to the problems and opportunities for growth and change. I can’t choose a side, because I stand with both. I can’t be the only one feeling so torn, right?
So while a part of me feels so lost and even hopeless about it all, I will do my part by spreading as much love as I can. I will teach my children to trust and respect police. I will teach them that the police will help to protect them. I will also teach them that color of skin is irrelevant. I will not hold them tighter when we see a black man on the street. I will encourage them instead to say hello or give a high five. They will know there are good people and bad people in this world, but that is not determined by a person’s pigment level. If we all teach our children more love, maybe our future generations have a better chance for peace.