My Open Letter The Anonymous Author of The Problem with #BLM
First off, I want to say Black Lives DO Matter. However, if you write an article that negates the struggle that African-Americans go through and expect your white privileged friends to read your article and get the point of your 1st and 3rd sentence you’ve done a disservice to them and journalism.
Now, I typically don’t respond to ignorance, but my timeline was so saturated with your false statistics that I must educate you on the ills of your research. I take it you’re in undergraduate student, quite possibly a journalism major, probably ill-informed and very conservative considering your tone. So please, do not take this as an attack, as I can see how privilege gives you blinders.
See this as a lesson from an African American who wasn’t aborted, didn’t commit homicide and has not gone to jail, but rather just obtained her Master’s degree in Mass Communication from a J-School that is arguably the best in our state. An African American that has done valued research on this topic solely that she may educate you on what you THINK you know.
Your first mistake was thinking white people are not the blame for making black lives “less” than other lives. If fact white people are EXACTLY the blame. If you will refer to the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention, you will see that slaves i.e. black people were to be considered as 3/5ths of a person in the Three-Fifths Compromise.
This agreement was because the whites in the South wanted to count their “livestock” as people for equal representation in the House of Representatives even though that said livestock would not be afforded any rights. The Northern and falsely proclaimed “progressive” states didn’t consider it fair for the South to count their slaves for representation and settled on considering black people “less” of a person by making them only count as 3/5ths.
This was the beginning of that which you claim white people should not be blamed for.
I also would like to look at the Black Lives Matter rallies in Milwaukee, St. Paul, Baton Rouge, and Ferguson and discuss how irresponsible it is for you as a journalist to consider a protest which is protected by the First Amendment -which you should know well if you have taken Comm. Law & Ethics — a riot.
Although often interchanged by conservative media, a protest and a riot are not the same thing. Yes, Milwaukee and Ferguson were riots. Along with The LA Watts Riots and the 1968 Holy Week Uprisings in New York, Baltimore, and Chicago. But that doesn’t negate that St. Paul, Baton Rouge, Charleston, New York and other cities have held peaceful protest well within their rights as citizens.
To argue that every protest for equal rights is a riot would be generalizing all black protesters for the actions of a few. It would be the same if we said that all white sports fans would riot after their favorite sports team loses as we’ve seen countless times in events like the Stanley Cup 2011 Riot, The Stanley Cup 1993 Riot, Super Bowl XLIII, Super Bowl XXXIII, The World Series 1984 and others I could go on and on about.
Do not allow the pictures of the over-militarized police departments manhandling people let you think that these protests are civil unrest. Do specific research on these events and develop your own cognizance of the information before making balloon statements and treating every protest as a monolith.
Black Lives Matter is not a hate group. It is an organization that focuses on intersectionality and equal rights for women, LBGTQ, and the men harmed in instances of police brutality. It focuses on the demilitarization of the police in black communities and encourages police and community dialogue.
BLM does not hate police officers. It doesn’t even infer that others lives matter less. It is a declaration that our lives matter as well, too, also — not only. I charge you to look at the website and research what exactly it is you’re combating.
Statistics over the years have shown blacks to have a higher chance of incarceration. I won’t argue with you on that. But that in itself is another history lesson.
After slavery, families in South became sharecroppers. Sharecroppers worked for the bare minimum often having to pay the people they worked for a portion of their earning for lodging. Often times this was just enough to break even and often kept them in a legal slavery. This created a poor working class family structure we’ve had to fight since we’ve become free.
The Great Migration allowed some blacks to leave the sharecropping South only to find themselves in de facto racist north working for pennies on the dollar at dangerous factory jobs or domestic work.
Landlords charged black people 7 times the rent of a white person for half the space. Meaning everyone in the household who was able to work did. This amongst, other things, is what broke the traditional family structure -which technically was already broken when slaves were sold off and separated from their families (see Willie Lynch letters).
The lack of adults in a household left kids to fend for and raise themselves. Young blacks found refuge and family structures in gangs, especially in northern states where black people were forced to live on single strips of land in high rise apartments.
Education was scarce and was only given to the black elite who could afford to send their children to school at the nearest HBCU, because going to a predominantly white institution like the one you attend was only afforded to a few. Joblessness was high amongst blacks. Those who did have jobs had to settle for the bottom of the barrel. You can rattle off the few blacks you know in your history books that made strides, but for each one you name there are 1000 others who had to do illegal work just to provide for their families because racist whites wouldn’t hire them.
It would take me forever to discuss “The War on Drugs” or “Get Tough on Crime” or any other program that increased the micro-policing of ghettos which only exist because white people didn’t want us to live near them.
I will not negate the problems we have. I also will not allow you to spew out numbers without background information.
Black people get incarcerated at a higher rate and for longer terms for the same crimes that white people get lesser sentences or no jail time for. Just google Casey Anthony, Brock Turner, George Zimmerman — the list goes on.
While you claim ninety-three percent of the murders of black men were caused by other blacks, the FBI Homicide Statistics state that whites kill more whites than black people kill each other. White people also commit more crimes than any other race and gang murders are actually more common among white gangs.
As much as we want to claim the US is no longer segregated, we actually still live in communities based on race. ANY group that lives in close proximity to each other and interacts with each other whether white, black, Hispanic, or Asian will commit the most crimes against each other.
In the terms of black-on-black crimes we have organizations for that. There have been the same amount if not more Stop-the-Violence marches and protest than BLM rallies. We recognize the issues that plague our communities and the narrative developed in the 80’s and 90’s to make us look like we do not matter to each other.
We were able to correct and target some of the issues forced upon us by generational curses, such as drugs placed in our communities and joblessness, and in fact were able to lower black-on-black crime.
I am not sure what abortion has to do with police brutality or how it has made its way into your rant, other than I would assume you are a white privileged conservative male, who has always had adequate health care.
I would hope that you are not a woman questioning a woman’s rights to her body which was awarded to us via Roe v. Wade, but I am happy to give you some insight on the numbers you so eloquently laid out for us.
African-Americans have less access to adequate healthcare, less access to sexual education and have a higher unemployment rate. The combination of those three issues the first two more than the latter are contributing factors to why Black women have abortions at a higher rate than white or Hispanic women.
However, I want to dispel the myth that black fathers do not play an active role in their children’s lives. Despite Black fathers being taken out of the nuclear family structure via being sold off during slavery, or due to longer more extensive work hours during The Great Migration, or being killed during the 50’s/60’s for looking at a white woman or even Mass Incarceration, black fathers actually spend more time with their children than white or latino men in similar living situations according to the Center for Disease Control.
A woman’s right to abort should not be in question. It’s comparing apples to oranges, but if you were ever oppressed or impoverished or could barely eat yourself, and didn’t have access the adequate healthcare or even the sexual education that could have prevented the pregnancy in the first place, you’d consider an abortion as well.
The Black Lives Matter movement is not about becoming civil rights celebrities or protest. We’d much rather be playing Pokemon Go with you and the crew instead of picketing because yet another unarmed black man was taken, but right now we don’t have that option.
We do not kill police officers. This is another generalized statement. The two individuals who did were not part of our peaceful cause, but rather two black men who selflessly served their country only to be failed by the system they helped to uphold.
They are veterans who I would assume suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, both of which they did not receive treatment for because mental illness is reserved for the privileged. Again, aligning them to a peaceful protest group would be the same as me saying all white people are going to shoot up a church or a movie theater. It isn’t fair.
White people are killed by more police annually which technically means you should be upset too. I’m sure you’ve taken algebra so let us look at the break down The Washington Post gave us.
“White people make up roughly 62 percent of the U.S. population but only about 49 percent of those who are killed by police officers. African Americans, however, account for 24 percent of those fatally shot and killed by the police despite being just 13 percent of the U.S. population. That means black Americans are 2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by police officers.” — Washington Post
This means as a black person I am 2.5 times more likely to get shot by a police officer in a routine traffic stop than you are, assuming you are white, since you decided to remain anonymous. I, however, do not think all police are bad and will kill me as you shouldn’t exclaim that all people killed by police are hardened criminals.
You and I are more alike than you think. We have the privilege (as it comes in more forms than being white) of both being educated and having a platform. So here are way we can make black lives matter together.
Let us stop pretending these issues do not exist by spewing fake facts. Let us not be ignorant to the oppression faced by African Americans, even after slavery. Let us understand that because we do have the privilege of education we must use it to help others where they are ignorant.
This lesson does not benefit me, as I already know the things I’m informing you about, but I hope it helps you learn to step outside of your privilege and actually learn about the things that make you uncomfortable.
I know it’s hard to empathize with something you don’t understand but I challenge you to read something outside of the rhetoric you agree with. Create discourse and dialogue with those outside of your circle. Realize that liberty and justice for all does not apply to everyone.
Understand that in order for black lives to matter, people like you are going to have to realize why we feel like our lives don’t matter, then use your voice to make sure we finally do.