Why we should stop telling white people “Black Lives Matter” in 2017.
I am tired of seeing Black people calling for police killings to end against unarmed black people in America. I am fed up with Black people having to explain to white people why our lives matter and why we deserve to live in America. I tired of us fearing for our lives in 2017. From Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Tanisha Anderson, Rekia Boyd, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile and many more, we have protested, screamed, marched, created campaigns to curb more unnecessary deaths over the last decade and white people still will counter the Black Lives Matter movement with the absurd counter locution of “All Lives Matter.”
I am tired.
Black Americans have been systematically oppressed and terrorized by white supremacy for more than 500 years. We have survived slavery, the 13th amendment that placed millions of our women and men back into slavery, Jim Crow, the KKK, Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes. Black people are the most resilient people on Earth, yet we can’t get through our heads that white people don’t care about our suffering. They don’t care about our lives mattering, and they understand perfectly well that we are being unfairly killed and terrorized by the police in our neighborhoods. White people benefit from the slaughter of us daily. In their eyes it's one less black person that won’t rob them, that is off welfare, and that won’t move into their neighborhoods. They see the police as a friend to them, a fixture in the community to keep them safe. Safe from what you ask? Safe from Black and Brown people. Safe from me.
I am tired.
White people understand why Black people protest in the streets when a black person is killed by a police officer. They understand why we say “Black Lives Matter”. They understand that Blacks are 10x more likely to be arrested for the same crime a white person commits. They understand that Blacks have been denied education, home loans, and what redlining is. They get it. I remember when we used to take reading comprehensions test in grade school and if I remember correctly; growing up in white schools, 97% of the white students passed these standardized tests. Which has always led me to believe that white people understand every asseveration and complaint we make about our treatment with police and with the government. They are smart people. They just don’t care.
I am tired.
I want Black folks collectively to reorganize and regroup for the future. I want us to work on getting our dignity back. I want us to get to a place in unison where we stop looking for white saviors and for them to care. I want us to stop begging for our lives. Black lives do matter and have always mattered. If white supremacy believes the opposite, fuck them. We have to reconstruct our lives around them and reconstruct their purpose in ours. Do I have the next step to true liberation? No. But am I willing to put the work in so my son can walk down the street in a hoodie and not be killed? Yes.