My country champions freedom, but all people are not free.

Pictures like this make me smile. Photo credit: Dallas Police Department Twitter. Taken during “the peaceful protest before the chaos in Dallas.”

I didn’t want this to be another regular blog post that only like 2 people read and then forget about. This issue is so much more important than that. Hear me out.

Black Lives Matter. There is this wild misconception going around that Black Lives Matter means no other lives matter. That is not true. The Black Lives Matter movement and hashtag and mindset were created to bring to the light the inherent racism in our society, especially in our justice system, against the black community. Using the hashtag All Lives Matter is counterproductive. Yes, OF COURSE all lives are precious and should be valued. But the black community is grieving right now because they don’t feel safe. They scream “stop killing us” because frankly, they are being targeted for the color of their skin. Using the hashtag All Lives Matter silences what needs to be heard RIGHT NOW, at this moment!

Yes I am angry. But I am even more heartbroken. My black friends live in fear every day that their family members might not come home. This pierces my heart. They have a right to be angry. They have a right to be sad.

Here’s what I have realized in the past few days: I am so very late at speaking out against this racism. By being complacent, I let these shootings happen. Now I realize that conversation is the only way out of this and the only way to bring about profound change. Everyone should do a little soul searching and ask themselves if they really do look at black people equally. I am betting that if you search hard enough, you will find at least one stereotype engraved in your brain. I am asking and begging you to put yourself in the shoes of this community. They deserve better than this. Change your perceptions, and then speak out when others are giving into their misconceptions. It’s easier said than done, but racism begins in our minds. It can only be destroyed when we change the way we see others.

My heart goes out to the families of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and Melissa Ventura. My prayers are also with the families of the police officers hurt and killed in the Dallas downtown sniper shooting. My home. 💔 I wish that people wouldn’t respond to violence with more violence. It’s a good time to remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” That being said, don’t condemn the BLM movement for these inhumane attacks on the people in uniform who serve to protect us. The snipers who shot at the Dallas police officers don’t represent the entirety of the BLM movement. Furthermore, black lives and police lives are not mutually exclusive!!!!! You can grieve for police officers dying in the line of duty and still want them to respect black lives!!!!!

I will leave you with this little poem that I wrote. I don’t know what else to say that hasn’t already been yelled.

My country champions freedom but all people are not free. How can they be, if when they see cops, they have to flee?
The color of his skin was dark and so he was shot. This goes against the American values I have been taught.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” This is a lie in the face of dying black people.
Anger and frustration and sorrow are on the rise. My heart breaks when a son who has lost his father, cries.
When will everyone else see, the injustice and oppression so apparent to me? Be brave and ask yourself, “is racism within me?”
My country champions freedom but all people are not free. I want everyone to stop looking at black people differently.

If you really want to make a change, speak up. Educate yourself by reading these articles:


Originally published at aspiringactivist.weebly.com on 7/8/2016.