These protests are more than your feelings
Written by: Grace Moore
If you read this, and you’re white, and begin to feel uncomfortable, you or someone you know is probably exactly who I am talking about.
I am a white woman in America and therefore I have privilege. I will never wake up and fear to live my life because of my skin color. I will not be oppressed for my race, by definition- because my race is the oppressor in this country.
Now is it worse in other places? Sure. Does that mean we can’t get better? Absolutely not. At the end of the day you can say “ America is the greatest country so if you don’t like it then leave,” however you sound ignorant. Privilege is being able to decide something isn’t an issue because it doesn’t hurt YOU. People can still care about their country and see that it needs to change. We CANNOT be the “greatest country” if we do not progress, it’s not possible.
Now let’s talk about Black Lives Matter. If that statement offends you, check your privilege. Black lives matter doesn’t mean other people’s lives don’t. It means black lives matter JUST AS MUCH as yours. If you say all lives matter ONLY to silence black lives matter, just don’t speak on it at all. Saying all lives matter is equivalent to this scenario: If a house in your neighborhood is on fire and you decide as the fireman to put water on ALL the houses because all the houses matter. White people are not the ones killed for their skin color, therefore we are not the focus of the movement.
Next, people who remain “neutral”. I have several things to say about people who say they don’t pick a side. If you remain silent, as a white person, you HAVE chosen a side, and that is that of the oppressor. It really is a privilege to remain voiceless rather than fighting for humans who have had their rights stolen, just because it makes you more comfortable.
Now this point, this one is VERY important to understand. PEOPLE’S LIVES ARE NOT ABOUT POLITICS. This is NOT Left versus Right. This is EVERYONE VERSUS RACISTS. And to add to that, if you draw the line with not posting about “politics” at things being stolen and not MURDER, please I am BEGGING you to pop whatever bubble you are living in, because there are worse things than Target (a billion dolllar company) getting burned down happening right now. If you post or speak out about the riots and protests and NOT the murder of hundreds of innocent black lives, please don’t claim you aren’t racist. And this isn’t coming from me, as a white person, but SO many people of color that I have talked to on the matter. And also, if you blatantly dismiss multiple POC telling you that something you have done is racist, you are a part of the problem. “Having black friends” doesn’t excuse you from racism.
And lastly, let’s talk about police brutality, and I mean REALLY talk about it. Yes, more white people are killed by police. However, black people are a MINORITY, they make up only 13 percent of this country where whites make up over 60 percent. But if you want to talk statistics, here they are:
•Black people make up 24% of police deaths despite being 13% of the population.
•Black people are 3 times more likely to be killed by police than white people.
•Black people are 1.3 times more likely to be UNARMED than white people.
•8 of the 100 largest city Police Departments kill black men at higher rates than the United States MURDER Rate.
All of this and more can be found at https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/
And then, seeing all this people will still say “Well, not all cops are bad, there are just a few bad cops making the rest look bad.” The problem with this is, there are just some jobs where there isn’t ROOM for people to be bad at it. American Airlines couldn't just state “Most of our pilots are very good. They fly their planes and land them safely where they need to go. However, a few of them are bad, and they like to fly planes into the side of mountains with passengers aboard. But it’s okay, because most of them are good guys!” No. It’s not okay. The police force is another job where there isn’t room for being “a bad apple.” It isn’t acceptable. Lawyers train for YEARS to be able to defend or prosecute people with the law. However the police are trained for EIGHT WEEKS and be expected to enforce it? That is unacceptable. We KNOW not all cops are necessarily bad people. But they know they work for an unjust system, and most continue to do nothing to speak up or change it. Things have to change. It is as simple as that.
It is not the job of the black community to fix this. They did not cause it in the first place. It is the job of every capable white person who is not racist to stand up and say, “No, we are NOT going to accept this.” It is the job of the police to look at this system and say, “We are going to fix this.” Or nothing will ever change. I beg of you, if you are a white person reading this, sign a petition, donate if you can. Educate yourself to the fullest extent and fight for the lives of our brothers and sisters.