So I've taken a few days before writing this, one because it's such a hot topic and two because I wanted to be sure of what to write.
First off let me state this:
Yes, all lives matter, yes blue lives matter, but right now we need to focus on black lives matter.
Yes, I grieve the police officers in Dallas, no one, whether cop or black person should be murdered, it is NOT ok.
Yes, I understand not all policemen are bigoted shoot first ask questions later douche wads. Many are great people, with amazing values, who are not racists and hate injustice.
Now onto the rest.
Black people are treated differently in the USA, they are looked upon as criminals, hoods, and second class. I know what that's like to an extent, as a woman, I get treated differently than my white Mormon husband.
I have friends with bi-racial kids who have had to talk to them about being respectful to police and doing what is told of them within reason, but to always remember that because they are black they are more likely to be harassed or shot than treated like a white person. How is that a lesson a child should learn?
I watched that video of Alton Sterling being shot, I watched both of them. It was murder, plain and simple. I watched him get pinned to the ground, he struggled a bit- but does that mean he should be killed?-NO.
I watched as they realized he had a gun, but it wasn't in his hand and a police officer pulled out his own gun and shot him point blank: FOR NO REASON. Then, in horror, I watched as the police officers decided not to do any sort of cpr and instead pulled the dead man's gun OUT OF HIS POCKET.- Nothing about this is ok and if you think it is you are part of the problem. It doesn't matter if he had misdemeanors or if he was selling boot legged cds, that doesn't mean he deserved to die.
Too many times I see this same scenario on the news. Suspicious black person- well he or she must be a bad guy let's just kill em. It makes me fear cops and makes me want to tell my kids to make sure they don't get in trouble, not because trouble is bad, but because I don't want an over zealous cop to kill my kid. I am half Puerto Rican and if I feel this way I can only imagine what the black community must feel.
We've come very far in our country in regards to equality, but it is still lacking in many areas. White privilege is a real thing and if you don't think so- guess what- you have been on the receiving end of it.
African Americans represent 26% of Americans who live in poverty, this is compared to 10% of white people. That's not because they are lazy or stupid or criminals. It's because they do not get the same chances as white people. They don't get offered the same jobs, or the same pay. They are treated like second class citizens, just like women. And Goddess save you if you are a black woman.
In 2015 33% of African Americans had a 2 year degree compared to 47% of white people.
In 2012 African American men had a median income of less than 40k while white men's yearly income held an average of over 50k. Don't get me started on women, those numbers are depressing.
The white unemployment rate is under 5 % as of February 2016, however for African Americans that rate is almost doubled at just under 9%. - that's not including all the African American's currently residing in US prisons.
1 in every 15 African Americans are in prison compared to 1 in 106 white- this is shocking- especially since there are more white people in the USA than black. I guess you could roll your eyes and say, "well maybe they commit more crimes." That is simply not true, the black community is treated more harshly than the white community. I could rant and rant about this, but instead here are some nice articles, educate yourself.
It all boils down to this:
If a black person and a white person each commit a crime, the black person is more likely to be arrested. This is due in part to the fact that black people are more heavily policed.
Something needs to change- and by change I don't mean cop killing- again (and why I have to repeat myself) DON'T KILL EACH OTHER, THIS IS NOT THE SOLUTION.
I don't actually know what the solution is. I do know police officers need to use their guns as a last resort, it's why they have tasers. They need to listen and not fear members of the black community. I know white people need to admit that they have white privilege and black people need to help educate us on the racism they see every day. We all need to have patience and love towards one another and respect our races, religion, sex, gender, and individual rights.
To end this blog I leave you with a quote from Deb Besinger and this article she wrote:
"The bottom line is this: of course all lives matter, of course all policemen matter ― and to support one or all of these things doesn’t mean you are against the other.
However, to be offended by BLACK LIVES MATTER is a glaring representation that YOU don’t get it."