Sunday, September 25, 2016

Black Lives Matter

All 14 significant black characters in 1970s DC Comics (ish). Who am I missing?
I don't have anything really new to add to the discussion, but I can't delay saying it any further: black lives matter.

I've always thought it, but one bit I read along the way summed it up saying, "it's no longer good enough to not be a racist, you need to declare you believe black lives matter."

My thoughts are pretty much in agreement with John Halstead's as stated on the Huffington Post a few months back. The only thing I'd add is, politically correct labels are tricky. Maybe you heard from the black community while you were growing up that "African American" was more respectful...and maybe now you still can't muster it to say "black."

I've heard often the argument that on a personal level some people feel that they're now losing out on what should be theirs or their children's because jobs, spots at top colleges, are going to less qualified people for the sake of diversity. Maybe that's true, and maybe it isn't. One of my favorite critiques of Gwenyth Paltrow (whom I adore, actually), described her success along the lines of "it's easy to score a run if you start out on third base." Similarly, if you are denied your run from third base, for the sake of someone on first—but that person had to sacrifice a meal to buy their uniform, protest their way into the game, and widdle their own bat, who is more qualified after all?

All this I say, thinking of me, which is what I do best. I have achieved an awful lot for myself, growing up squarely lower-middle class. I attended mediocre public schools, and had no family connections. But still, my parents made sure I had they best they could give, including the uniform and the bat, and of course, I had open admittance to the game. Growing up, they had less than they gave me. And their parents had less. My grandmother was essentially orphaned by age 10 and worked her way through high school with two jobs. You too may think back of your family's historic hardships thinking you deserve certain things.

But the reality it, if we keep tracing our roots back, pretty much all whites, latinos, Asians came to this country on their on free will--and had the means to do so. Blacks, on their other hand, did not. Sold off from their homes as property, and in many if not most cases treated worse than pets. Pretty much the only group of people treated as badly (though in different ways) have been Native Americans.

So please, if you can't say "black lives matter," I simply ask that you ask yourself why you can't. Challenge yourself and your logic. Think of more than just yourself. And talk about it. This country is on a destructive path, and it's up to us to change.


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