Yes, I agree that all lives matter. Haven’t we always felt that way? When I watch the news and see Prisoners of War or children of war, my heart grieves the same. In fact, just last week I wrote about the plight of 5-year-olds in South Sudan. When I see a child that was kidnapped or killed, my heart grieves unconditionally for the parents. I’m not quite sure why when I grieve for the black men killed in the media, I’m looked at as biased for expressing that #blacklivesmatter.
It’s hard for me to not be biased. I am a black woman and I have 3 black brothers, a black father, and black male friends. It’s hard to turn a blind eye when you fear that discrimination has now turned to fatal brutality.
A blogger friend of mine from Baby Making Machine wrote a beautiful post about #blacklivesmatter. She said :
If you don’t think this is a real issue then you’re at risk of becoming a part of the problem. And that is why people are saying #BlackLivesMatter. Because black lives matter TOO. Changing the message to #AllLivesMatter is like going to a Save The Rainforest meeting and shouting “But ALL forests matter!!” Or going to a Cancer Sucks event and saying “ALL diseases suck!” It’s just not cool.
As I sit and write this, my heart is heavy. It is heavy because as a school counselor, sometimes my students want to talk about current events. They may ask me how I feel about #blacklivesmatter. Sometimes they share their hopes, dreams, and fears. It is my job to validate them and encourage them to come up with their own healthy solutions to life’s problems. The tragedies in the world make my job a little more difficult.
Thankfully, my two and four-year-old daughters have not yet internalized the madness of the world we live in. One day, they will. Someone will bring up #blacklivesmatter at school. They may catch a glimpse of the news. I will have to explain the hate to them. I will also have to teach them that all cops aren’t bad. I will also have to teach them that our ancestors gave them a right to bear arms.
I wish we could say that discrimination doesn’t exist anymore. If I hadn’t experienced it myself on several occasions, I would probably say that things are getting better. I wish it was possible to put our heads in the sand and the evil would disappear. However, this is not the case. I am raising two mixed kids. Race conversations will probably be a constant in my home for a while. My goal is to teach my children respect for all people. Respect regardless of race, religion, occupation, socioeconomic status, gender or sexuality. Respect will not always mean that we agree, but that we can respectfully disagree. Hopefully by pouring into my children and the generation behind me, we can help spread a message of love. That love will prevail over hate.
We may not all be able to participate in marches or other physical demonstrations, but we can all join together to spread the message of peace and love. This message supersedes tolerance. It seeks to build up instead of tear down.
1 Corinthians 13
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
This was a tough post to write, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below and let me know what you think.