The Lifestyle

Firing Off Friday: Black Lives Matter

Happy Friday folks,

Welcome to another rendition of Firing Off Friday.  This week I think I’m actually going to touch on the Black Lives Matter movement.  Up until now, I haven’t said a whole lot about it.  And that’s not because I don’t support it, but rather I didn’t know how to gather my frustrations to put into a post.  I’m still not sure I do, but at least I’m going to try and make an attempt.  So forgive me if my thoughts bounce from A to B rather quickly.

The argument that black community is disproportionally more upset with white people killing blacks, than they are with black people killing black people, is absolutely idiotic.  For starters, the loss of a black life due to violence is tragic no matter who is responsible.  So arguing about how angry the black community is and should be, is pointless.  Also, if the black community is more upset about white officers taking the lives of unarmed black men and women, they have every right to be.   Policemen and women are called to protect and serve, not to discriminate and kill.  It’s hard not to be angry when those sent to guard your community are picking members of it off one by one.  Especially, given the history of race relations in this country.

And you know what?   I’d rather this Black Lives Matter movement not be remembered for senseless rioting.  Every time a riot breaks out in a city, and businesses are destroyed, I can’t help but think about the community that is left to deal with such aftermath.  About the single mother who no longer has a job to go to because her place of employment was burned to the ground.  About the business owner who can’t afford to reopen his doors again after his dream was stripped from him.   Look, I get in the heat of frustration with injustice people get carried away, but the rioting has to stop.  It’s not doing anything but distracting the media, and therefore this country, from the real issues.  Riots help to cripple a community.

Which brings me to my thoughts on protesting.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about the true power of protests.  Following the protests in Ferguson, New York, and Baltimore, I can’t help but question if they are effective.  In spite of all the hours men and women spent marching in the streets, it seems unarmed black men and women are still being caught in the cross hairs of “eager” police officers.  And to add, these police officers walk away from these incidents with barely a slap on the wrist.  So shouldn’t the Black Lives Matter movement start seeking other avenues to get justice besides protests.

Just like there was a sweeping teachers reform push under President George W. Bush, with the No Child Left Behind (although I’m not an advocate of this policy necessarily), there could be perhaps a more successful national reform initiative to shape up local police departments.  This could include mandated testing to gauge whether a person has the likelihood of practicing unnecessary and discriminatory behavior if let on the police force.   A mandate like that could help prevent the ill-hearted from getting a badge, and take badges away from those undeserving.  But mandates like this call for us to take our fight to the legislative branches.  Making demands of local, state, and federal lawmakers.  Signing petitions.  And most importantly, VOTING!

On a final note I’ll say these two things and then I’m done.

  1. NOT all police officers are evil. There are some really good ones out there.  Unfortunately, their reputations are being drug in the mud due to these senseless killings.
  1. Black men and women, please stop being so combative with individuals in a uniform who would be all the more happier to pull a trigger than argue. Sometimes unfortunately, it’s best we do what officers say, then go after them via complaints and legal action later.

As always nothing but love,

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2 thoughts on “Firing Off Friday: Black Lives Matter”

  1. lifeasagaymom says:

    Good post T. I agree, I am not sure the protests are going about it the right way right now. They are adding fuel to the already unjust fire. My heart goes out to all the families affected. I guess part of me is sad that they are protesting in such a violent nature and the other is sad that they aren’t being heard in a way they should be and are resorting to the whole two wrongs make a right. I think your courageous for defending the few good police offers left. I am not that forgiving. I am left jaded by the entire thing, even here in our city of Sacramento we witness police brutality over racial issues and it makes me sick to my stomach. There is a black woman that lives across the way, I was giving her children some veggies from
    My garden and she yelled at me and said to keep my white cop loving ass off her property and I wanted to cry. I felt so hurt by the statement. I was raised by a black woman for a good portion of my life, surely I am not racist but the entire ordeal has everyone up in flames. I don’t know what that woman meant by that, maybe she thinks my wife is a police officer male? I don’t know, either way good read my friend!

    1. According To T says:

      Oh wow I’m sorry to hear about your incident. But that speaks to my thoughts that Black Lives Matter to everyone. The more frequently these incidents go unchecked, the further race relations in this country are set back. It’s just sad that America is perhaps the most diverse country in the world, yet has the most racial centered issues of any industrialized nation. And thanks for liking my latest post.

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