I am not a black male but this fact doesn’t mean that I don’t have empathy for the marginalization, abuse, systemic racism or murder of black men, women and children. Being a white male, I have definitely not experienced the type of systemic racism and judicial inequality the many black men have faced and experienced. I don’t fear leaving my house thinking that I may be abused, harassed or even killed by police officers due to the colour of my skin.
As a gay male, I have been harassed and a victim of crime because of my sexuality. I don’t believe to be what society deems as a “stereotypical gay male” and would not think that I would be singled out and murdered because of my sexuality – at least not in Canada. I know that many black men and women are targeted by police and are not treated fairly simply because of the colour of their skin.
Many people have defended police forces everywhere indicating that “not all cops are bad or racists.” and “all lives matter.” and even indicating that if black people are not committing crimes or guilty of anything – they wouldn’t be targeted. I’ve also heard many people, including friends, indicate that the Black Lives Matter movement is just an angry mob asking for trouble. Correct me if I’m wrong – if a community or group of people have been targeted throughout history, wouldn’t you have the right to peacefully protest that marginalization. Yes, there have been many atrocities committed against minorities and many minorities continue to be treated in horrific ways – their movement will come. Today – every other story in social media is about a black person being brutally beaten or killed at the hands of police. I have read stories of white males committing the same or worse crimes than black individuals and are given much lesser sentences. White men and women across America are paid more than most visible minorities. The incarceration rate of minorities far outweighs the incarceration rates of white people. Opportunities are not the same for minorities because of income inequality and I don’t understand why many doubt these facts!
I have three nephews and one niece who are bi-racial, born to white mothers and black fathers, and I see the difference in how they are treated. I always think of them as they go about their daily routines and imagine that they will mostly likely be stopped and targeted because of the colour of their skin. This sickens me to the core of my being. Yes, all lives matter but today, it is the lives of those who are being targeted and killed that I stand with. I want my niece and my nephews to have the same chances in life as most white men and women but that isn’t going to happen until there are some fundamental changes in how people view and treat visible minorities. In the meantime – BLACK LIVES MATTER protests should continue, voices should be raised because right now there is a lack of respect for black people and other minorities.
It seems that the lives of minorities are less valued. When people such as policemen and politicians show a lack of respect for minorities – why should the average person? It is irresponsible when someone who is running for president of the United States of America and leader of the (not so) FREE WORLD spews hate speech and demoralizes a whole group of people. That isn’t leadership – that is preying on people’s fear, hatred and ignorance.
Remaining complacent and ignorant does nothing to create positive change in the world – it is those who stand up to tyranny, ignorance, hate and fear that make the world a better place. So, instead of criticizing and continuing to marginalize certain minorities – why not try STANDING with them and supporting them?
BLACK LIVES MATTER!!
Together, we can make the world a more positive one!