Black lives certainly matter, and the grievances forwarded by the African-American community is both factually and anecdotally valid. Although nationwide databases of interracial encounters between law enforcement officers and civilians do not yet exist, there is strong evidence that blacks are disproportionately targeted by police for a number of reasons. Furthermore, this is not a uniquely American phenomenon. Police in Great Britain pull over blacks at a higher rate than other racial groups.
The very poor decisions made by a small minority of people affiliated or inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement should not cloud a very real problem in America. Shouting “all lives matter” is a prime example of a diversionary, smokescreen argument. Being black in America carries a certain stigma. Being ignorant or blind to this matter creates a tone deaf environment that only serves to unnecessarily spark an already explosive catalyst.
In the context of law enforcement, the issue of “blackness” has an even greater consequence. One would have to be mentally ill not to acknowledge the prevailing stereotype of the black male — wild, dangerous, criminal. And for those that think they are above labelling people, and especially those who call for a higher moral order of a colorblind society, ask yourself this — do you worship in a black church? Do you send your kids to black schools? Do you aspire to live in a black neighbourhood?
No, of course not! Virtually everything associated with “black” is characterized as a negative. Remember that when you hear the term “all lives matter.” It’s a simple reality that African-Americans have less social currency than most other races. Therefore, to establish equivalence between white problems and black problems is as relevant as equating the sniffles to cancer.
Where I diverge in my sympathy towards Black Lives Matter is in the area of accountability.
Yes, African-Americans are targeted disproportionately. But that does not allow them or anybody to act in an uncivil or threatening matter.
Police officers at the end of the day are human, and they have a job to do. Too many times, we have seen a routine pull over turn into something tragically violent, all because a person refuses to follow standard instructions.
The mainstream media spends far too much time demonizing our brave men and women in law enforcement. We are asked to look into the hearts of the families of deadly police encounters, and yet we are never asked to empathize with the responding officer.
When Hollywood celebrates blackness as something strong, fierce and intimidating — an image that is often propped up by many black youth — how does that affect our law enforcement agencies? Don’t they also have a right to go home and spend time with their families? How would we react if that right were viscerally threatened by a black man, a black man who celebrates and is celebrated for his propensity for violence?
This of course is not to say that all black people are violent. There are very prominent voices in the African-American community who should be celebrated for their calls for reason. But too often, their voices are muted by the cacophony of gangsta rap, the ghetto life, and the notoriety that goes with being black.
The message is this — one cannot have their cake and eat it too.
The African-American community cannot afford to have their culture willingly hijacked by a gangster death cult ideology, and then to play victim when that same ideology attracts law enforcement’s attention.
That’s a matter of personal and collective choices. Unfortunately, we are seeing with greater frequency the consequences of those choices gone awry.
Apologies in advance for this one as it’s very explicit. The ideological guru behind ‘Black Lives Matter’ – the individual whom its founders cite as their inspiration – Assata Shakur – is a convicted cop killer who is on the FBI’s ‘Most Wanted Terrorists’ list.
There is absolutely no way Trump supporters can align in any way whatsoever with BLM. In fact, BLM needs to be officially labeled as a hate group. These kids and their efforts to “normalize support for Black Lives Matter” show how deeply the left has entrenched their false narrative into not just politics but into homes and universities – to the point that this generation has been brainwashed.
Mom, Dad, Uncle, Auntie, Grandfather, Grandmother:
We need to talk.
You may not have grown up around people who are Black, but I have. Black people are a fundamental part of my life: they are my friends, my classmates and teammates, my roommates, my family. Today, I’m scared for them.
This year, the American police have already killed more than 500 people. Of those, 25% have been Black, even though Black people make up only 13% of the population. Earlier this week in Louisiana, two White police officers killed a Black man named Alton Sterling while he sold CDs on the street. The very next day in Minnesota, a police officer shot and killed a Black man named Philando Castile in his car during a traffic stop while his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter looked on. Overwhelmingly, the police do not face any consequences for ending these lives.
This is a terrifying reality that some of my closest friends live with every day.
Even as we hear about the dangers Black Americans face, our instinct is sometimes to point at all the ways we are different from them. To shield ourselves from their reality instead of empathizing. When a policeman shoots a Black person, you might think it’s the victim’s fault because you see so many images of them in the media as thugs and criminals. After all, youmight say, we managed to come to America with nothing and build good lives for ourselves despite discrimination, so why can’t they?
I want to share with you how I see things.
It’s true that we face discrimination for being Asian in this country. Sometimes people are rude to us about our accents, or withhold promotions because they don’t think of us as “leadership material.” Some of us are told we’re terrorists. But for the most part, nobody thinks “dangerous criminal” when we are walking down the street. The police do not gun down our children and parents for simply existing.
This is not the case for our Black friends. Many Black people were brought to America as slaves against their will. For centuries, their communities, families, and bodies were ripped apart for profit. Even after slavery, they had to build back their lives by themselves, with no institutional support—not allowed to vote or own homes, and constantly under threat of violence that continues to this day.
In fighting for their own rights, Black activists have led the movement for opportunities not just for themselves, but for us as well. Black people have been beaten, jailed, even killed fighting for many of the rights that Asian Americans enjoy today. We owe them so much in return. We are all fighting against the same unfair system that prefers we compete against each other.
When someone is walking home and gets shot by a sworn protector of the peace—even if that officer’s last name is Liang—that is an assault on all of us, and on all of our hopes for equality and fairness under the law.
For all of these reasons, I support the Black Lives Matter movement. Part of that support means speaking up when I see people in my community—or even my own family—say or do things that diminish the humanity of Black Americans in this country. I am telling you this out of love, because I don’t want this issue to divide us. I’m asking that you try to empathize with the anger and grief of the fathers, mothers, and children who have lost their loved ones to police violence. To empathize with my anger and grief, and support me if I choose to be vocal, to protest. To share this letter with your friends, and encourage them to be empathetic, too.
As your child, I am proud and eternally grateful that you made the long, hard journey to this country, that you’ve lived decades in a place that has not always been kind to you. You’ve never wished your struggles upon me. Instead, you’ve suffered through a prejudiced America, to bring me closer to the American Dream.
But I hope you can consider this: the American Dream cannot exist for only your children. We are all in this together, and we cannot feel safe until ALL our friends, loved ones, and neighbors are safe. The American Dream that we seek is a place where all Americans can live without fear of police violence. This is the future that I want—and one that I hope you want, too.
With love and hope,