Current State

I don’t know if I have anything to write, which hasn’t already been said. Maybe this is nothing but another voice in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. What can I say? It’s disgusting how people are treated.

Full disclosure. I am white. I am male. I cannot be empathetic with how a person of color feels (whether it be brown, black, yellow, red, blue, orange). I cannot be empathetic to how a woman feels when she feels objectified or not given the same chances as men. However, I can try to understand. When I say understand, it is not from personal experience. I get that. It’s like learning something in a textbook. I’m learning based on other people’s experiences. I think we all need to try to understand and be sympathetic.

When the #blacklivesmatter movement started, I will admit my first reaction was “All lives matter.” If we are to get past racism, we need to try to be colorblind and work towards unifying all races. I didn’t understand the meaning of the movement. Like many people today, I instinctively read the movement with the word “only” in front of it. No one has said that. No one is saying we should only be concerned about the lives of blacks, but we should be concerned about them, just as we are concerned about everyone else.

My son is diabetic, and we are heavily involved with an organization called Beyond Type 1. When we ask for donations, we are not saying that diabetic research, education, and community is the only medical cause that matters. Even in the diabetic space, we are not saying people should not donate to JDRF, ADA, etc. When we would do our fundraiser, no one ever walked through the doors and screamed “NO! ALL MEDICAL RESEARCH MATTERS” to us. It’s understood we are focused on this one specific disease and calling attention to it. Not only that, we are focused on one organization in that space because they fulfill what we are looking for. Why is it so difficult to see the same thing about race and the BLM movement? Like asking for a donation to your favorite charity isn’t minimizing all the other charities, Black Lives Matter is not minimizing any other race. It is simply calling attention to a group of people who have been treated unfairly. Like stumping for your favorite charity to help fund research to possibly find a cure and stop needless deaths, the same can be said of BLM – calling out attention to avoid the needless deaths seemingly occurring on a daily basis. The worst part about this is that the people propagating these behaviors continuously seem to be let off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist or are even deemed as heroes.

I read a meme about how, on a daily basis, nurses deal with people who are out of their minds – whether drunk, high, mentally ill, agitated, etc. Somehow, nurses are able to calm these people down without any violence. There may be some kill or be killed situations, but I would think a well-trained police officer should be able to handle most of those situations in a non-lethal way. You know, I’m guessing they do. It’s not exciting journalism to report on a crazy situation being peacefully remedied. I always think back to Lethal Weapon (I think this is accurate – I haven’t seen the film in many years). There shouldn’t be a need to kill a suspect. You should detain them – shoot them in the leg or arm (this may cause them to drop their weapon). How many times is a lethal blow really necessary? I’m not in law enforcement, so I don’t know.

The media doesn’t help things either. Can you really believe anything you read? You can read separate accounts of the same event to match up with whatever your belief system is. Everyone has an agenda. Is there any true non-biased reporting anymore? I don’t know. It’s tough to read anything with the confidence of its accuracy.

A part of me wants to unplug. I watch my kids & their friends and think they may change the world (all parents probably think this). I was talking to my 11-year-old today, and he was saying how he can’t believe we are in 2020 and racism is still a thing. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is his hero, and he truly believed Dr. King helped end racism. The kids in our area appear to be colorblind. At least, they are much more so than what I remember growing up. I think it’s going to be a tough road to get there, but I really do hope these kids can get things on the right track. As their mentors, we need to lead them there.

I’m not re-reading this one. It came out, and it says what was on my mind. Basically, yes, ALL LIVES DO MATTER. Right now, there is a focus on Black Lives Matter because we (and when I say we, I am speaking about my fellow whites) are acting like they don’t. We can’t respond with fear WE will be discriminated against the same way WE have discriminated against others. We all need to work together to make sure everyone is treated justly and fairly. Currently, we have a specific race at the forefront of being treated unfairly, and it is needs to addressed.