I might lose a few followers here at Calculated Chaos over this one. . . & I might lose a few friends on Facebook (or even in real life). . . But, this is something that has been bubbling up inside of me for quite some time.
The whole “Black Lives Matter” crap is total bullshit. . . At least that is what I think every time some ignorant person starts running their mouth (or typing furiously, or whatever — particularly with the overused, losing-its-significance hashtag) about how out of control society is in regard to race & how corrupt police are & how hard black people have it in this world.
Am I saying that there is NOT a race problem? Or that there are NOT some corrupt police? Or that some black people do NOT have a difficult time in regard to many things? No. I am not. BUT, what I am saying is that things are not that black & white (pun intended).
Of course I have heard of Ferguson & Eric Garner & all the other stories in the news about black men dying at the hands of non-black police for various reasons. . . All kinds of “eye witnesses” & speculation. The fact of the matter is that most of the people so “up in arms” about these occurrences were not there. Give me a damn break! Seriously?! You. Weren't. There. How can you know what happened? How can you know what was in the heart or mind of Darren Wilson, (as one example)? It is preposterous to claim that you do.
Furthermore, it is sickening that so many people are seeming to condemn police, in general, over the perceived despicable actions of few. The fact of the matter is that police officers are part of the community — someone's sibling, parent, spouse, friend, or child. Odds are that they go to work every day striving to help someone; they don't go thinking about which black person they can rid from the world.
Sure; blame society for allowing all of the negativity surrounding race. . . But how does that help anything? Afterall, what is society? It is, basically, a group of people living together with some sort of organization; is it not? That means society is YOU. (Cue Michael Jackson's “Man in the Mirror” right about now. . .I couldn't resist!)
Everyone seems so shocked & outraged, pointing fingers at everyone but themselves for the racism in this world. . . Then, when a finger is turned around on them — or when someone does actually admit to being racist — the tone is of the gee-I-didn't-know-any-better or the at-least-I-can-recognize-&-admit-that-I-am-privileged variety. Disgusting, people! Just disgusting. Take some damn responsibility.
The ignorant white person, blinded by their privilege is no more to blame than the black person who is always crying foul about how they are so oppressed & exploited & how they were brought here against their will & enslaved. Um, what?! It is now 2015. YOU were not brought here & enslaved (& if you were, there are now laws to protect you &/or help rectify that situation). It has been half a century. Sure that might seem like a long time, but progress is progress & it is still forward-moving in its momentum. Black people playing as the victim when they are not actually currently being victimized is taking away from shedding light on those who really are.
In my mind, it is not much different from people running around Ferguson, looting & setting crap on fire “in protest.” What the Hell were they really protesting by destroying their own community & the property of people who had absolutely nothing to do with the supposed issue at hand? Which cause does that help in a positive way?
Then, there's the matter of “white privilege.” I won't argue that it isn't “a thing.” I get the idea behind labeling it this way. It's just that it is one thing when someone is legitimately ignorant to racism because of how they were brought up or because of the fact the are white & “privileged” because of it. . . It is an entirely different thing to acknowledge that you fall into that category (or at least once did), then use that as an excuse to continue with your racist behavior. What the Hell is that?? I will tell you what that is: It is despicable! It is among the worst form of racism because you are admitting that you know better.
This particular topic was brought to light when the link to “I'm Not That Great A White Person” was posted by its author in one of my Facebook writing groups. I am still reeling a bit over it. . . It makes me want to say that the title should be changed to “I'm Not That Great A PERSON,” as “white” doesn't need to be specified. I just don't get it. Maybe someone else can lend some clarification there? (I am still communicating with that author via comments, both in the group & at the bottom of the linked post, so we'll see. . . )
I could go on forever on this topic, but to begin to summarize, I need to say that, as I see it, leading by example will always be best — whether in regard to race or anything else. I think we all need to stop pointing fingers & start looking in the mirror.
If you're not there, sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut, rather stir up extra crap. . .. If you are there when some racial injustice occurs, speak up or do the right thing in some way, depending on the situation. If you do encounter someone who just doesn't know any better, politely attempt to inform them about other viewpoints — the key word there being “politely” & the operative action being inform.
Everyone has their own story that led them to that particular place & time. Practice a little extra compassion — regardless of your race or their race or the race of the people watching. Start noticing race as a trait that makes individuals unique, rather than something that determines superiority or inferiority. . . This world needs more good examples to emulate.
Lastly, although I began this post saying #BlackLivesMatter is bullshit (& titled it so), I would like to stress for a second time that this is just a sentiment that explains how I feel when people overuse it or try to place blacks on a pedestal (which is just as racist in my mind, but, perhaps that's another post?).
In reality, #BlackLivesMatter is a legitimate organization/movement (from what I can gather) & while I do not agree with most of the extreme viewpoints on their site, they are not entirely out of line with my own. . . The fact of the matter is that we all have different ideas on how to arrive to a particular goal. I am more of the lead-by-example, turn-the-other-cheek, pen-is-mightier-than-the-sword variety & they appear to be more of the point-the-blame, drum-up-lots-of-publicity-whether-positive-or-negative, fight-back-at-all-costs variety.
I welcome your thoughts in the form of (respectful) comments below or on the Calculated Chaos Facebook page, if that proves easier for the non-bloggers that have read thus far. 😉