Why Black Lives Matter is Crucial, All Lives Matter is Unnecessary, and White Lives Matter is just Racist

So Black Lives Matter has taken over my newsfeed of Facebook again this week.

11887984_10153326062674667_2877683434983872947_nIt all started with this picture, posted on the page for my employer, United Campus Ministries at TU, after we put a BLM sign out front of our building, and it was subsequently stolen Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. We promptly got another one to put out front.

I shared the picture to my personal Facebook page, and all hell broke lose. Immediately, the All Lives Matter and White Lives Matter crowd jumped all over this. So I posted an article by Leonard Pitts that addressed why All Lives Matter is insensitive and unnecessary.

And that set off a whole other can of worms.

11947493_10207265300571382_6896091287550583937_nSo then, in my great wisdom, I posted this wonderful graphic.

And the whole thing happened over again.

And in the midst of this, I keep seeing patterns of thought from the ALM/WLM crowd that I find disturbing and very, very frustrating. So I want to try to address some of that, to try to get people to understand, as my title states, why BLM is so important, ALM is unnecessary, and WLM is just flat-out racist. And, in sticking with the theme around here, why as Christians we have a duty to stand with BLM in combating racial injustice in America today.

First, what exactly is Black Lives Matter? It’s more than just a slogan, or a chant, or a catchphrase. BLM is a movement, organized after the unjust death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. But it is a movement responding to the hundreds of deaths before and after Brown, including Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and many many more young black men and women who died at the hands of white police officers. Please understand that: it is an organized movement, with leaders and decision-makers and a policy platform. And it is centered around one of the largest on-going injustices in America today.

There is a legitimate problem centered around black men and women being gunned down by police officers prior to any opportunity for due process and the judicial system to do its work, and then those police officers walking away with no consequences. Read that last sentence again; it is the crux of what people are upset about. Far too many times have we seen stories about a black human being who may or may not have broken a law being killed by the officer they come in contact with, and then no consequences being handed down. Far too often, the death penalty has been meted out at the whim of a single, white police officer, for alleged “crimes” that in a court of law would merit a fine.

This is a real problem in a country that purports to believe in the principle of the presumption of innocence, and trial by jury. When we dispense with real justice, when we defend those who take it into their own hands to do the work of the courts and dispense “justice” without due process, we inevitably say that the victimized person was undeserving of the rights guaranteed to us in the America. That person just didn’t matter enough.

This is what is meant by the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” Too often, black lives don’t seem to matter. Black lives seem expendable, like they are merely the normal leftovers of creating a society that is supposedly “just” and “free” and “safe.” Every time a black man or woman is gunned down by a state actor, and no one is held responsible, it sends the message that Black Lives Don’t Matter.

BLM works to make this simple idea a reality: the lives of black people do matter.

It isn’t an assertion that no other lives matter. Stop reading Black Lives Matter as a zero-sum statement. It isn’t. Acknowledging the existence of one injustice does not the negate the importance of others. Acknowledging the humanity of another person, or of a specific oppressed group, does not deny the humanity of everyone else. These are the words of Mana Tahaie, who designed and distributed these signs here in Tulsa, on Facebook that I found particularly striking:

A critical part of my worldview is that I believe that more for you does not mean less for me. I believe in abundance. I don’t think that pulling up one community necessitates tearing down another. I don’t feel that your success comes at my expense. Quite the opposite: I believe that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that my liberation is bound up in yours. So standing in solidarity with someone else’s struggle doesn’t threaten me, it actually strengthens me. I think we’re in a historic moment, when a community is crying out for justice, and in those moments I choose to stand with the oppressed. I also fight against transphobia, and ableism, and homophobia, even though I’m not directly impacted by those. I hope that in doing so, I inspire others to fight against sexism and ageism and Islamophobia and xenophobia and other things that oppress me.

I truly believe that the world will be more just, and beautiful, when we share one another’s struggles.

We only achieve justice in this world by working together, and by acknowledging and helping those who are oppressed, not by denigrating them because we have a problem with the words they use. BLM does not negate other issues in the world; it strengthens them by it’s very existence.

A good metaphor I keep seeing is the man who goes to the doctor for a broken arm, and the doctor starts examining the rest of the man’s body. The injured man says, “Doc, it’s my arm that’s broken; everything else is fine,” and the doctor responds, “All bones matter.” Of course they do! But they aren’t the ones that are hurting right now!

As a follower of Jesus, I like this little illustration, courtesy of my wonderful wife: when Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor,” no one stood up and yelled “Blessed is everyone!”

All Lives Matter seems to only ever be said in reaction to someone saying Black Lives Matter. That is a problem. It is a phrase being thrown around in opposition to BLM, no complementary to it.

And frankly, ALM is just unnecessary. No one in BLM has ever made the assertion that all lives don’t matter. They clearly do. That’s not issue here. What is the issue is that it is black people who are the target of discrimination, hatred and violence.

I’ve also seen some views that Black Lives Matter is the wrong phrase to use, or it is divisive or non-inclusive. Usually, this sentiment comes from white people, who seem to have a knee jerk reaction to BLM. But here’s the thing: as white people, we don’t get to dictate to an oppressed minority how they go about achieving their liberation. For too long, we have been the one’s standing in their way, the ones telling them what they can or cannot do. So for us to stand up now and say, “hey, we get what you are doing, but can you just say it a little nicer?” is the epitome of racial arrogance and lack of self awareness.

Our job as white people isn’t to direct BLM, or tell it how to work or what strategy to use. Our job is to acknowledge the depth of the hurt and anger, and the injustice that is happening every single day, and then ask, “how can we help?” That’s it. We need to stop trying to make this about us, and take the back seat for once in our lives. “How can we help?” That’s our role.

This is why White Lives Matter is such a racist and hate-filled statement. We white people are not at risk in this country, nor have we ever been.

It isn’t white people being gunned down without due process.

It isn’t white people who were enslaved for 350 years.

It wasn’t white people who have suffered under Jim Crow and state sponsored discrimination and racism for 150 years since.

Just as white people didn’t need to be emancipated, we don’t need to assert that our lives matter. We were never enslaved, and we were never the victims of terrorism and hatred supported by the state based on the color of our skin.

To say White Lives Matter in response of Black Lives Matter is to again assert our own assumed “superiority” and denigrate the humanity of African Americans. In light of the racial history of our nation, of the fact that it is exclusively white Americans who for so long have held down black people so that they might not challenge our place in the world, to use oxygen and air time to drown out BLM is to stand on the side of segregationists and the KKK and Jim Crow. It’s time we white people realized, it’s not all about us. We are not victims, we are not in need of protection or saving or fighting back. We are the perpetrator, not the victim.

Black people make up about 12% of the American population. They make up almost 40% of the prison population(1). Black men are incarcerated at over 6 times the rate of white men(2). Studies show that black men receive considerably longer sentences for petty crimes than white men do, as much as 10% longer, even when factoring in past records(3). This despite the fact that, in total, black people do not commit crimes at higher rates than whites, and certainly not at a rate that matches the incarceration gap(4). In fact, the number one reason for incarceration among black men, drug use, is actually more of a statistical problem among white men(5). This is injustice. This is institutionalized racism. We are responsible for this.

Racism is not the acknowledgment of race. Racism is not being aware of race. Racism is the active or passive discrimination against a group of people based on their ethnicity or skin color, especially by a majority identifier against a minority. It is not racist to say Black Lives Matter. It is racist to say White Lives Matter. You have to be aware of culture, of society, of history. We don’t live in a vacuum. We don’t live free from the past, from those around us, from cultural trends. That is why WLM is such a big, racist problem.

As Christians, we are called to follow the example of a man who made his life among the poor and oppressed and downtrodden. Jesus’ example calls us to work for injustice, to identify with the least among us. As Christians, we must work to liberate those who are shackled.

Jesus’ primary concern for the least of these is the earthly embodiment of God’s preferential option for poor. God always sides with the oppressed and downtrodden and lowly. We are obligated to do the same, even if it makes us uncomfortable or burdened.

White, middle class Americans are not the oppressed.

I have no doubt that, were Jesus alive today, he would be saying Black Lives Matter and marching in the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore. And really, he already is, in the form of every human who says these words and marches for justice. I want to be on the side of Jesus, and the side of justice and truth. That’s why I support Black Lives Matter.

Click here for my follow-up post, which answers most of the criticism and objections raised in comments below.

ed.: Updated to reflect the fact that victims of police brutality are not just men, bu also women and trans- or cis-gendered people of color. Thanks to commenter Faith Eden-Barre for pointing out this oversight in my original writing.

(1) http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2200

(2) http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1985377

(3) http://jrc.sagepub.com/content/49/1/56.short

(4) Let me clarify this with something I said in comments: “In looking at total murders in the United States, blacks and whites both commit close to 50% of murders, with the small difference accounted for by Asians, Native Americans, Hispanics, etc. My general point stands: blacks do not commit crimes at a considerably higher rate than whites, especially not at a rate that matches the incarceration disparity.”

(5) http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/07/study-whites-more-likely-to-abuse-drugs-than-blacks/

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211 thoughts on “Why Black Lives Matter is Crucial, All Lives Matter is Unnecessary, and White Lives Matter is just Racist

  1. DENOUNCEBLM

    Absolutely the most ridiculous, uneducated article I have read lately! BLM marching around promoting the assassination of all white police officers who PROTECT us? That’s a positive message and movement? NO..it’s furthering the division of our country. For you to support this movement full of rioting and violence, you have no consideration of anyone’s lives clearly. ALL LIVES MATTER! GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT! We are not responsible for what took place 400 years ago, and we need to come together as a country not continue these movements of division.

    I will pray for you and the other idiots that support the BLM (MORE THAN RACIST) movement! SUPPORT EQUALITY (If you educated yourself on MLK, you would be aware of his movement for equality and he would be highly opposed to the BLM movement), read your history books moron.

    ALL LIVES MATTER!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie

      You sound like an angry, hateful person and you’re probably the kind of person who is racist and doesnt even know it. No, you arent PERSONALLY responsible, Black Lives Matter is not threatening anyone or promoting violence. They are a peaceful civil rights movement. Anyone can say anything and call themselves a part of the movement so dont let yourself be misinformed by media. Media wants to tear down the movement and make them look bad. The powers that be dont want black america to prosper. Now I strongly suggest you reread this article until you GET IT! Have a great day!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Chetri

        Laurie, whey don’t BLM protest murder of blacks by blacks? Far more than by white police officers. Every 14 days in Chicago.

        Like

      2. David Carson

        Actually the BLM are the racists. There is no such thing as “black people” or “white people” for that matter. Untill PEOPLE can come to grips that the only race is the HUMAN race we are all going to be subjected to “racism.”

        The BLM perpetuate the stereo type that they are a separate people because of the color of their skin. Does the color of one’s eyes constitute a race? How about the color of their hair? If you claim that you’re a different people and you get treated like different people then that’s your own fault.

        I married a black woman and she has never been to jail or even once gotten a ticket. As a white man I’ve been to jail 3 times because I got out of line, spouted off. I worked with Koreans, Chinese, Arabs, Mexicans, whites and blacks, and the only ones that claimed racism in that establishment when they got fired were the individuals who had black skin. Of course it wasn’t because they deserved it. Only the Koreans, Chinese, Arabs, Mexicans and white’s actually deserved to be fired for lack of productivity. The black skinned individuals were discriminated against because they were different IN THEIR OWN EYES. No one else saw them in that light. Not to mention there were two black skinned individuals who worked there for 20 years.

        These people need to own up to their own problems and quit blaming everyone else.

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      1. Not really changed, just become more obvious. It’s just like the KKK: They were always racist, it’s just that they lied to the general public about their purpose and tried to portray themselves as some sort of protectors of justice- just like BLM.

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    2. briaunna McWilliams

      You obviously didn’t learn any thing from this article.No one is expecting you to apologise for slavery,but what you can do is admit that the United states is still profiting off of it to this day.Or how about the fact that black men are incarcerated at such high rates for petty crimes in order to use them for manual labor (which is also a form of slavery.)
      Admit that america is still prospering on the backs of people of color to this day.

      Like

    3. saturday

      Every organized group of people has extremists. For example, ISIS is an extremist Islamic group. The goal of the Islamic faith is to foster peace and 99% of Islamic people denounce ISIS as a misinterpretation of the religion. Yes, there are extremists who make ridiculous claims towards all police officers, but that is not the goal of the BLM movement and those people give peaceful supporters of the BLM movement a bad name. It is unfortunate when this happens to any organization, but it is not fair for you to pin the beliefs of those few people to every BLM supporter.

      Another point, MLK obviously did wonders in closing the gap of equality between blacks and whites. However, black people still face obvious oppression, otherwise BLM would have never occurred! So yes, this movement is quite different than the approach MLK took, but the lack of quality that still exists post MLK proves a more aggressive approach is necessary.

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    4. Angel Medina

      Yea…. Maybe you should check what the Black Lives Matter Movement really stands for. They simply want to have the same rights that everyone else has. Your comment is one of the most ridiculous and uneducated forms of retaliation against BLM I have ever read. I will pray that you learn how to conduct an adequate research as to what BLM really stands for.

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      1. I don’t think assaulting police officers without retaliation is a “right” for anyone. BLM is a segregationist movement that wants to set back civil rights by over half a century.

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      2. Angel Medina

        Are you even reading what you are writing? Do you know what you are talking about? BLM does not promote killing Police Officers. They want to equalize the rights FOR EVERYONE!!! THEY WANT TO GET RID OF THE SYSTEMIC RACISM PRESENT IN OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM!!! Go and do a simple Google search as to what BLM stands for. You really need too.

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      3. No one is calling for death? I guess this just doesn’t exist then? https://youtu.be/dj4ARsxrZh8

        As for what else BLM wants, we’ll they’ve recently called for segregation. This article sums it up pretty nicely with the title: http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2016/01/10/black-students-demand-segregation-now-segregation-tomorrow-segregation-forever/

        They’re the biggest promoter of racism since the KKK. Stop trying to convince us that the way to end racism is to bring back Separate But Equal, you just sound foolish attempting such methods.

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  2. Debra Tietz

    Am I missing something? Trying to understand. Blacks represents 12 percent of the population according to your statistics, but are accountable for 50% of all murders in the United States. I’m not a math whiz but…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Read

      Blacks are also most likely the victim of murder and a white person is overwhelmingly more likely to be killed by a white person or intraracial crime than interracial which has to do with the systemic injustice and distribution of resources in our country. You fight for the little you have. So yes there is a lot your are missing. But I am glad you are asking the question. My background is in clinical psychology, law and criminal behavior and sociology. And I am white. I would be happy to go over this with you in further pleasant discussion

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Debra Tietz

      As a “child of the 60’s”, it really hurts to see all this racial tension coming bubbling to a head again. It was my hope that we had all learned from Martin Luther King and the riots and tragedies that happened back then. This new movement of Black Lives Matters, although I believe in your hearts you have good intentions, just seems to be causing people to see race again – black and white – and not the human being. I thought we were getting past that. But now this is just opening up old wounds again…. As the adage states: Those who do not learn from history, are condemned to repeat it.

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      1. Jadi Mwendo

        I think part of the reason racial issues are bubbling up again is because we have tried to not see race. We have tried to not talk about race. We have tried to solve racial problems by ignoring them and hoping they would go away. Until we confront our racial history, as painful as it may be, we’ll never solve the root problem. It’s like trying to cure AIDS by putting a bandaid on a lesion. The root disease is not being addressed and it’s killing us.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. briaunna McWilliams

        So black lives matter is causing racial tension,but the fact that we at being killed in the streets and are victims of institutionalized racism isn’t? Isn’t that a backwards way of looking at things?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Debra Tietz

        Briaunna – funny how it’s not okay to generalize about this but okay to generalize about
        other topics? Maybe time for a self reflection?

        briaunna McWilliams commented on Why Black Lives Matter is Crucial, All Lives Matter is Unnecessary, and White Lives Matter is just Racist.

        in response to Debra Tietz:

        As a “child of the 60’s”, it really hurts to see all this racial tension coming bubbling to a head again. It was my hope that we had all learned from Martin Luther King and the riots and tragedies that happened back then. This new movement of Black Lives Matters, although I believe in your […]

        So black lives matter is causing racial tension,but the fact that we at being killed in the streets and are victims of institutionalized racism isn’t? Isn’t that a backwards way of looking at things?

        Like

      4. That’s BLM’s purpose- it’s not about equality, it’s about division. Humans are humans, and the fact there are black people that act just like the KKK shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

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      1. Karen

        Racist an d ignorant???? Wow! You have a lot of anger going on. This number is quoted in the article close to the last paragraph! Stop being so defensive and read it again. It may be an inaccurate number but it is in the article.

        Like

      2. Patricia Mccrea-weiler

        Look I’m a 66 year old white woman. I was part of many who pushed for changes during the 60’s, but we didn’t go far enough. In our country if you are born white you have an automatic advantage over where you live, go to school, what education is open to you and your estimated income throughout your life. I’m not saying that white people can’t face poverty and the frustration that goes along with it. I myself was a single welfare mother at one time. But there were many others who had it far worse than I did.There are good people on all sides of this issue trying to do the best they can. I do think that changes are  long over due. It is time to restructure the legal system including the entire process. The changes we make in the legal system is important. A person should not end up dead or in jail for a minor traffic violation. The conversations are needed to establish emotional bonds of understanding. The emotional changes are the most difficult but they won’t happen until we realize that we are more alike than we are different. I see some positive changes happening in Ferguson, Missouri. The government has appointed a commission which includes people from diverse backgrounds and it sounds like their proposals would go along way in making much needed changes. This gives me some hope.Far better than shooting at each other or watching our children suffer because the adults couldn’t get it together.

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    3. saturday

      So what is your point? Are you trying to argue that people of another race are inherently more violent? Do you really believe that the amount of melanin in someone’s skin that causes differences in skin tone is enough to change the psychological make up of a person? Because if that is what you are saying, there are several areas of science which would prove you wrong. A better topic for discussion would be the reason WHY black people seem to commit more violent murders. Could it be because of their socioeconomic status? If so we must fix the existing problem in our country that prevents black people from having the same resources and opportunities to succeed as white people.

      Like

  3. White Van Mann

    I’m not an expert on these racial temper tantrums, but I’m confident only stupid people would start a race war with those that control their supply of food.

    Like

  4. thatguy

    So 12% of the population is responsible for 50% of the murders and you’re saying that *isn’t* a higher murder rate than the other 88% of the population?

    Like

  5. thatguy

    Oh, and while I’m at it. I’m going to quote your source on drug crimes.

    “Black youth are arrested for **drug crimes** at a rate ten times higher than that of whites. But new research shows that young African Americans are actually less likely to **use drugs** and less likely to develop substance use disorders, compared to whites, Native Americans, Hispanics and people of mixed race.” (emphasis mine)

    Your source is comparing two different statistics. Drug crime and drug use. Drug crime includes trafficking, not just use. And you’re wrong about drug crimes being the number one reason for incarceration among blacks. It’s robbery, not drug crimes.

    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p12ac.pdf

    Your source is also wrong on their statistics. Blacks have a higher rate of illicit drug use than whites. But whites have a higher rate of alcohol use if that’s any comfort to you.

    http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/Web/NSDUHresults2013.htm#fig2.9

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Stillapill

    My problem with this article is it is promulgation of false narrative beginning with the claim that Michael Brown’s death was “unjust”. Forensics and facts priced otherwise. “Hands up, Don’t shoot” was a lie from start to finish. Further, Sandra Bland killed herself. She was not killed by the police. Trayvon Martin was not killed by a white man or a police officer. Freddy Gray may have died from self-inflicted injuries, but even if that isn’t the case, the police officers charged are mostly black.
    The statement that the police officers involved are not being held accountable is also false. Each case is reviewed departmentally and by the local District Attorney, as well as often by the Department of Justice. If there was wrong-doing or even the appearance of it, the officers would be charged, as we are seeing in Baltimore and Texas, and a couple of other locations. If the shoots are determined to be justified, as in the case of Tamir Rice, then justice had still been served.

    Further, the author’s claim that blacks do not commit crimes at a higher rate is not actually supported by his data. He admitted in the footnotes that he only looked at murder rates, which actually account for a small portion of crimes. If he had looked at the FBI Index crimes or all crimes, he would likely not be able to spin that data as he has done. Why are black males incarcerated at a proportionally higher rate per capita than white males? It is mainly because they do commit crimes at a higher proportional rate per capita than other groups.

    Like

  7. As a Christ follower our primary responsibility is to make a stand for the voiceless, the marginalised – in order to follow in Jesus footsteps. Eg in WW 11 it would be approved of most of these readers as well as ‘poster removers’ – to say ‘Jewish lives matter’. Today it is also urgent we say of Palestinians that ‘Palestinian lives matter’. Sadly we are living in a blind world where dualism is a default. Language itself creates the ‘us’ and ‘them’. We live with self fulfilling prophesies.

    Let us weep for humanities sincere ignorance. How much meaning remains then in Jesus words on the Sermon on the Mount ‘blessed are the poor or the peacemaker – they are meant to prod us out of our slumber beyond the literal to the core of our humanity – beyond the debate is a field and I would love to meet you there (Rumi)

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  8. Anonymous

    The Black Lives Matter movement has created a self-fulfilling prophesy by persuading poorly educated blacks that they are being unfairly singled out and treated with unnecessary force. Rather than reacting to a routine police stop in a civil manner, they often react aggressively causing the situation to escalate. The reaction is made worse if they have outstanding warrants, are carrying weapons, or have other reasons to actually fear what would be relatively benign interactions with law enforcement.

    It hasn’t helped the cause that the movement has been infiltrated and events organized and promoted by professional agitators who travel from city to city for the purpose of creating disruptions. Nihilists, communists, unions, black nationalists, and more, taking advantage of gullible and well-intentioned idealists to create civil disturbances.

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    1. Al

      “BLM is a movement, organized after the unjust death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson”

      And there’s the problem. This is why educated, informed people would nevery take such a “movement” seriously. Michael Brown? Really? The gang banging thug who, moments after committing a strong arm robery and then beating up a cop and trying to take his gun, was killed by that police officer in self defense… That’s going to be your poster child for racial injustice?

      IF the BLM crew wants to drive home the point that “black lives matter” then perhaps they should convince others that THEY value black lives. Every day in Chicago we read the paper and see that more black lives were erased. A one-year old was killed a few weeks back. He was killed while in his stroller, run over by gang bangers driving away after a drive-by. His name was Dillon, his family called him “Dill pickle” because he liked pickles. Black kids as young as 3 and 4 die every month here. And the BLM crew’s response? To ignore it, pretend it did not happen…. to instead focus their attention on Sandra Bland, an upper-middle class pot smoking black woman from the rich suburb of Naperville 30 miles west of Chicago who killed herself after fighting with a cop and getting arrested.

      Sandra Bland appears to have been arrested for bunk reasons but SHE choose to die. So why is she more important than little “Dill Pickle”? Because a white cop was involved and, based on what I’ve seen of the BLM protesters running screeming things like “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon”, their agenda is to turn black folks against white cops; little Dill Pickle does not further that cause so to them, his life does not matter.

      You BLMers say black lives matter then you 1st need to convince someone that YOU believe that. The headline in today’s Tribune (9/5/2015) is “Chicago marks deadliest day by gunfire in more than a decade”. I don’t need to tell you the race of the people who died. Take off your “Assata Taught Me” tea shirts that we see you wearing on fb and twitter and march down the streets of the Chicago West & South sides and preach your message there. Prove to the media that has propped up your BS “movement” that All Black Lives Matter, not just the ones of blacks who died that you can exploit to promote your cause.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think you are crystal clear. I think you are running out of words to state what is the lived experience of people of color. I think in order for people to understand there has to be a willingness to hear, a heart for empathy and a desire for change. Words just do not seem to be enough. I also don’t think demonstrations and disruptions are enough. We need to grapple within our own communities and work with the police everywhere to figure out the difference between their mission to protect and serve and unnecessary dominance/demands for submission/weapon discharges etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sue, for your kind words and for reading.

      I agree that words aren’t enough. We must take action, in our communities, in our churches, at the courthouse and the capitol, to make sure that justice and equality for all becomes a reality, rather than just an aspiration.

      Grace and peace

      Justin DaMetz

      Like

  10. Paul

    Peter calls Christians “a chosen race” (1 Pet 2:9) and Paul, who was a Jew, said (after becoming a Christian), “to the Jews I became as a Jew.” How can a Jew become “AS a Jew,” as if he’s not an actual Jew?! — New race y’all. Christ is your identity, your allegiance. Your skin color, national heritage – that’s gone, washed away by the blood of Jesus! To the _____ I become as _____; That’s freedom! ‪#‎NoStringsOnMe‬

    Like

  11. Reblogged this on Fuzzytek and commented:
    So many people responding from outside the social experiences of living in a chocolate city to know the truth. For these people living in such an area would be filled with fear. Realizing that living in fear is normal, especially when the constructs of a society you reap benefits from is challenged. The unequal justice of lived experience has to change and it takes daily work from inside and through allies.

    Living in SW Detroit I know every parent must hold “that talk” with their youths to PROTECT them in a society leading toward guilty without proof. These innocent youth will be followed by protectors of a dominant society. These “protectors” may show the youth as a violator of simple offenses which could end up challenging their ability to live and see due process.

    Racial unrest is an extremely hot topic because those in power are being challenged. The sense of identity as dominant REQUIRES ensuring others (black and brown) remain deemed “less equal”. This is why crime statistics are terribly skewed by society’s dominant predisposition that white might is making what would be known as RIGHT and JUST. Justice for all would remove the social overtones of fear, however it is well understood that prison labor is profitable. It is easier to put people into that profit center that “look or act a certain way”. Having black skin is like wearing the brandings of those targeted for genocide.

    What’s sad is that many living in and thriving from our existing dominant society will challenge what I’ve written without seeing the lived experience of being targeted. Many will never see that experience and would be completely blind to what is #WhitePrivilege. I’ve lived in white privilege more than half my life and failed to identify it. I can work toward correcting this fact – daily.

    Daily I have to realize that I will never be able to erase where I stand as a person with white skin, enjoying the fact that society places me in the dominant sect of society.
    Daily I have to check my language working with persons oppressed by structural racism.
    Daily I get a pass from people whom have given trust to me that I will act as an ally, even without their lived experience.

    I want to live in a society where all persons are equal, but I know this does not exist without daily work toward unraveling and calling out the injustices that are claimed to be justice. They are not justice from a dominant society – they are “Just Us”, ensuring the systems continue even with resistance lived daily. Challenge your value systems always, examine the choices made and prejudice behind them. You’ll find there are nonhuman products that support the branding of humans as not equal – they are all around us. Continue daily to hold the conversations bringing equality, and even when you’re labeled by those you are an ally to as “just” — keep checking in, the lived conditions continue to change.

    The fight by dominant sociiety isn’t fading, it is strenghening – because it is in fear of change.

    Like

  12. Great article – very thought-provoking. Also interested to see the comments – apparently there is a long way to go. Re: statistics on murder and drug use – I don’t see any reliable sources quoted so I will discount them. Just fyi – news is not a reliable source. Look at education, socio-economic factors and put numbers in context.

    Like

  13. Kevin

    I do not buy that blacks are gunned down by police any more than whites. White kids can get gunned down with no fanfare. No Obama crying how they would look like his son. Eric Holder does not attend their funeral You don’t see rots or hate filled rhetoric. I do not buy the system or “the man” are against black people. Why can Asians or Hispanics make it? Do you really think all races are against black people? The victim mentality is at the root of the problem. Asian and hispanic communities do not have leaders telling them how victimized they are. The family values in those communities are much stronger. The children are more likely to get support. Black on black violence is a much bigger problem. It is easier to blame somebody else for problems than look within and take charge to change your circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stillapill

      Well said. I would be much more sympathetic to the cause if they did focus on the truly innocent victims and not the people who are non-compliant and/or combative with police officers. Show us that all black lives matter, instead of no lives really matter.

      Like

    2. Comments like this are so pointless…you don’t buy it because you are too lazy to look for the proof, and when you do, you discount it. The lack of critical thinking is so obvious, yet you are blind to it
      Your entire post is filled with so many falsehoods and outright lies…. it is just more rhetoric for all the misinformed racists to like and spread as gospel.
      “I don’t buy blacks are gunned down more” http://www.propublica.org/article/deadly-force-in-black-and-white
      “You don’t see riots” Oh, the dominant racial group is not feeling oppressed enough to riot to be heard? I can’t even muster the sarcasm to say “weird!”
      “Victim mentality” again, do some actual research
      “family Values” CDC shows that black fathers spend more time with their children than any other race.
      “black on Black violence is a bigger problem” Know who kills more whites than anyone else? White people. People tend to kill those they are in contact with. It is not a bigger problem because you say so.

      You obviously do not have more than a token black friend, and do not listen to the black community at all. Turn off fox and open your eyes and ears. We would be so much better off as a country if people like you would

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Does everyone at every thing you are a part of represent the entire group? Have any BLM protestors you have marched with or spoken to ever professed this chant?

      I have heard firsthand plenty of police say horrible, racist things and a have no compunction in stating the desire to kill black people . I do not indict all officers

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Debbie

    You need to do your research before you make comments like this one: “organized after the unjust death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.” Did you read the trial transcripts? If you had, you wouldn’t be making such inflammatory comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Changes | Discussion

  16. Tony!

    Thank you for this. As a black person living in the US, I’ve spoken to friends and written blog posts about the Black Lives Matter movement. I’ve responded to untold ignorant utterances from people in the comments sections of online articles and FB. The opponents of BLM are a seeming never ending tide of people who are supporting the system of racism in the United States that has oppressed African-Americans since the founding of the United States. These people are the first line of defense in a racist system. They stand proud and firm against black people asserting that they have rights and should be treated equitably. And they just don’t care about all the facts. They don’t care that black people are imprisoned disproportionate to the percentage of the population. They don’t care about the school-to-prison pipeline. They don’t care that black people get stopped and frisked at a greater rate than white people, despite the fact that black people are not more likely that white people to have drugs or illegal guns. They don’t care that black children are penalized in the school system for infractions that white kids get a slap on the wrist for. They don’t care that zero-tolerance policies disproportionately impact children of color. They don’t care that black trans women of color face significant levels of violence in this country.
    Every time the defenders of the racist status quo speak up, they show that they are exactly the problem. The advocates of white lives matter-who only speak up when black lives matter activists are talking-demonstrate that they’re not committed to white lives. They demonstrate that they’re trying to deflect the conversation-that they don’t want the conversation about injustice to be centered around black people.

    It’s really wonderful, and brings a bit of rejuvenating energy to me when I read of a white person who supports the BLM movement. Especially when one such as you writes a post like this which is powerful and informative. It is information dense and well argued. No, it’s not likely to convince many people, which is why I’m not going to wade through the comments (my health and well being probably couldn’t cope with the naked bigotry I’m sure is on display). But there are people who aren’t so defensive of white supremacy. There aren’t people who so callously disregard the pain and suffering of African-Americans. These are the people who are not as directly invested in the system continuing unchanged. And these are the people who are more likely to be reached. Hopefully a post like this can open some eyes. Because All Lives Do Matter, Blue Lives Matter, and White Lives Matter, but Black Lives are the ones that are consistently devalued by the criminal justice system. And that is an injustice that needs to be rectified.

    Like

  17. I have read the transcripts. It is not at all clear that Micheal Brown, Jr.’s death was anything other than what was reported by the officer. The video of the robbery supports that. It doesn’t prove it, of course, but it certainly supports it. Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner are different stories. For the BLM movement to be associated with Michael Brown’s death give it a shaky and doubtful foundation. It is also NOT racist to say that All Lives Matter, or to state that White Lives Matter too, or any other lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Reblogged this on christinejbaxter.net and commented:
    “As white people we don’t get to dictate to an oppressed minority how they go about achieving their liberation” AMEN INDEED
    It is time for us, the white liberal activist, to follow the lead of the BLM Movement and support our neighbors, friends, loved ones, and fellow Americans in achieving justice for all people regardless of the color of their skin. How Long must we wait for justice and peace, how long ?

    Like

    1. “It is time for us, the white liberal activist, to follow the lead of the BLM Movement and support our neighbors, friends, loved ones, and fellow Americans in achieving justice for all people regardless of the color of their skin.”

      Christine – according to this blog, you are racist.

      Like

  19. Frank M. D'Ambrosio

    The original article was, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful pieces of rhetoric I have read in quite a while-worthy of any Presidential debate. Well presented, well thought out, and utter nonsense! “All Lives Matter is Unnecessary?” “White Lives Matter is Racist?” Really? Let’s see: in the last 10 years or so how many WHITE PEOPLE have been slaughtered by extremist Muslims under the guise of “Jihad” or holy war and in the name of Allah (which, by the way, is God in the Mid-Eastern language). During WWII, Hitler slaughtered over 6 million JEWS-not blacks, Jews. In the 1840s and later, Chinese immigrants were treated as slaves working gold mines and later railroads-even into the 1900s, they were still called “slanty eyes”, among other things. Later in the 1900s, Irish and Italians were treated to similar racism when they arrived in this country. Want me to go on? How about this-for the record, JESUS WAS A BLACK MAN-he was born in Jerusalem, not Beverly Hills! He died for everyone-repeat EVERYONE. He taught that all people mattered-was His message unnecessary? I can quote the Sermon on the Mount too, or the Sermon on the Plain, if you prefer Luke’s telling of that great message. By no means do I support the shedding of innocent blood-regardless of whose. There is much lament about white police officers killing young black people; I don’t hear much fuss about black people (age irrelevant) raping and killing white people. White people have privilege? Maybe if their names are Trump, Gates, Buffett, Rockefeller, etc. So many people who came to this country had to claw and fight for everything they needed to live. Lest we forget-I don’t hear any laments about the Native Americans, whose land we stole thanks to Andrew Jackson’s infamous policy of Manifest Destiny!
    I am not a “hater” of anything except trouble makers. For those who have memory issues, it was professional agitators hired by the Sanhedrin to stir up the crowd who demanded Jesus the Christ be crucified and Jesus Barrabas the Zealot be freed!
    I’m sure I have upset or even offended many people. I do regret that, but I cannot apologize for my views or my recollection of world history. Overall point: we need to stop calling attention to race and start calling attention to humanity. No, I am not telling BLM how to run their campaign; I am not suggesting BLM is drawing attention away from other injustices in history; I am saying BLM is “the flavor of the day” because it is on people’s minds to the exclusion of other equally important issues.

    Like

  20. Macumbo

    Mr. DaMetz, are you black? I hope not, because then you would be an insult to that subgroup of humans. I am black, Mr. DaMetz. I am blacker than night and also hispanic. I can speak English, Spanish and Yoruba fluidly. I am very proud of that. I am very proud of what I am and of what my mother and my father have attained with me. Both, my mother and father, are blacker that night as well (they were born in Panama). All of my grandparents (paternal and maternal) came directly from Africa (Nigeria and Congo). I am very proud of that too. Africa has always been like a inspirational mother to me. However, do you know who really is like my first mother, Mr. Dametz? The United States of America!!!!, that is definitely the strongest and the deepest source of pride, love and joy of my soul. I wanted to give you this preamble so you can understand my background before I can tell you how profoundly and intensely I disagree with every and all the words you have spat in this so-called article. ALL LIVES DO MATTER (when one says all lives matter, one is not being racist or “unnecessary”, one is being righteous, precise, loving, and harmony-seeking; one is being human) Mr. Dametz. ALL LIVES DO MATTER because there is only one race in this world (a world that is presently twisted by people like you who constantly are expectorating venomous and divisive words) and that race is called HUMAN, Mr. Dametz, H-U-M-A-N!!!!!!!. Do you understand the sacred meaning of that vocable? Do not try to look for the meaning of Human in a dictionary, you will not find it there, Mr. Dametz. You should try to look for the meaning of it in your heart. Is your heart black, white or red, Mr. Dametz? Perhaps none of them, perhaps not even human!!!!!!!…..Shame on you, Mr. Dametz!!!!! you are not worthy of being an American.

    Like

  21. John

    So it’s OK for the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement to assassinate white police officers? Excuse me? In case you haven’t heard the truth… Michael Brown was a common street thug who would still be alive if he hadn’t robbed a convenient store and assaulted a police officer. His death is on HIM! Not on anyone white, green, orange or pink. Get your heads out of your butts and rejoin the human race.

    Like

  22. Enough…We are a society that has become so embroiled in the fact that everyone else is the reason for our troubles, our calamities. “It was the trains fault that my mother stalled on the tracks and was killed”…(true story).

    I can still remember when the word “sue” was a girl’s name, not an act of litigation. I wonder how God feels about the black lives matter thingy. I venture He cares little. If we were to obey His laws and not so much man’s laws, then we wouldn’t be where we are today.

    I”ve been on both sides of the fence when it comes to being arrested, believe me. Cops have literraly broken bones in my body in the past arrest game I played. I was a thug. A white thug, of all things. They show up I start fighting, cussing, belittling, ad infinitum. No cop is gonna fuck with me dammit. They don’t know who I am, and I know my rights….

    One day I was walking across the compound of the prison (one of many) I was in and a thought hit me like a brick, between the eyes, ya know? Simplely put..my mind told me that “if I quit breaking the law, then I could stay out of trouble. That was early into a 12 year sentence for burglary and robbery. What a Concept. I’ve been prison free for over 25 years. Freakin’ amazing, and all I really had to do was to see where the problem originated, and take steps to correct it. All this without the benefit of “lives matter”.

    I was the one holding myself back. Not the cops, not my parents, or school, or even my peers. IT WAS ME!!!! I had this idea that I’d never see 30, so I planned my life around that fact. Then I got sober and clean.

    My uncle used to say to me “who’s the S.O.B. that caused these conditions….”? Took me a long time to figure that out. If someone is subjugating you it’s not their fault, it’s yours. You can lock up my body but you will never get my heart or my soul. They are free and always will be.

    So I can say this about that…excuses are like assholes, everyone has one and they generally stink. Really study God’s Word, and tell me that only a certain group of people can claim they are down-trodden in any given situation. Getting off your dead ass and unto your dying feet will go a long way in gaining the respect of your fellow man. Not killing, raping, and looting for all the real or imagined wrongs you have suffered at the hands of “others”. Don’t know why I bother, but there it is.

    Like

  23. Mike

    In today’s world no matter what a person says it will be turned into a race thing. And when you try to explain your point your words are twisted to make it worse. I’m white and my wife is black, and all this racist mess is so stupid. You have black people in poverty and white people in poverty. Rich white people’s and rich black people’s. And to prove my point of stupidity some white person will feel good cause I put rich white people’s first and black second and same with the poverty line. And some black person will flip out for same reason just reversal. Those are the dumb ass that keeps racism alive

    Like

  24. Pingback: Year in Review: Top Posts of 2015 | Justin DaMetz

  25. Just came across this – what a simply awful article.

    First, you know the police officer you refer to for the very first example of “police racism”, whose life and family were essentially destroyed was completely exonerated of ANY wrong doing after multiple investigations. But according to you, to say all lives matter, including his, is racist. No, his life, his family’s life – they matter. Had the young man not acted aggressively, he would still be alive. His life mattered, but despite your juvenile argument to the contrary, the whole officer’s life matters as well – all lives matter.

    Second, the bible quote is “blessed are the poor in spirit”, not “blessed are the poor”. There is a very distinct difference as not all poor are poor in spirit, and the sentiment has nothing to do with being poor in the sense you are portraying. Really, just a little research would have been great.

    Third, I just couldn’t make it much further. If you feel guilty, then resolve that but don’t project it onto me with some ridiculous sentiments.

    Like

  26. MISSIONARY D.L. RANGE

    AS THE FOUNDER AND CREATIVE VISIONARY MOTHER MISSIONARY OF THE THREE WORDS… I GAVE TO ALL BLACK LIVES TO USE, SHARE, CHANT AND DEFEND OUR PLACE IN THE WORLD, I AM OFFENDEDOFFENDED! WHO SPEAKS ON A TOPIC WITHOUT FINDING THE CONTEXT FROM THE FIRST MENTION SOURCE! NOT A SOURCE, BUT FIRST MENTION! I CREATED #ALLLIVESMATTER FIRST, AND BEGAN NAMING EACH COLOR IN PLACE OF ALL! AND SOONSOON EXCLUDED BLACKLIVES FROM THE REST TO MAKE MY POINTS ON RACISM! MATHEMATICALLY IT IS LOGIC…I AM A MATHEMATICIAN … IT JUST FOLLOWS!
    All glory to GOD!
    SEE THE TRUE HISTORY VISIT THE NEW BLACK LIVES MATTER HEADQUARTERS!! LINK @MissyDLRange

    Like

  27. MISSIONARY D.L. RANGE

    AS THE FOUNDER AND CREATIVE VISIONARY MOTHER MISSIONARY OF THE THREE WORDS… I GAVE TO ALL BLACK LIVES TO USE, SHARE, CHANT AND DEFEND OUR PLACE IN THE WORLD, I AM OFFENDED! WHO SPEAKS ON A TOPIC WITHOUT FINDING THE CONTEXT FROM THE FIRST MENTION SOURCE! NOT A SOURCE, BUT FIRST MENTION! I CREATED #ALLLIVESMATTER FIRST, AND BEGAN NAMING EACH COLOR IN PLACE OF ALL! AND SOON SEPARATED #BLACKLIVES FROM THE REST TO MAKE MY POINTS ON RACISM! MATHEMATICALLY IT IS LOGIC…I AM A MATHEMATICIAN … IT JUST FOLLOWS!
    All glory to GOD!
    SEE THE TRUE HISTORY VISIT THE NEW BLACK LIVES MATTER HEADQUARTERS!! LINK @MissyDLRange

    Like

  28. Did you honestly just say that to speak against a segregationist group is to stand beside segregationist groups? Did you seriously suggest that it’s okay to kill cops just because of the color of their skin? Are you trying to suggestion it’s racist to ask that we judge people not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character?

    Either explain why you believe these things are true, or apologize for writing such a racist article.

    Like

    1. Mario, this article is far from racist. Your comment shows that you truly do not understand the article or the movement. No one is calling for more death. We want less death, and we want justice for people that are killed. If BLM is successful in revamping the way police are trained, in getting some of the mandatory sentencing laws changed, and in protecting our 4th amendment rights, it will benefit people of all races.

      Like

      1. No one is calling for death? I guess this just doesn’t exist then? https://youtu.be/dj4ARsxrZh8

        As for what else BLM wants, we’ll they’ve recently called for segregation. This article sums it up pretty nicely with the title: http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2016/01/10/black-students-demand-segregation-now-segregation-tomorrow-segregation-forever/

        You’re the same sort of person that would have made excuses for the KKK if we lived 60 years ago and would have tried to convince me they didn’t really hate blacks, they just wanted to protect whites.

        How about we go to a system of judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin? THAT would help people of all colors (which are, by the way, all the same race- doesn’t matter how much melanin you have in your skin, you’re still part of the human race, like it or not).

        And no one has called for the removal of the 4th amendment.

        Like

  29. Pingback: #AltonSterling – Justin DaMetz

  30. Stephanie

    This article is ridiculous.

    The entire BLM movement is hinged on making white people feel ashamed for literally just being white. I have never enslaved a black person to my knowledge. I have never treated a black person unfairly or even differently because they were black.

    You cannot and will not make me feel guilty or ashamed for something I have never done or for being what I am–a white person.

    Shame on the BLM movement for perpetuating the racism they claim to hate so much.

    Like

    1. Stephanie, BLM is not at all predicated on making white people feel any way. Let me blunt: it isn’t about you. If you are white, BLM isn’t about you. It’s about bringing awareness to the fact that black lives are being sacrificed everyday in this country, with little to no justice. The think that BLM is about you is the height of white privilege. And it really illustrates why so many white people have a problem with BLM: because it takes the spotlight off us for once, and puts it on someone else. That uncomfortable situation enrages so many white people, they then use phrases like “All Lives Matter” to shift the focus back to themselves.

      Like

      1. Alan

        “If you are white, BLM isn’t about you. ”
        Oh give me a break!

        If you are a white (or even brown) cop then, yes – it’s about you. It’s certainly not about “black lives” because, if it was, the BLM folks in Chicago would be protesting the 12 black folks killed here in the past week. This year 237 black folks have been killed in Chicago, 17 this month and that number excludes a black 3 year old in Chicago was permanently paralyzed. Nothing about this on the BLM fb, twitter, or mentions during protests.

        How about we rename the “movement” to BLIOSTBWC(black lives in other states taken by white cops), this would be more appropriate. Sorry – but, unless you can demonstrate that you believe that your neighbor’s live matters you should just shut up and quit complaining about what happens in other towns/states.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, this movement is very specifically targeted: it’s about Black Lives being ended without a trial or due process at the hands of a institution and nation rife with systematic racism. It isn’t about white people or any other people except for insofar as they are the hands dishing out the violence towards black bodies. There are other people and movements addressing gun violence and urban crime; this isn’t that movement and that’s ok. Saying BLM has to address these other injustices is a diversion tactic. And besides, it is very rich to see conservatives so concerned about young black urban lives and gun violence; where were y’all at on this over the last 50+ years? It’s funny; your interest never arose until BLM began shining a light on police violence.

        And I am concerned with my local community, as well as the nation at large. Here in Tulsa, police violence has touched the black community often; for the most recent example, go look up “Eric Harris.” Guess what: it is possible to be concerned about local things AND national things. Multitasking is possible for some of us.

        Like

      3. “Black lives ended without due process”.

        Read the front page of the Chicago Tribune today – yesterday: 3 dead (black), 7 others shot (also black). No due process and not a peep from BLM. Like I said, if your black neighbors are being killed and you dont want to do or say do anything about it then perhaps you should just shut up.

        “Saying BLM has to address these other injustices is a diversion tactic.”

        Um, 100’s of dead here in Chicago just this year, more every day, 3 last night… I think your focus on Eric Harris is the diversion tactic.

        “And besides, it is very rich to see conservatives so concerned about young black urban lives”

        I’m not rich and it’s not just blacks. My fellow Hispanics down the street are the 2nd largest largest group of victims of gang violence. And bogus hate groups like BLM, that ignore the real issues and just try to divide us don’t help. Chicago cops are afraid to do their jobs. In Chicago more black people are shot by black cops and not because they’re black. It’s uninformed/uneducated people such as yourself who want to turn it into race.

        “Guess what: it is possible to be concerned about local things AND national things. ”
        Possible? Yes. Happening? No. The Dallas police chief (a black man who grew up in poverty) said it best: “Get out of that protest line and put in an application. We’ll put you in your neighborhood and help you resolve some of those problems.”

        Liked by 1 person

  31. Pingback: Update for 7/10/2016 | The Thinkulum

    1. Chetri, Black Lives Matter is about a specific subject: black deaths at the hands of police without due process. Your comment is like getting mad at the American Heart Association because they don’t advocate about cancer. It’s not what they are about, and thats ok.

      Like

  32. Pingback: Why I won't say #AllLivesMatter anymore (and why you shouldn't either) #BlackLivesMatter ⋆ just jp

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