The term “Black Lives Matter” seems to strum up very emotional feelings lately with the demonstrations and unrest related to the death of George Floyd. Since 2013 it has been used as a rallying slogan and yet there are those who either don’t see or refuse to see the meaning behind it and limit their response to “All Lives Matter”. They do but as in the cartoon the phrase “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t mean only black lives matter or that black lives matter more. It is that black lives have to matter too!!
Now just some random thoughts on my take on current events:
- When you ask someone to explain their worldview it doesn’t mean it is wrong because it doesn’t line up with your own narrative or experience. Open healthy dialogue is what is needed not bloviating why they are wrong.
- Support the notion that Black Lives Matter does not at all mean that you or any other supporters are not supporters of the police. Yes the percentage of bad cops is small but why not create ways to either make them better cops or get them out of the way of the cops who are doing good? During the church scandal the number of priests who were doing bad things was very small but because the systems were in place not to proactively deal with the bad apples for way too long, the church and good priests are still trying to recover. Same with the police. I know very good police officers who want nothing to do with the negative things going on but the systems they are a part of don’t allow for pushing back to make other cops responsible.
- If you believe in the concept that “All Lives Matter”, there has to be a recognition of police forces that things can and should be better. Better training to apprehend suspects and once in custody better training to reestablish the officers ability to back away from their emotions of the situation and ensure everyone is safe. And again looking at the systems in place. Whether we believe the other officers on hand at the scene should be responsible, what is it in the environment of that police force that kept them from speaking out against the actions of Derek Chauvin at the scene.
- You can separate support of the “Black Lives Matter” movement from those groups/websites who have tried to organize under that banner who may have different motives.
- Finally, white people who are out demonstrating should have respect but those out there looting and rioting are the epitome of White Privilege. Whether your actions are opportunistic or trying to incite others, you personally and you collectively won’t have the pay the consequences of continued racist beliefs and actions in this country.
It’s unfortunate that some use the legitimate protests to justify looting and violence, but there are always some who want to create chaos.
Or just free stuff
I used to mentor a young kid in cartooning who got into comic-making to help him with his numerous mental health issues. We even had a chance for our families to meet in 2010 when he and his parents and sister were invited to attend a Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards ceremony out here in CA. The family is amazing and we’ve all kept in touch over the years.
Anyway, the young kid is now 24. We still communicated. I noticed he had made a post on his FB about “All Lives Matter” and whatnot, decrying about why BLM had to be so special amongst every other race.
Usually, I just let things go. It’s his page, let him do him. I don’t wanna be that guy who comes onto your post/page and dictate my gripes. But something kept rubbing me wrong, and I felt it was my duty as his former mentor to let him know I didn’t appreciate his statement, but I’m still his friend.
I didn’t get outta hand or heavyhanded. I merely said, “Hey, you know I got nothin’ but love for you, but this ain’t what’s up.” That’s all. Only reason I said anything was because loads of his other friends (both white, black, and Hispanic) were bemoaning his insensitive post.
Well, no sooner than I left my comment, many of his pals began liking and loving it. Within more moments, he sent me a DM apologizing and letting me know he was deleting his post and he meant no disrespect to me and my family.
I accepted his apology and we talked a bit more. I explained the reason for my disappointment in terms he quickly understood. I told him that saying All Lives Matter is similar to someone saying, say, that Mental Health Matters and somebody just coming along saying, “Hey, that’s not fair! Leukemia Matters, too!” I asked him how much sense would that make? True, Leukemia is serious business, but that’s not what you were trying to promote. I explained that it’s simply not good form to belittle, diminish, or discount someone else’s plight merely because you aren’t experiencing its effects. Let everyone have their moment to shine the light on their cause without trying to one-up them.
He said that made sense to him, and he apologized again. We parted ways on good terms. I am so glad I did decide to speak up and say something. I nearly let a teachable moment pass by.
Great comic, by the way! 😀
Thanks for sharing your story G. Sometimes understanding just comes from being open to listening to someone else.
George, I think you may have hit it on the head!
Bearman, GREAT job!!!
Thanks so much David
Thanks, David. My family hates all of my many analogies, but I like to put things into easily-understandable perspectives. Sometimes people can’t see the forest for the trees.
Dang, I just did it again. Sigh…. 😀
What an incredible installment. Thank you.
Thanks so much Tracy
I like how you put this across Bearman. All lives matter, but all lives aren’t discriminated against. Racial discrimination is a disgusting thing. Imagine how wonderful this world would be if it didn’t exist.
amen tony…stay safe my friend