Black Lives Matter

crowd of protesters holding signs
Photo by Life Matters on Pexels.com

I am a black man, and my life matters. Saying that my life matters does not mean that yours does not. Saying that my life matters does not mean that the universe somehow holds my life in greater regard than yours. Saying that my life matters is a statement of fact and a dedication to the continuance of my life, not a declaration of personal supremacy.

Unfortunately, some will read the above through the seething, red-eyed rage of indignation, convinced that my statement of self-worth somehow constitutes an unforgivable assault against their sense of self-importance. Such wholly baseless reactions are the equivalents of the negativity directed toward the general declaration that black lives matter, but in microcosm.

Saying that black lives matter does not mean that yours does not. Saying that black lives matter does not mean that the universe somehow holds black lives in greater regard than the lives of other races. Saying that black lives matter is a statement of fact and a dedication to the preservation of black lives, not a declaration of black supremacy.

Additionally, stressing that black lives matter is not a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization, so any antagonism directed toward BLM should not be directed toward the phrase “black lives matter” as the phrase and the activists are not one and the same. Yes, the activists use the phrase, but the phrase itself is a statement of fact independent of the organization.

I am black. My wife is black. My children are black. My ancestral family tree is black. Our black lives matter. Despite this simple truth, responses of “all lives matter” will doubtlessly come in response to this as though the declaration that we are alive and should continue to be alive is an affront to all other races. It is not. Be white. Be Asian. Be any race or ethnicity on Earth. Your life matters, as does ours.

Wow, that was easy. Stating that your life matters didn’t fill me with racial animosity or a lessening of my sense of self. It was actually a very easy thing for me to do just as it should similarly be easy for members of other races to state about me and other black people. Sadly, such is not the case when the phrase “black lives matter” is present, as stating that often leaves some with a taste like week-old fish in their mouths.

Contrary to the above, there is no bad taste felt by those who devalue black lives when they state “blue lives matter.” That the phrase is given as a retort to the factual statement that black lives matter is evidence of a belief that blacks are somehow the enemy, that the blue is the antithesis of the black. In truth, the two concepts are not polar opposites as many black people honorably wear the blue. Thus, the use of “blue lives matter” as an anti-black slogan is to disregard the efforts of black officers of the law dating back to Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, if not earlier.

Black lives matter. Your life matters. My life matters. Those are all true and simple sentences, yet in this age of being offended by truth, someone will read them and take offense. Only the most insecure among us finds cause to devalue the worth of others when presented with an inoffensive fact. I argue that our lives should not be constrained by such individuals. That they have issues with others does not mean that our lives should be impacted by their beliefs. After all, the truth of our existence far outweighs the vaporous beliefs of those who would lessen us.

All the best,
Keith V.

 

3 Comments

  1. I am so sorry with what you have to go through on a regular basis as a black man. I believe black lives matter! And all lives can’t matter until black lives matter. I hate when white people retort that. I think it’s because to them, equality means oppression since they were always the ones in power and the system was made with them in mind.

    Hannah | http://hannahonhorizon.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and for your comments. I believe the retorts I mentioned are based in fear or at least a tendency to diminish the value of others. I recall images of the men of the Civil Rights movement wearing placards that read “I AM A MAN” because they understood that even our very existence is seen as a lesser thing by some. I keep seeing that image and become saddened to know that here we are some 50 years later and the same call to have the value of our lives acknowledged remains. More progress is needed if our society is ever going to be whole. Much more.

      Like

  2. I don’t if you pay any attention to English football (soccer), but the season has restarted after the lockdown (but in empty stadiums), all players in all games are “taking the knee” before games, and black lives matter patches are on all of the shirts.

    The response from some people on social media to this has been utterly depressing. from the ignorant “all lives matter” comments, to the blatantly racist and calls to stop it, using the “it’s endorsing a political movement” excuse. Thankfully that’s been rejected, as you rightfully say, it’s not about the BLM organisation, it’s about the fact the Black life’s do matter

    Liked by 1 person

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