Confessions of a Black Girl: #blacklivesmatter

No video this week, but listen to me read this blog from the link in the post.

by Torie Richardson, editor-in-chief

Black lives matter. Police lives matter. All lives matter.

If the lives of all people matter, then, logically, the lives of black people matter. So why does”black lives matter” have to be a controversial statement?

#BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after George Zimmerman was acquitted of Trayvon Martin’s murder. Black Lives Matter is not just a hashtag, it is a call to action. It is a call for black people, for all people, to start working toward a better future for the marginalized people in their communities, and in the United States as a whole. It is a call for an end to police violence, as well as a call to end feelings of self-hatred, which stem from society’s degrading treatment of people of color.

Standing up and saying “we matter,” is not standing up and saying “no one else matters.” However, when black people are still treated as sub-human decades after the Civil Rights Movement, it is time for a visible movement and tangible change.

I don’t matter more than any white person. But I matter. My father doesn’t matter more than a white person’s father, but it is ridiculous that I, as the daughter of a black man, have to worry about him being murdered after being pulled over for something as simple as exceeding the speed limit.

Policemen are heroes. They are necessary. They matter. But to say that the Black Lives Matter movement negates the value of other lives demonstrates a flaw in perspective that is incredibly scary. If by saying that black lives matter we are saying that police lives don’t matter, we are saying that blackness is automatically opposed to justice. For many, it seems to be.  Of the thousands of fatal shootings by police officers since 2005, only 54 policemen were charged. Read more here.

From the time a black boy can understand who a policeman is, he is taught that he should fear them. Because of how he looks, he will be targeted. He is more likely to be searched during a stop, and he is more likely to go to prison. This is not because black men are bad people. It is because our society fears black men more than anything, and demands their incarceration. That’s not justice.

All lives matter, but what does that mean? What issue does that bring to attention?

Black lives matter. That calls to attention years of discrimination and mistreatment of black people that this country has experienced,and asks for a change. If black lives matter, then this movement matters.

If all lives matter, then black lives matter.


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