I am biased. It is true that I come with an agenda. It is this:
I wish we could get to a country where #blacklivesmatter and #thinblueline were not seen as incompatible...a country where police officers and community could not be used as separate terms ..... a country where black lives matter was read as black lives matter too...
How the black lives matter movement came to be understood by some as "black lives matter therefore white lives don't matter as much," is not at all surprising. In fact, it kind of proves the premise. If black lives did truly matter-systematically and culturally- I kind of doubt that the all lives matter would have sprung up. Can you imagine placing a "breast cancer research" bumper sticker on your car only to find it vandalized to read "all cancer research?" Or how about "soccer mom" being replaced by "all sports mom?" Of course not. Then why do we read the black lives matter as proclaiming that other lives don't matter? Could it be that black lives matter is still, sadly, a counter-cultural claim in 2015?
If you've heard the news about the supposed connection to BLM and a call for killing officers please check this story first...story on King Noble The immoral call for violence came from a critic of the Black Lives Matter movement who left the movement because it wasn't radical enough.
I wonder if when a moral statement affirming life (black lives matter) becomes controversial, isn't it a sign of the radical spiritual, systemic work needed?
Systemic work is needed, not a shame campaign. Police officers are not the problem. The criminal justice system is the problem. And we, every one of us, is complicit in that system (every one- all races, all ages, all professions, ALL).
I support, honor and respect our police officers. I value their service, knowing it is not a job I could do. I believe the moral compass of CMPD Chief Kerr Putney is the real deal. Being a police officer today in the USA is hard. Hard.
I support, honour and respect the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement. I believe that black lives are undervalued in our culture. I believe that black lives matter simply means that black lives matter. Not less than or more than, not instead of, or in contrast to.... being black in the USA today is hard. Hard.
I believe the public systems we have created and perpetuated need reform. I do not believe in white shame, or any shame. Systems are not people. Good people work in these systems. Imperfect people work in these systems. The systems dehumanize all of us. We live in a country where we speak of police officers and community as if they were separate things. We live in a world where we seek to excuse the death of an unarmed black man for petty crimes as if anyone of us would create a community where fleeing should equal death. We live in a world where we say you must choose between officer and black men as if they are separate souls.
I will not choose. I will work without shame for the change. I will see the dehumanization of the system and hold to the humanity of my community.