(I wrote this back in July but didn't post it. I wanted to refine it. I ended up posting something similar on my facebook page instead. But when i went back to read it again this morning I realized it was exactly what it needed to be and it was screaming to be said. Unfortunately it's just as relevant today as it would have been two months ago, because it's still happening.)
Hi, my name is Gloria and I'm white. (Obviously. I have a pretty blog and I write about my feelings.) But, as a white person I have noticed this little thing that white people do.
They say "all lives matter."
What an exciting time to be alive, to see so many white people rise up and declare their passionate belief in the sanctity of all human life.
Except for convicted criminals who were given the death penalty.
Except for LGBT men and women in a club.
Except for first graders and teachers at school.
Except for black people who look black.
The next time one of these humanitarians is in crisis I'm going to find them and then just shout that their pain doesn't matter because we all have pain. All pain matters. Stop focusing on your own, right?
If "all lives" mattered then this wouldn't be an issue. If "all lives" mattered, we wouldn't be seeing the gross slaughter of a minority race.
And incidentally, I didn't notice any #allorientationsmatter campaigns after the Orlando shooting, and not during Pride Week either. I mean, can you imagine?
So what is it about our black brothers and sisters that makes us, as white people, so flibberty-gibbeting back-asswards about it all?
Saying "all lives matter" in response to "black lives matter" is childish and immature. It's a sign of an underdeveloped emotional IQ. It's a sign of insecurity and self-doubt.
Jesse and I do this to each other sometimes when we confront one another about something shitty the other person did. Let's say Jes comes to me irked over something I did and my response is to bring up something he did. It's misdirection. It's trying to speak over the other so that their message gets drowned out and, eventually, they stop, and you never have to face the fact that you did something shitty and could maybe make some changes in your life.
I'm Gloria and I'm white and I have lived a life of privilege that black citizens have never known, because anytime they try to raise their voices to shout that #blacklivesmatter they are met with overwhelming choruses of "all lives matter." Are we, as white people, so insecure and terrified that we can't even allow for the possibility that someone else's life is equally as valuable? That we can't even handle it when someone else, in this case another race, is uplifted, instead of us? That we can't even allow for the possibility that we are part of the problem?
My dog acts this way towards my toddler when we are around my dad. My dog, people. She can't handle someone else getting any attention. At all. Are we no better than dogs?
Is your own life, as a white person, made any less whole or valuable by the highlighting and emphasizing of the value of another person's life? If so, why is that? What are you afraid of?
And that's all that needs to be said by me, because I'm not in danger of being shot without cause by the very people who have sworn to protect me. And the responses to these tragedies that always give the benefit of the doubt to the police officers makes something deep in my belly catch fire and want to roar in opposition. Sure, we weren't there and we don't know what was happening except that it was all caught on video and we could see and hear everything and it sure as hell looks to me time and time again that black people are being systematically gunned down over the simple fact that they're black. So,
One more thing.
People are hurting and people are scared and people are being killed. And people are trying to express these things that cannot be easily expressed by saying that they matter. Our brothers and sisters are crying out to us, telling us they matter, and the best we can do is say, "everyone matters"?
I don't know. When my kid comes to me crying, needing me to hear him and to come along side him, I sure as hell wouldn't tell him, "every kid matters. You're not worth my attention and I'm not going to do anything to help you."
My heart breaks. Children are losing their fathers. Parents are losing their babies. You guys. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.
But go on and keep saying that all lives matter. Keep commenting on facebook about how any loss of life saddens you. Keep posting about how you support all officers and obviously those men and boys were serious threats and shouldn't have been doing what they were doing. (What they were doing was being black. You get that, right? They can't not be black, if that's what you're hoping for.)
Lord have mercy.