A Clarification–Black Lives Matter

I have to admit that the first time I heard the phrase, Black Lives Matter, my internal reaction was, “Yeah, but why are they protesting about this?”  I didn’t get the nuanced differences between what different races and even what different families thought about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Wait, is it really a movement?  Or is it more of a protest point?  Or just a kind of talking point/rally cry that will get more people involved? 

Are there really people out there who think that Black Lives Matter is a slam against white lives?   As in it’s a zero sum game?  Huh? A zero sum game is a game where the winner takes home everything and the loser gets nothing?  Like  ‘The Survivor show – you know the original one where they drop 20 people somewhere in the wild and the one who survives the entire time wins $1,000,000?  Does #2 get $500,000?  I don’t think so.   I’m sure they win more than number 20, but no where near what the winner does.

Life is not a zero sum game.  If Black Lives Matter was a zero sum “game,” that would mean that for a black life to matter more, a white life would need to matter less.

Ah…. nope!   God didn’t set the world up that way.  He didn’t set things up so that if one people wins, then another one loses.  God set things up so that all can be blessed and there is room at his table for anyone who believes He is their God and their Savior.

So, Black Lives Matter is not an effort to make white lives matter less.  It doesn’t have to be that way.   It’s possible for a black life to matter more and the white lives still matter too.  We can be equal, but we aren’t.

And God says that’s wrong:

“It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open.”  Acts 10::34-35 (The Message)

God says that all races and ethnicities are supposed to be equal.   When the Black Lives Matter “movement” came out, many white people countered with the saying,  “ALL lives matter.”

It’s like we were trying to play a game of “one better” with our neighbors and those we meet who aren’t caucasian like I am.   “Oh, well you’re saying that Black Lives Matter, huh?”   Just to show you that I’m a “bigger” man than you are, take this as our entry into the “Slogan of the Month” Club…..

“All Lives Matter!”   Ha! We have successfully put the people of color back in their nice little colored box and we can go on again living our white lives………

Not so fast.  If you wanted me to take you on a walk through history, I can show you very simply many stories in time where it is not true that all lives matter. I took a history class in college (I don’t remember a lot of the details – it’s been a few years) that was on Medieval European History.   It was frankly disgusting at how little lives matter there – especially lives that were not white.

When white people are co-opting the saying, “Black Lives Matter” they are, by saying, “All Lives Matter” saying that those who believe in the BLM statement are wrong.   Black Lives and Chinese Lives and Indian Lives and Canadian Lives and French Lives and American Lives and…….. all matter equally.  If that were true, then……

But we all know it’s not true. 

All Lives Don’t Matter Equally.

The Black Lives Matter movement is trying to bring attention to the fact that Black Lives are not treated like they are equal and they matter.  Want some examples?

Breanna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown……

Here’s a list of the fatal police shootings from January 1, 2015 to this week that was posted by the Washington Post.   I think you’ll find it a sobering list of 5,866 people who have been killed by the cops since January 1, 2015.   I have not analyzed the data to see how many were black yet, but I intend to and I will post the details.

Black lives are not currently treated equally, they aren’t now and they haven’t been for a long time.  If they aren’t treated equally, then you aren’t saying that black lives matter.

82467670_10156857828921966_2987504608860962816_nBlack Lives Matter as much as white lives.

Black Lives Matter as much as middle eastern lives.

Black Lives Matter so people from Africa should be given the same rights and respect as people from England.

And they aren’t.

Because we aren’t.

Yes, we.   I’ll be writing more about it as time goes on, but it’s kind of awkward when I have to look in the mirror and see a relatively middle aged white guy and then think that throughout the centuries and even throughout the Civil Rights era of 40 years ago, who were the people behind most of the ways that we didn’t treat black lives like they mattered AS MUCH AS white lives?

The middle aged white guys. 

As Pastor Darrell says,  “Say Amen or say, Ouch.”

Ouch!

Tom

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