Scattered Thoughts on Black Lives Matter

Martin Luther King Jr.’s life matters. It matters as much as Trayvon Martin’s, Malcolm X’s , Eric Garner’s, Botham Jean’s, Tamir Rice’s, George Floyd’s, Alton Sterling’s, Ahmaud Arbery’s and Breonna Taylor’s. It matters as much as my best friend Brittany’s, my bank advisor – Cody’s, my high school principal – Jean’s and my brother-in-law – Kayin’s. It matters as much as that Black person you know or don’t know, wether he/she is a sinner or a saint.

Black lives matter.

Let’s try to pull it back and then forward and then back and see where we land. Black lives Matter. *pull back* ALL lives matter. Ok. Fine. All lives matter. That includes Black lives so *pull forward* Black lives matter. Why do Black lives matter? *pull back* Why does any life matter? *pull forward* Why does your life matter? *stop* Let’s take a break here.

Hey, reader! It’s the middle of the night – do you know where YOUR kids are? And also: why does your life matter?

If someone asked me that, I would rattle off all the things I do that society considers “good” (volunteer, work, give to charities, etc). Then, I would mention admirable traits of mine (too many to count, AMIRITE?!). I might talk about an exceptional product I created (I’ve never created anything of any value to anyone ever…). At this point, my interviewer might say “there are better people, with better traits and your product is actually worth more than your life”. Now what? If my life isn’t the culmination of my work, my best traits or my highest achievement – what is it? How can I ascribe value to it? How do I know it matters? I’m a person of faith so my actual answer as to why my life matters would be: it does, because the One who created life itself says it does.

Black lives matter.

This week, Jacob Blake, a Black man, was gunned down by police officers in the US. As I write this, he is in critical condition and I pray he comes out alive. He was shot multiple times, in the back, while getting into his car, in front of his 3 children. So far I have read that…
– He was unarmed
– He was fleeing the scene
– “Something black was found on the ground, it could be a gun”
– He had a record
– He was not cooperating with the officers
– He was known to cause disturbances

I don’t know how else to say this.. His life matters. It matters whether he was…
– Armed or unarmed
– Fleeing the scene or walking towards it
– Found with a gun or a Bible
– Someone with a record or without
– Being cooperative or uncooperative with the officers
– Known to cause disturbances or known to mediate

Black lives matter.

Police officers are called to protect the public, not to deem wether or not the public is worthy of protection. The cops, the media, the President, the Queen, you, me and your racist uncle are not here to decide whose life is worth preserving. They are all worth preserving. All lives cannot matter until Black lives matter. If you look up matter on you’ll see “something that occupies space” and “to be of importance”. Black lives occupy space and ARE important. Yet, we continue to treat them as though they owe us for the space they occupy. They need to be upstanding citizens, professionally dressed, quiet, cooperative and hard working. Additionally, they shouldn’t ask for too much money – they should be humble. They shouldn’t strive to shine their lights too bright – it might blind the rest of us. They should be grateful to live in our shadows in the small space we allow them. But that space needs to be used wisely. There is little to no margin of error for Black lives. No one is condoning the uprisings or any kind of violence but, we should be able to empathize with the depth of frustration that sometimes leads to certain behaviours/mistakes. Nonetheless, it’s difficult to change a behaviour if you don’t live long enough to learn from the mistake.

Black lives matter.

I have so many thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement from the uprisings to the protests to defunding the police, but this post is already hella long. Truly, my heart beats for justice for my black brothers and sisters; and not just the ones we’ve lost. In fact, my heart beats especially for the ones who continue to fight the good fight and to the next generation of black men and women.

To the 3 Blake boys (Jacob Blake’s sons),
Your lives shouldn’t have included witnessing your father being gunned down by officers.
Your lives shouldn’t have a soundtrack that includes screams from bystanders or the long car horn from your father’s body slumping over it. All this before you were 10 years old.
Your lives matter. Now.
Your lives matter when you get an A+ or a C- .
Your lives matter when you’re loud or softspoken.
Your lives matter when you attend a protest or decide to stay home.
Your lives matter when you break windows or sweep the glass.
Your lives matter when you behave or misbehave.
Your lives matter when you’re even tempered or excitable.
Your lives matter wether you become CEOs or end up on welfare.
Your lives matter whether you commit crimes or practice law.
Your lives matter whether you cooperate with cops or don’t .
Your lives matter and deserve to take up as much space as you need.
Your lives matter and deserve to be celebrated.
Your lives matter and deserve to be honoured.
Your lives matter and deserve to be valued.
Your lives matter and deserve to be protected.
Your lives matter and deserve to be defended.
Your lives matter and deserve to be loved.
Your lives matter and deserve to be lived.
Your lives matter.

Black. Lives. Matter.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalms 139:14

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