#ALL LIVES MATTER?

I don’t even know where to start.

I was playing my favorite video game this morning. They (the game makers) wanted to cash in on the Black Lives Matter moment and gave us some free stuff. That’s cool. I like free stuff.

It’s a fashion game. You can make your models different skin tones if you want. People vote on the best looks. Ever since I’ve started playing it 5 years ago people have been talking about the game being racist because the blond-haired white dolls get the best scores.

Last week some people decided to protest with Black Lives Matter by making more dark colored dolls. That was nice.

I mean, I like seeing the darker dolls in the game. I’d like to see more in the top looks. I vote for them all the time. I’ve been using them for 5 years, scores be damned.

It just doesn’t seem like a good response to the situation. It’s nice, I guess. But it isn’t anywhere near enough. I don’t think you can do anything in a video game that is really ENOUGH.

So today I saw the Facebook discussion about this free “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt they gave us. And wouldn’t you know it, there are people who are mad about getting a free shirt. “All Lives Matter” seems to be the comeback.

Now, I’m white, so I should get it. But I don’t. When did BLACK quit being part of ALL? How can you say that as if you are stating the OTHER position?

Of course Black Lives Matter.

In a perfectly color-blind world we would all be outraged about a police officer casually killing a man while smiling for the cameras. Or pulling over a guy with a broken tail light and shooting him because he was reaching for the ID the cop just asked for… in front of his family.

It would bother us that a teenaged boy was executed walking home from school because some neighborhood watch guy didn’t like his jacket and picked a fight. Or a 10-year-old on a playground was shot by a cop that was afraid of his water pistol.

It would bother you if you thought this could be your child, your husband, your sister.

But they weren’t. They were black. And so you can tell yourself it won’t happen to you, or to your family. You can look the other way and pretend it isn’t your problem. You can call the people who are protesting terrorists.

All animals are equal. But some are more equal than others.

George Orwell, Animal Farm

And then you can sit back and act like you believe ALL lives matter. You can say that the police are not guilty because they are afraid for their lives, because you are not afraid for YOUR life. You don’t worry whether or not your teenage son will make it home from school.

I was raised to be color-blind. It was the 70s. I filter out the racial parts of the story. And I worry. I worry more when my conservative friends tell me their statistics about “more white people are shot by police every year than black people.” Really? Then why aren’t we upset by these stories? Why do we continue to defend the police? When is enough going to be enough?

It seems to me that adding race to the mix is just a way for people to pretend they are safe. It’s a way to divide people up so that not enough will protest that anything will actually change.

I want to believe that you are not actually racist, but you are making it hard. You say ALL lives matter, but you act like you don’t care about the people who are being killed. You defend the killers…loudly.

I have a problem with the police. I used to think there were a few bad apples and that was that. But how can you sit by and let the bad apples continue to rot and not kick them out? How can you defend them in court? How can you let them train your new recruits? There is something wrong with a culture that is more concerned with defending their own than with following their mission to “protect and serve”.

So yes, Black Lives Matter. They matter because they are part of ALL lives. And they should matter to everyone. If we allow black lives to be taken casually, how long before it’s all lives that don’t matter that much anymore? If you say we are all the same, but this one doesn’t matter, then aren’t you saying your life doesn’t matter either?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You cannot copy content of this page