#BlackLivesMatter – How Many Reasons Do You Need?

So you’ve seen the hashtags flying around social media: #BlackLivesMatter;  #ProBlack… I can see you, rolling your eyes, moving your cursor towards the [x] in the corner. I can imagine your thoughts, “why do people keep talking about this?”, “I’m not involved because I am not racist” and “it doesn’t even exist”. When I see people in pain with their tweets for the lives lost, I can also people tweeting about what a lovely day it is (it must be nice to be so priveleged). I see all these things. I hear all these things. I know people believe these things. The funny thing is I know some black people who feel this way as much as anybody else might. Isn’t it crazy how a system of oppression can manifest in the very mind of the people it oppresses?

Why?

Is it because you don’t experience some things or because you don’t understand some things? Is it because you don’t want to believe these things? Why is it so bad for black people to want to resist an agenda that is against them and to want to rise above it?

I never really thought about it or understood it until more recently. When I see what my dear friend is going through in the US when she shows the world her feelings and her pain. When I look at my “dual-heritage/biracial” children (yes, I do have children I generally don’t talk about) and wonder how the world will treat them. On the “Equal Opportunity” forms of old where being British was only a single option for Caucasian people (White English) – for everybody else there had to be something additional (Asian/Black British: Bangladeshi/Caribbean/Other etc.), and for “mixed” people, being British wasn’t an option at all. You were either White & Black Caribbean/African/Other. What happened to the White & Black British option? Because that’s all I am – a British person of dual heritage, with two parents who were born in Britain. The rest is irrelevant. Maybe that seems irrelevant to you but it’s just another way to cause division in an already divided world.

Why do I believe that being #ProBlack is a concept that needs to be followed, embraced and amplified until thy Kingdom come? Why do I know that #AllLivesMatter is a defense mechanism for the priveleged person to ignore #BlackLivesMatter?

I believe it because my mind tells me I need to straighten my hair or hide it away in a top knot when going to a job interview and at work – my natural hair is just not professional. I believe it because my daughter wants her hair to look like Elsa’s and it will never happen – her hair is beautiful and I will make sure she knows that every day she looks in the mirror. I believe it because my son is lighter than me but his DNA says he is a young black man in a world where young, black men are becoming some type of prey. Where my son and Mr.Me can’t trust the police.Where my brother-in-law could get killed for being a tall and sturdy black man in the right place at the wrong time.

#ProBlack is not #AntiWhite. I understand what Anti-White is and I am yet to meet a person with those beliefs. Nobody is crying for a world of biracial “beige/brown” people; a world with no white people or White Genocide (who came up with this Anti-White ish by the way?!). To me, the term “Anti-White” is just another thing the white supremacists felt they had to put out there to invade the minds of people to convince them that black people are a threat: “You’re pro-black so you must be anti-white” or in other words – you must be working against us in an attempt to start a race war and mass white genocide. Just a thought – people can love being black without hating people that are white or wanting to eliminate a whole race. We don’t need a white person (or to get rid of white people) to feel good as a black person, full stop. Please research “Anti-White” before you use that term around me.

Loving Blackness, lifting up Blackness, and asserting Black Power can be frightening for a lot of … folks who just don’t understand, who refuse to understand.

As a result, those who find themselves in the fight for Black liberation are often told by threatened … folks that because we are “pro-Black,” we must be “anti-white.”

We are often called reverse racists and bigots…

The media, law and government are just a few forces that have historically perpetuated this belief, and still do to this day. – http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/11/pro-black-isnt-anti-white/ (read this post guys because the statistics quoted are insane and this lady is just a super wise being!)

Pro-black is a concept to keep reminding people that #BlackLivesMatter in a world that should have overcome this prejudice a long time ago. People shouldn’t have to defend their blackness. People shouldn’t have to fear for the lives of their children because of their DNA. A white woman’s fake but full lips should not be more accepted than a black ladies naturally full lips and become a topic of controversy – they’re just lips people! Black is not wrong – in fact, Black is strong and that is why Black is such a problem. Black people aren’t supposed to remember how strong they are – that would be too dangerous; too much of a threat. The world remembers what happens when black people come together and remember their strength: the Civil Rights Movement and the likes of Martin Luther King Jr (SCLC), Malcolm X, Rev Brown, The Black Panther Party, Rosa Parks, Little Rock. Some people forget the NAACP (1909), the Harlem Renaissance and the Congress of Racial Equality because to remember would be to acknowledge this problem has been going on for far too long. So many different names, all for the same cause: Equality and acceptance; Knowledge; Understanding; to stand against White Supremacy in its entirety.

The reasons we say #BlackLivesMatter are not to say that only Black Lives Matter, but to say that we acknowledge the disproportionate violence Black folks experience that all lives do not have to. – Wazi Maret Davis

I know a lot of this happens mainly in the USA however; black people as a nation did not and have not achieved economic equality, and still remain a socially disadvantaged group. “We have to convince ourselves every single day that we are worth something and that we are valuable, because we are surrounded by systems and a society that constantly devalues and dehumanises us.”

Are there Pro-blackers who have lost their own understanding and become racist/prejudice in the process, requesting segregation and promoting Anti-White values? Yes. But is it surprising at how easy it can be to become confused by it all when all you want is to be understood as a person and not a colour?

So yes, this is another Pro-black post that isn’t Anti-White. Did you have to read it? No. Did you choose to read it? If you got this far then I guess so. Do you agree? Well, only you know and are more than free to leave a comment.

Does it matter? Of course. #BlackLivesMatter all day, every day until the need for a hash tag like that no longer exists.

Do not come at me with your #AllLivesMatter argument please. Just please. Understand that when you utter that hashtag to me, you may as well be saying ProBlack is Anti-White. I will educate you on this once, and once only: #AllLivesMatter is a phrase that belittles the whole effort of the #BlackLivesMatter movement but I understand why it’s so hard to understand that. It doesn’t mean that other people are less important when I say Black Lives Matter. #BlackLivesMatter came about in 2013 after Zimmerman was acquitted for the death of Trayvon Martin. It addresses a NASTY disparity in the treatment of black people, particularly in America. Black people in America are near 8 times more likely to die from homicide than white people. The killing of innocent black teenagers, children and adults would be a good place to start to change that statistic. That’s why #BlackLivesMatter and All Lives Matter just doesn’t understand what is being shared.
Black people have been segregated from the day slavery was abolished. White people chose to distinguish the difference with shops, water fountains, education, buses and more. Black people didn’t say we want our freedom but we also want to be treated like lepers who can’t sit in the same seats as you or drink the same water you do. All lives do matter yes but not all lives have been affected from however many years ago by this inequality to such a massive scale. This is why #BlackLivesMatter exists. You can teach the world all lives matter and people might forget what black people have been fighting for for years without it making a difference to the inequality that already exists. It’s not a bad thing for black people to promote black people in a world that tries to suppress them – let us build each other up, make each other count and love ourselves in a way we never have before because we were made to feel inferior for our complexion, our hair, our noses etc – for the fact we are black.

I know I’ve said a lot but I have one more thing to say. We are divided as a community which disallows us to do what many before us have done to show the world our struggle. The one thing that held the black community together in the past was a God-Fearing, unshakeable FAITH. People united to rise above oppression, to be treated as equals without fear for their lives because their lives were only valued by God at that time anyways. People no longer have enough FAITH to come together again, to make our voices heard and to be strong once again. And this just breaks my heart. Somehow, somewhere over the last 60-70years our faith began to dwindle until it was no longer passed down. And here we are today. At least 136 black people were killed by police alone THIS YEAR in the USA. Who can argue with that?

 

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Comments

  1. Em says:

    I second Aja’s comment, beautifully written. I struggle to believe how in 2016 there are still so many problems surrounding this. I’ll be honest, I rarely ever get involved in discussions about these issues (or anything relating to politics), mostly because I don’t understand what is going on or why, not because I don’t care. But like you I see everything, and posts like these make all the beauty blog reviews and posts alike seem irrelevant.

    1. Unsigned, Emmie says:

      Thank you for commenting on a topic you try to avoid – I really appreciate it. Aja is a long time friend of mine, and the American friend mentioned in the post as it goes. I guess issues like this do make fashion/beauty seem irrelevant but at the same time I guess we need those posts as well to keep life light hearted in dark times.

      Emmie xo

  2. Avianne says:

    Thank You for writing this! It was well written an to the point. I honestly doubt anyone could accurately refute this.(but I’m sure someone might try). I honestly feel like w never left the civil rights movement. Things did improve ,but we still aren’t completely free. Constantly discriminated ,and looked down upon isn’t free to me.

    1. Unsigned, Emmie says:

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your views as well. It’s definitely not equal rights yet and a long and difficult road ahead x

  3. Aja says:

    This is so thoroughly, passionately and beautifully written. It amplifies how ignorant we are in the US about the rest of the world and how fully aware everyone else is about our past and current transgressions.

    #blacklivesmatter

    Thank you for saying so.

  4. gmmrs says:

    This, all of this. I agree, beautifully written, well said. Thank you for saying it.

    1. Unsigned, Emmie says:

      So sorry I took so long to reply! I didn’t get a notification for your comment but thank you for commenting and I am glad I am not alone in my thoughts and feelings x

      1. gmmrs says:

        That is quite alright and you are definitely not alone. We’re seeing frustration out in the streets this weekend here in the States. I live in Minnesota not too far from where Castile’s life ended and protests shut down a major highway for 4 hours last night. As much as people say about trying to solve these divides I am not witnessing how this will be any different than the aftermath of other murders in the hands of police. It’s like a sick cycle carousel. Until the people truly desire for really fixing the system it won’t change. I don’t know what the tipping point will be and it’s sad.

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