BLACK LIVES MATTER
A woman in the front row raised her hand, “Dr Donaldson” she asked, “What do you think about Black Lives Matter”? This was my first public stump speech and now I was fielding questions. This was the first question and I was surprised and taken aback as the county we were in has a total population of 19, 365 and of that 99.2% are White.
Black Lives Matter is a largely non-violent movement which has arisen in response to police violence directed against Black citizens in cases like Freddie Gray's death in Baltimore, the death of Michael Brown in the tinderbox called Ferguson, Missouri and the Walter Scott shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. While it is true, police nationally kill more White citizens yearly than Black, there is more nuance to these simple numbers.
If you look at total police encounters wherein there is a death of a citizen, and you remove the variables of high crime neighborhoods and the police entering an obviously stressful dangerous event, American citizens of color (Black Lives) are 3 times more likely to be shot and killed than White citizens.
As my friends of color will say, “Of course, we know White lives matter, it’s assumed and underwrites this movement, White Lives and Black Lives Matter, fact is, all lives matter!”
Along with Black Lives Matter, is NFL Colin Kaperneck’s attention grabbing decision to kneel during our National Anthem. Protest is an American tradition as powerful as storied in our historical narrative as our military conquests. Protest is patriotic. The hypocrisy of the NFL, wrapping itself in stars and stripes to sell it’s brand whose profits are measured in Billions of dollars and the hypocrisy of the NFL who charges our Armed Forces for advertising then telling the likes of Mr. Kaperneck not to protest what he sees as an injustice, is a bit overwhelming. Lets not get started on the NFL, their plantation style Billionaire’s hypocrisy is anything but the great tradition of America.
Protest and in particular Public Protest is a great American tradition. Where better to protest than in front of as many people as possible. Protest is meant to disrupt. Protest is meant to make us uncomfortable. Protest is meant to force us to consider our preconceived notions, perhaps our racist notions, our racist institutions and perhaps our own evil ways. Protest is meant to make us a better people thus I support all forms of peaceful protest and in particular Black Lives Matter because, Black Lives do Matter.