The meme! My very most favorite form of “written communication.” If you know me at all you’re acutely aware of the untruth of this statement. I won’t say the meme is the worst of all possible methods to use in getting your point across, but it’s certainly right up there. I’m not going to write something I might regret later like, “It’s in the top five.” Frankly, I refuse to work hard enough considering, it to come to any conclusion about that.
That said, I recently saw yet another meme that pointed out why they’re such a horrible means of getting your message out. It read (paraphrasing):
“If you have a problem saying ‘black lives matter’ because ‘all lives matter,’ but no problem saying ‘blue lives matter,’ your real problem is with the word ‘black.’”
Keep in mind, the sentiment has been expressed elsewhere in far more considered and somewhat pithier manners than are employed in this train wreck of a street sign.
A person who was, shall we say, in an exceptionally high (though not appointed or elected) position in the U.S., said something about how black folks were being “dehumanized” on a daily basis there. You can argue the point is different, but for me it’s essentially the same.
The thrust is, that people supposedly value black humans and by extension black lives, less than those of other groups. The presumption being, “less than white folks.”
The reality though, is that for most of us (and I speak here as a white person, but assume what I’m uttering is true for most people in the country, race aside), whether a life is black, white or “blue” matters little in terms of value. Each has their own value, and for all intents, their importance matches in its level that of every other person.
Muddying the waters somewhat, is the existence of a group who has as its moniker, “Black Lives Matter.” The unfortunate reality is, the group in question may well support black lives (though it seems to limit its support to black people killed by police officers, regardless whether the death was justifiable or not), but it also supports a number of other things; many of which I don’t believe many black folks agree with.
At least two thirds of the leadership (three people) of that organization tout themselves as “trained Marxists.” I doubt seriously the average black person supports Communism, regardless who holds it up as an ideal.
BLM also has as part of the base tenets (found on their own website), things like:
“We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”
You can find that on this page on their site, in case you don’t believe me.
One can be absolutely certain that not nearly all black folks support his.
More importantly, this stance has precious little to do with what sombody would consider the primary purpose of such a movement.
Putting it simply, making this a piece of the platform for something like Black Lives Matter (the organization, not the statement itself, where such a thing cannot be the case), is about as divisive a move as this onlooker can imagine.
I fail to see how BLM can be saying anything but, “If you don’t support dissolving the concept of the nuclear family, you don’t belong here.” When you put a statement like this on the “What We Believe” page of your website, you can count on folks being concerned at the least.
Obviously, we can also infer from the idea that “all lives matter,” that unless we’re saying, “black folks don’t have lives,” black lives must matter. Further, as I’ve done before, I do again now. What’s that? I say with no qualification that black lives matter. Of course, I have to “disclaim” that by saying I’m talking about black lives, not some movement that claims the phrase as their title.
I’ve said all of the above before. What I haven’t said is this.
Out of interactions between police officers and non law enforcement personnel, the chances of an officer being harmed or dying is much higher for a cop than it is for any other type of person involved.
And the phrase “blue lives matter” doesn’t have the added baggage that “black lives matter” does. If you can find anyone saying something that can be associated with either Blue Lives Matter as a statement or a movement that is problematic —particularly if the movement has any untoward statements—I will cease using the expression.
The point here though, is that there’s a pretty substantial amount of misdirection going on, in which people seem to be attempting to garner support for Black Lives Matter as an organization. I would argue it’s pretty much the case that people don’t support that organization.
Because they don’t support the group in question, and it takes some work to separate it from its titular expression, they’re hesitant to use the words, “black lives matter.”
Does that in any sense imply they don’t think the lives and wellbeing of black individuals are important? Not at all as far as I can tell.
Many of those same people see both the expression and the movement whose essence can be encapsulated in the statement “blue lives matter” as entirely without issue. A part of the reason for this, is that they see no concepts or ideals attached to the words that they find objectionable or that they can’t support.
Again, they also find it more of a problem too, considering more police are killed in interactions between the police and anybody else, than are black folks killed by police who don’t do things to warrant such actions.
You can argue that a greater portion of the actions than are accounted aren’t reasonable, but even if you do, you’ll find that the number of deaths of black folks by cops is pretty low considering the total number of interactions between the two.
Summing up. Directing somebody to a given conclusion or position is totally fine. Misdirecting folks to the perspectives you desire them to hold though, is not. If you don’t think there’s an issue with the idea that an organization essentially usurps the words you wish others to support, you need to come to realize that your position is one that people will wish they were willing to back; knowing full well doing so will cause it to appear that they’re agreeing with things with which they definitely don’t.
Thanks for reading and may your time be good.