Black Lives Matter

blacklivesmatter

My sis in law posted this today on Facebook.
I agree with it.
But I cannot use the ‘we’ in this statement because I am, clearly, not a black person.
It is easy these days to make a wrong step in any debate. To admit to changing ones mind, to support a statement, to try to understand more deeply. It is easy to be smashed in the face for appropriating something or trying to own a struggle that is not ones own.
I have no intention to do such a thing.
I do however have the intention to not be silent on things that concern people I care deeply about, such as aforementioned sis in law and her own two minions who have so-called mixed-race parentage and are therefore in danger of always being out of place in any conversation. I also believe that the equality of people, races and genders, is something that concerns us all and if we’re not fighters we should at the very least be allies. Inequality will come back to bite us in the the ass. It is wrong.

What is happening right now is wrong. I saw the murder of Alton Sterling. I followed the news on Trayvon Martin. And oh too many other cases. We see them here on the news in the Netherlands, if too little and far, far too late.
There is an omission in the #blacklivesmatter slogan and it’s not white people. It’s also not the other lives that matter too. In the brilliant reply to a student’s complaint to a teacher, the teacher explains it as follows:
“There is a difference between focus and exclusion. If something matters, this does not imply that nothing else does. If I say “Law students matter” it does not imply that colleagues, friends and family do not.” (Source. I recommend reading the whole piece.)
Nobody ever said that only black lives matter. Quite the contrary. What is missing is: “Although cultural conditioning may have taught you otherwise it is imperative that you understand that” Black Lives Matter. But that, too, is too long to put on a t-shirt.

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