Don’t Tell Me…

DON’T TELL ME #BLACKLIVESMATTER.
DON’T TELL ME #BLUELIVESMATTER.
DON’T TELL ME #ALLLIVESMATTER.

 

Now before you get all pissed off… hear me out. Because it’s not what you think. See what I’m saying here is that people spout these phrases and use these hashtags in the heat of a moment, when clearly the majority of people don’t actively agree with them. It seems that lives matter when it’s convenient, but that’s not how it should be. I do understand I am coming at this from a place of privilege, and I am not at all saying that there is not a systemic problem with racism in our country, because there is. But it’s not just racism, it’s sexism and other -isms too, and it’s too much to tackle alone.

The events over the past few years have been escalating and eye opening. People are quick to judge, and slow to forgive. I’ve tried hard to overcome that social conditioning, and get to a place where I can protest the killing of innocent black men like Philando Castile and in the next breath protest the killing of police officers. It’s a world of gray tones and amateur footage to be sure, but it’s a world I feel morally okay with being in.

All lives SHOULD matter, that is a true statement. But everyone is guilty of picking and choosing. There is so much violence in the world these days, that it is literally ruining lives. Death is the ultimate, yes, but you can lose your life without dying. There are the big ones that are currently in the media of course, the police targeting minorities, people targeting police, terror attacks, hate shootings, and so on. But there are some that we hear about that fit the same bill. Bullying to the point someone commits suicide, rape, domestic abuse, child abuse, animal abuse, it’s terrifying.

Alton Sterling’s life was taken, he was murdered, his life did matter until suddenly someone decided it didn’t. But they didn’t just decide his life didn’t matter. Their decision caused a ripple effect, not just with the Dallas shootings. You can’t see his son on the news and not tell me that his life is RUINED. You can’t tell me that you read the letter from Brock Turner’s victim and don’t believe her life isn’t ruined either. Sure, both of them are alive, but they will always live with the horrors of reliving what happened to them over and over. She will live with feeling her body is not her own, wanting to crawl out of her own skin, and the trust issues that come with it, and if she doesn’t have a super strong support system, she may try and take her own life. Alton Sterling’s son will have to live each day seeing his father shot, over and over, in cold blood. He will grow up with distrust, fear and paranoia, always checking over his shoulder.

Nobody deserves a life that is filled with fear and hate and vengeance. Yet that is what we continually give to people. We don’t place proper value on life, not just as a heart beating, but as a life being lived in peace. That’s the scariest part of all. I’m as guilty of it as anyone else, sure I haven’t shot anyone or raped anyone or abused anyone. I regret to say I have bullied people though. I’m also pro-choice, which is a big one. Although I will say I’m only pro-choice in that if carrying the child to term will cause significant physical harm to the child or the mother then I believe abortion is okay. If it’s just because you forgot to take the pill, then no. And by physical harm I do not mean Down Syndrome or other non-life threatening birth defects, I mean legitimately this is going to cause nothing but pain within days of birth.

But I digress, I was talking about hate, and how much of it is in this world. We need love, not hate. We need love and understanding and kindness. I know that won’t completely solve everything, there are still going to be people out there who are really sincerely just crazy and wired differently and they are going to do evil things. I mean, Charles Manson’s reign began in the height of the Summer of Love, and look how that turned out. But hate is getting us no where fast, so it’s time to try something else. I know I’m actively looking for ways to show more love, to try and be more understanding, and to do some random acts of kindness.

So I say, don’t tell me #alllivesmatter or those other hashtags. Don’t TELL me…

SHOW ME.

And now I leave you with some pertinent quotes and a wonderful music video. I think there’s going to be something here for everyone that reinforces my point that everyone is guilty of this, and everyone needs to stand up and make a change, and

choose love.

  • “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” Proverbs 10:12
  • “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Luke 6:35
  • The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.” – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
  • “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Corinthians 13:13

Yes, this was for Orlando, but really, can you argue with the message?!