Black Lives Matter
My mood today is confused.
I am black. That much I am sure about. Oh, and, I'm also a woman. Last time I checked.
There's a lot of good going on right now. While it was very tragic for George Floyd to lose his life, it's also caused many good things to happen. There's a renewed attention being placed on the role of police. White people all over the country are coming out for the black cause.
I marched. My family marched. It's the least we could do. Now I'm not down with some of the tactics of other protesters, but what can I say? Everyone is going to express their rage differently. Some people march. Other people go on Facebook. As long as everyone does their part it means things are going to change. And for the better.
My kids are black. I say that because how do you know my husband isn't Filipino or white? I want them to grow up in a world where they aren't targets. Where they don't have a chance of having the police shoot at them or lock them up for their skin color.
Now I know it's more complicated than that. I'm not a fool. But being black is a weight to carry. It comes with its benefits, like having strong extended families that really care, but there are negative aspects, too. There is racism in policing.
So I saw this this Bevelyn Beatty interview on You tube. She's the black woman who defaced the BLM murals in NYC. Not just once. And, I was very upset by this. Why? I feel like we're finally gaining ground and getting a voice in the larger society. I imagine any black woman or man should want this. So I was angry to hear she ruined the Black Lives Matter murals.
What gives? I checked out a few video interviews with her. I was puzzled. Here was an articulate young black woman who was against black progress. But her videos are not about self-hate but rather show her as an articulate human being who knows her history better than I do.
I was going to vote Democrat in the upcoming presidential election. Now I'm not so sure. I will probably still vote for Joe Biden, especially if he chooses a running mate who is a person of color. It is that important that we get some honest representation in the "White" house.
So, getting back to Bevelyn Beatty...I feel she has a message that many black folks don't want to hear. But she is too much about Jesus for my taste. While I am a Christian and go to church every Sunday, and raise my kids to love the Lord, I don't know if she's right about everything she says.
Should a Christian talk about Jesus endlessly? I don't do that. I have neighbors who are Jewish and Muslim and some are even of no faith at all. When we first moved here I tried. But very soon I realized that they don't want to hear about Jesus. So I stopped.
Bevelyn Beatty painted over the Black Lives Matter mural. She was very brave for this. And her views about BLM are very interesting. I don't know that I agree. But I do think she should have a voice. Racism is a real thing. But how should we go about ending it? Putting a real stop to racial injustice?
I don't agree with her tactics. And I don't agree about a lot of what she says. But I do admire her for her strength in her convictions. She has Spirit, that much is true. I wouldn't join her in defacing the murals. And I hope my kids wouldn't either. But if they did I would understand. The BLM murals mean a lot of different things to different people.
Here's where it gets complicated. Black Lives DO Matter! But all this talk about defunding the police and starting a communist revolution, and I think 100% Bevelyn is right that they are piggybacking this social activism on the back of Black rights. We're being used. How does any of that have to do with George Floyd? Bad cops, and there sure are a lot of them, have to be punished. And not years later like in the case of Eric Garner. They need punishment RIGHT AWAY. That will be a deterrent to other bad cops. Those devils itching to harm black men and women for no other reason than their skin has melanin.
I think turning this into politics is plain wrong. Why? We all have our own political beliefs. At Thanksgiving, my family doesn't bring this up. Some of my family are liberals. Others are strict conservative. And some just don't want to hear it. But if you ask anyone at the dinner table, young or old, if they care about the cause of black liberty, you'll get an Amen. It would be wrong not to. So BLM is about politics as well as liberation. That's where it gets sticky.
I say please leave the BLM murals alone. They bring hope to young people. But is it a false hope? That is a good question. I'd rather see honest discussion. New laws passed. Police reviewed and removed who are harming black kids. Black Lives Matter started out pure but like everything in the world, it got more complicated and now it's a mess. I don't condone white folks acting wild for me. Please write to your politicians and use your white privilege in a more constructive and useful way.
If the tables were turned and black people had all the power and white people were oppressed, just think about what YOU would want me to be doing on your behalf. Would you want me making street murals? Walking back and forth over bridges and shutting down traffic? Or, would you rather I use my privilege to make some real change, via the political process, via writing letters and speaking out on your behalf? Think about it, Black Lives Matter can help us or even hurt us. It's nobody's fault if it doesn't help. It's just how it all unfolded.