Notice your reaction as you read that phrase that has been prevalent in social media. Please do reflect for a moment before reading on. If your response was #peoplematter, chances are, you are from white privilege. I am from white privilege and that was my response… that ended recently.
Not because people don’t matter, but because I missed the point. Anyone who knows me, knows that I truly believe to the core of me that every person does matter, but #blacklivesmatter is not about that. I read a post recently written by a friend of mine who’s black. We don’t know each other well, however, well enough to confide in each other a bit here and there. When I read their message, I was brought to tears for so many reasons.
I didn’t understand why
“people matter” as a response
to “black lives matter” is just wrong.
At the time, I didn’t understand why “people matter” as a response to “black lives matter” is just wrong. After processing it and discussing it with my husband, I think I get it… if I don’t, please let me know. #blacklivesmatter is about understanding that racism is prevalent and it’s around us everywhere. It’s also in anyone who is from white privilege. If you don’t agree, please continue to reflect, challenge your biases and bring unconscious biases to the surface. If you don’t, you will continue to commit microaggressions without even realizing it.
It’s about understanding that I will never experience the kind of discrimination that people who are black (and other people of colour) have endured. Yes, I have faced discrimination too (religion, being a woman, differently educated, youth, etc.), however, it is a tiny fraction of what people of colour have put up with. No one should ever have to experience what they have from the day they are born.
It’s about understanding that I will never experience
the kind of discrimination
that people of colour have endured.
A short story… Many years ago, I was a youth worker. I was in my early twenties and still looked like a youth. I took a few youth to the mall for an evening activity. There was a mall security guard who came up and started giving us a rough time about being there. The youth all looked at me… I was one of them. I mustered all the courage I had in me at the time and informed the guard that I was their youth worker and he had no right to talk to the youth like that.
The point here is that I was able to stop it in the moment. Racism against many Black people is so horrible that when they try to stand up for what is right, they are often humiliated, sworn at, beaten or worse. Therefore, many have been taught to run for their lives and hide, literally.
It’s time for the whole world to stand
Black People, Indigenous and People of Colour!
I share this from a humble heart with the hopes of raising some healthy conversation and increase my own awareness. I commit to my ongoing journey of challenging my biases. I hope you do too.
Please share which of your own biases you are challenging.