Why Black Lives Matter Does Not Diminish Me

I’m thankful for an exchange with a former high school classmate which made me think about something that might sense to some.  She posted a couple of memes with scenes from the movie Remember the Titans in response to some of the racial protests.  Remember the scene following the first victory where Sunshine took Petey and Blue into that business to get something to eat and to celebrate — his treat?  The owner walked up and said boys we are filled up tonight, Sunshine asked what do you mean there are free tables everywhere?  The owner replied this is my establishment and I can refuse the right to serve anyone and that means you too hippy boy.  Now if you boys want something to eat you can go around back to the kitchen.  Folks that was in the early 1970s.

A number of places at that time still proclaimed that “White Lives Matter” which had been the slogan with the majority of places 20, 15, 10, and even a year or two earlier.

That’s why the expression “Black Lives Matter” does not threaten me or seem racist to me.  It doesn’t diminish me because nobody has proclaimed or proven that “White Lives Do NOT Matter.”  I see it as “Black Lives Matters just the same as any other lives.”  When “White Lives Matter” was prominently displayed within society, it did not include any other lives.

A sad truth in US History is that during certain periods the lives of the Native American Indian did not matter; the lives of the Asian immigrant or even an American born of Asian ancestry did not matter; the lives of a Latino or at times even regions in Europe did not matter; women did not matter for all intents and purposes at times; Roman Catholics did not matter at times; the non-landowner did not matter at times; the life of a farmer did not matter at times; and we can just continue.

How many times have the same people upset about “Black Lives Matter”contended that Christians are being persecuted in the United States?  Much too often “persecution” means being treated the same as some other group.

How many times have you talked about suing because some business owner doesn’t like your politics and threatened to not serve you?

The count in the Albany and Springfield area was ridiculous because apparently some who opposed the ad valorem mill dedication to schools and lambasted a teacher who took offense at their challenge of the need for new schools also belonged to I think a health club operated by the spouse of that teacher who offered to cancel any or all membership contracts.  That wasn’t acceptable to those who opposed the tax and levied accusations discrimination and persecution which could result in a lawsuit.

If life were fair (which it is not) and privilege did not exist, then why insist that rules which have always been in your favor remain in your favor?

I don’t feel threatened or diminished because Black Lives Do Matter and matter just as much as the lives of anyone else in society today.  Historically that wasn’t always the predominate attitude and while we today should not be blamed for the past, the frequency by which we forget history calls for repeated reminders of history — both the pretty and the ugly, happy and sad.

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5 thoughts on “Why Black Lives Matter Does Not Diminish Me

  1. I can appreciate this post. Respect.

    • Thank you. I just read a few of your postings on Black Detroit Educator Diaries, and they are powerful and thought-provoking on a number of levels. One which you may not realize is something that I first considered only a few years ago in my college classrooms. I never seemed to have to “work” to relate to students who came from rural areas. Regardless of race, heritage, or economic level I could communicate without much or any hesitation. With students from urban backgrounds, however, I tended to think of their problems as being different simply because I had such minimal first-hand experience. Many of their problems, concerns, and goals are different but at the same time many are similar once you delve beneath the surface, and the pathway to a solution follows that same route of listening, communicating, and developing mutual trust and respect.

  2. Please feel free to do so. Again your observations and remarks are informative but perhaps more importantly contemplative on multiple levels. Your students are fortunate to have a teacher who wants them to think and to adapt their strengths to overcome whatever challenges they face even if some people today appear to think of education as mere regurgitation where success is gauged only through tangible statistics.

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