I posted something that happened to have a ”Black Lives Matter” banner at the top of the site. I didn’t think much about it, but a couple of the people that received it did. Quite frankly their response surprised me.
To me it’s just a statement of fact. Black Lives Matter. Brown Lives Matter. White Lives Matter. All Lives Matter.
I was aware Black Lives Matter (BLM) was a movement, but it seemed I needed to know more. I looked it up. “Black Lives Matter is a decentralized political and social movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people.”
OK. Any incident of brutality and violence can be worthy of protest. Nonviolent of course, as it says. I was OK with their purpose.
When I talked to one friend he said that BLM is anti-Jewish. I found a statement from BLM about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians being “apartheid”. I looked it up and apartheid is “a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race.” The claim is that Zionists are white Jews who are like the white supremacists discriminating against people of color here. But I also found that some Jewish organizations feel like the black struggle is similar to the Jewish struggle against their own discrimination. I was left unclear about his claim.
Another said BLM is a Marxist organization. Marxism is “the theory of Karl Marx which says that society’s classes are the cause of struggle and that society should have no classes. An example of Marxism is replacing private ownership with co-operative ownership.” I don’t think we’re in any danger of adopting Marxism in America. When I checked, I found that some of the BLM leadership stated that they believed in Marxist views, but it isn’t clear what aspects they believe in, nor how that affects the mission of BLM.
Virtually any organization may have some misdeeds, some misguided or ill-informed statements, and even a few bad people, especially in the earlier days as they find their form. BLM is no different. I expect they will re-focus on their purpose if and when some go astray. And their purpose is good. Racially motivated violence is NOT OK.
A friend named Earl simplifies the oddity of making a big deal about the pigment in someone’s skin. Earl is a big guy with a deep rich voice that always wears cool hats. He describes himself as being “of a particular pigmentary persuasion.” Our pigment is simply a physical attribute, like height, hair color, eye color. That’s it.
I choose to ignore the emotional charge that others are assigning and just look at the words. Then it’s crystal clear:
Do black lives matter? Yes
Do brown lives matter? Yes
Do white lives matter? Yes
Do all lives matter? Of course!
Lives matter, and PIGMENT DOES NOT MATTER in how much a life matters.