In his final moments of life, George Floyd called out for his mother. As a mother of children who will never have to know his kind of fear, I stand up. I hear you, and I will use my platform to speak.
I woke up today to see a family member online angrily typing out that all lives matter; that no life is more important than the other. That is exactly right. It is also exactly why they are protesting in the streets. Black lives have always been treated as disposable. That isn’t to say that injustices haven’t been done to other races; open a history book. We have enslaved, tortured and murdered our fellow humans because they simply existed outside of our idealistic views of the world. (The word Holocaust should ring a bell.) Black people are still suffering injustices.
I cannot change my skin color or my white privilege. (If you are white, and don’t believe white privilege exists, you are part of the problem). I cannot change the selfish views of my family members who scream at the top of their lungs that “All lives matter” when there are black people dying in the streets. But I can do this; I can raise my children to have love and respect for mankind. I can teach them that everyone is different, and to appreciate the beauty in the differences. I can teach them the darkness of history, and the beauty of cultures all over the world.
What I won’t teach my children is to “not see color.” In this house, we see color. We see the blue skies, the green grass and the rainbows after the storm. My children will see your skin color as easily as they see the color of your hair and eyes. And you know what? They won’t care. They won’t judge you for what color you are because it doesn’t matter to them.
Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, and this is not it. The Black Lives Matter movement is not about saying they matter more. It is about asking for equality. It is mothers mourning their children, because their children are dying senselessly in the streets. Shouting “All Lives Matter” back at them won’t save them. You are telling them that yes, it was awful what happened to George Floyd, but Derek Chauvin matters too. Is that really what you want to be saying to them? They are crying out for the injustice done to them, and there are people who feel inconvenienced by their pain.
I won’t discuss the looting and rioting; those are not the same people who are mourning their children, and deep down you know that. Stupidity and ignorance is found in all races.
I want you to tell them that they matter, without reminding them that we all matter. I want you to stand up for them, and be their voice when others try to drown them out. I want you to remember that there were three cops kneeling on one hand-cuffed man, and only one cop has been arrested. This is their moment in history. They are taking this time to speak. If we are to ever move forwards we must stop and listen. They are calling for justice and for peace, and they deserve it.
History is being written; The divide between people will be remembered. What side will you be on?
xoxo – Kat