I Don’t Know A Damn Thing About Black Lives

A few days ago, the Nashville chapter of Black Lives Matter was told they couldn’t use the space at the Nashville Public Library to hold their meetings anymore. The reasoning behind this decision was because someone complained when they found out that the meeting was only open to “People of Color.” My initial reaction when I heard about this story was one basically this: “Wait a second… You mean that the Black Lives Matter folks are DISCRIMINATING against white people?!? That’s NOT okay.” Because I care about black lives. I’m one of the “enlightened” ones. I consider myself an “ally.” I want to help. And now you’re having a meeting and you’re telling me I’M NOT INVITED?? Just because I’m white? That’s not FAIR. And  I started cycling through the Martin Luther King, Jr., quotes that I have in my head… Like a dip shit… Thinking to myself, “What would MARTIN think about this sort of thing? You see, in my head, we’re on a first name basis…

f48ab016422da5525cd3630dc4c9d048

Black lives are one of those things.

So we had an discussion on Facebook… And some really smart, really patient people of color started trying to help me understand. At one point, a comparison was made to a group for rape survivors that wanted to meet without men… And something clicked. What if this is like a survivor’s group for some folks. What if this atmosphere of racism we’ve all been living in–the one that shames me when I catch myself being more afraid of a black person walking toward my car than I would be if a white person was walking toward me–is the same atmosphere that conditions a person of color to react to a face like mine with the same unsafe suspicion that a woman in a rape survivors’ group might have for a man walking into their safe place? And then, in that same Facebook discussion, a bomb was dropped on my little, sheltered brain… It was the words, “It’s literally not about white people at all.” But… Wait… What? There are things that AREN’T about white people??? The discussion took a long time. And then came another epiphany: Imagine if the leadership at every Black Lives Matter meeting had to endure walking well-intentioned white people like myself through the realization of their own privilege… They’d never get anything done.

So yeah… I went into a Facebook thread thinking one thing, and came out with an understanding that I was wrong. I came out convinced that I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about–Proof that something positive CAN actually come from online discussions, and people ARE actually capable of changing their minds. But on another Facebook thread, the discussion devolved–as is so often does–into anger and fear and ignorance. Anger and fear and ignorance that ends up with comments like this one:

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 9.20.26 AM

“Have a blessed day” covers all manner of hatred…

And this BLM group, by simply insisting on the inherent value of their own lives, was met with a whole lot of folks angrily saying the words, “ALL LIVES MATTER!” They were words on a screen, but I could envision the look on the people’s faces who typed them, and it was a look I’d seen many times before–Faces we’d like to believe are the faces of the past–faces on black and white reels of film from civil rights documentaries. But they are the faces of the people all around us. North and South, East and West. Faces coming to us in high definition, living color, beamed to our TVs and our computers and our phones from political rallies on a daily basis… Thriving hatred. Thriving and emboldened. And proud. And terrifying.

ihadA friend asked me how saying “All lives matter” could be hateful? And what about “black on black crime?” What about Chicago? And all that… So listen, I used to work in inner city schools. And I can tell you that if a black kid at a school like Nashville’s Napier Elementary got in a fight, it was going to be with be with another black kid. You know how I know that? Because that school is almost entirely black and poor. You know why THAT is? Because after the people in power dragged their heels on school integration for as long as they possibly could (when they were finally FORCED to integrate schools) most of the white folks (who could afford to) fled to the surrounding counties. Or sent their kids to private schools, whose high tuition kept things comfortably white. And black families were funneled into certain areas, all while enduring higher rates on their mortgages (while white families enjoyed the wealth-building benefits of FHA loans that weren’t made available to people of color) due to official discriminatory policies like “Redlining.” For more insight into this, you can read THIS AMAZING PIECE by Ta-Nehisi Coates, or you can listen to the remarkable interview below with Bomani Jones…

White people hold up Chicago as an example of “Black people hurting each other,” but Chicago has a well-documented history of housing discrimination–one of the main engines of systemic racism. We push black families who are poor and vulnerable into areas of no economic mobility, and very little hope of ever making it out (other than crime or the occasional professional athlete). We institute policies that insure that 1 in 3 of their men end up in the prison system, while roughly 1 in 13 black men in America lose their RIGHT TO VOTE Though in places like Alabama, that number is as high as 34%. As with almost everything, the key to change is education–People have to know what HAS happened–and what IS happening–to have any chance of affecting what is GOING to happen. And after enduring every sort of discrimination, and educating themselves to the awfulness of the system that is in place, some people of color get RIGHTLY angry. But you can’t be angry and black and be taken seriously when playing by the rules of white supremacy… Even when you have every reason to be angry. THEN, people like me want them to jump to the level of consciousness of a super hero of love and self-control like MLK, or else we’re not going to listen to them or let them be heard… Because we can do that. Because we’re white. And we speak of “catching bees with honey”to a person whose neck has our foot on it.

9e1c6cc550909ce671b3c9bca3bdb84aSo yeah… Kids at black inner city schools (just like people in Chicago) are probably involved in way more fights/crimes with people who look like them, but that’s because all the people who look different got the hell out of there. And you can use stats about “black on black crime,” but IMAGINE, for a second, if you went to that school. And the security officers at that school were kicking the crap out of the kids. And it kept happening, and kept happening… And after the teachers were told, nothing changed. Then, when you told the kids at the schools in the next county over, and those kids were like “That hasn’t been MY experience with school security!” So then leaders from that oppressed community came together and said, “We’ve GOT to do something about this! Together, we are strong enough to make a difference!! Black Schools Matter!!!”

And then a bunch of jack holes from the other school district yells, “ALL schools matter!” Without any sense of irony. Not only that, but imagine they actually call YOU racist for not wanting to invite them to your meeting about how to change things… I feel ashamed.

I am functioning with a lens that assumes a white-centered world–even when I don’t realize it. And when things come up that don’t assume that same norm (as they probably would in a leadership meeting for BLM), those things can cause a variety of different reactions in people like me… from anger to fear to confusion to genuine inquisitiveness as to how they arrived at that ideological place. Even the expectation that I deserve to have it explained to me is a result of my white-centered world. The expectation that I can help… The expectation that I am needed… Even now, there is a very real part of me that just wants the approval of the black friends in my life. If I’m being honest with myself, I want to be one of the ones who “gets it” more than I want to be one of the ones who actually does what is necessary to help. And that is probably a direct result of living and breathing in an atmosphere of white-centered, white supremacy for my whole life. Please tell me I’m smart. Please tell me I’m compassionate. Please tell me I’m enlightened.  Please tell me I’m in the group. Please tell me I “get it.”

One of my best friends got pulled over in college, and on his truck he had Grateful Dead stickers. The officer who pulled him over said, “Hey, I noticed those ‘Jerry Bears’ on your window… You have any drugs in here?” The officer then basically insisted he be allowed to search his truck. He flipped through the pages of his owners manual, saying things like, “You sure you don’t have some acid in here?” The whole thing took about 20 minutes, and he had to stand there–with people he knew driving by–while a cop searched his truck for drugs that weren’t there. All because of some stickers. In an older post, I wrote about experiencing a moment of racial discrimination while briefly attending a Historically Black University. But you know what? I can always return to my white-centered norm. And my friend can take those stickers off his windows. But black folks have to stay black. Every day. All the time.

And the thing is, even with any small glimpse that I might get of “what it’s like for black people,” I still have No. Freaking. CLUE about the actual experience of living in America as a person of color. And maybe that realization–that I don’t know a damn thing about black lives–is a good a place as any to start. So I’ll leave you with the beautiful, inspiring words of the man who–almost 50 years after his assassination–I still consider the moral leader of our nation… Please watch it. It’s literally not about white people at all.

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69 Responses to I Don’t Know A Damn Thing About Black Lives

  1. gerrigee says:

    Beautifully written. Especially love the school analogy.

  2. jroyer says:

    I thought Black Lives Matter was an activist group that campaigns against violence against black people. Why would that goal exclude anyone? Sounds like BLM is really a support group for black people where they can go and rant against white people. Not a recipe for getting anywhere, just digging the same groove deeper in a small circle.

    • theboeskool says:

      With that kind of comment, you’d fit in very nicely with the other folks making ignorant and vaguely hateful and offended comments on the BLM page.

      Even with the nearly nothing I know about the experience of black folks in this country, I still have infinitely more than enough knowledge to know–without any doubt whatsoever–that you have exactly ZERO idea of what you are talking about. Please believe me when I say this: I have never been more certain of anything I have ever said. The only thing I’m unsure of is whether you have EXACTLY zero, or if you somehow have less than zero idea of what you are talking about.

      Have I been clear enough? If ignorance were gravity, this comment would be a black hole… A black hole that swallowed another black hole. “A supermassive black hole of ignorance.” <–That's what this comment was.

      Please read some of the articles I linked to in my post. Systemic racism is real. The system that tells people "white=good & black=bad" is a real thing. The thing that makes normally thinking people make comments like the one you just made is very real… And it makes ALL KINDS OF SENSE for leaders within a movement to have some meetings where they don't have to deal with going into all the millions of reasons why your comment was every kind of inappropriate.

      • jroyer says:

        I didn’t say racism wasn’t real or that black people weren’t right to organize and be mad, especially when they are treated unfairly. I just said that the BLM organization would be more successful in reaching their goal if they were open to welcoming all their possible supporters and if they kept their goal in mind when they acted.

        In my experience, when people react as strongly as you did above, it is because you have deeper feelings guiding you and you are protecting those feelings. Be transparent to yourself and see what is really behind your antagonism toward me. My comment was innocuous.

      • theboeskool says:

        You didn’t just say that the “BLM organization would be more successful in reaching their goal if they were open to welcoming all their possible supporters and if they kept their goal in mind when they acted.” In fact, what you wrote was, “Sounds like BLM is really a support group for black people where they can go and rant against white people.” Those are two very different things. One seems well-intentioned, and the other seems to me to be wildly inappropriate. I have no antagonism against you, J. My antagonism is against what you wrote.

    • leezechka says:

      You did an excellent job of missing the entire point of the article.

    • Ina McLaughlin says:

      Not really. Why don’t you participate at the rallies. I think you are feeling what he was just talking about. You feel discriminated against. Sometimes you won’t understand and to explain it to you is time consuming and takes away from the meeting. What makes you think we are ranting against white folks. And where do you come off feeling we don’t need a support group. Your racism and hurt feelings are coming out. Retract your claws and fangs and understand that sometimes it ain’t about white folks. Sometimes its just about healing.

    • Amy says:

      So why don’t you start a group for white folks to go to, to talk about how you can actually do something to support BLM and all POC.
      Why don’t you have a book club for white ppl specifically designed to rad books that would educate yourselves on the subject of systematic racism and auto genocide
      Slavery, Prison plantations, socioeconomic inequities for poc.

      Why don’t you do that?
      Instead of winning about the fact that BLM wants a safe, private meeting without having to deal with your butthurt white sensitive asses.

  3. jroyer says:

    I meant what I said in both comments. A true friend says the hard truths that should be said to help to the other.

    • Roberta says:

      What do Black People want from white people? Shall I simply blow my brains out? I can write, act, believe that I’m not a racist but, anyone can accuse me (or persecute) if they don’t want to believe me. Hmmm me thinks America is fucked up.

      • Elliot says:

        Roberta — how about acknowledging that in a conversation about racism your hurt feelings are kinda beside the point? You can act, write, believe that you’re not a racist all you want. But as long as your writings/actions/beliefs are about “I am not a racist” and not about “racism is a real problem, what can we do about it”… no one cares. This Isn’t About You.

        Also. Persecute? Persecute? Pshaw. If you think someone being rude to you online, or even in person, is persecution, you have a LOT of things to learn.

    • You’ve put yourself in the place of therapist, teacher, and friend, when you don’t inhabit any of those spaces. You’d like to think your comments were innocuous. Nice try. They weren’t at all.

    • Thankfully you are here to tell black people those hard truths I’m sure they had no idea about.

  4. Pingback: When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression | The Boeskool

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  6. WhatNo says:

    “At one point, a comparison was made to a group for rape survivors that wanted to meet without men… And something clicked. ”

    Obviously, it wasn’t your critical thinking skills that clicked. Men are rape survivors too. So, by excluding them in a group therapy session just revictimizes them and validates their fears about not being accepted as true rape victims because “men can’t be raped.” You are an ignoramus.

    • And so you would be against a rape group for women raped by men? Think just a little bit further before you call other people ‘ignoramus’

    • leezechka says:

      And male rape survivors have their own groups because their experiences are different from women.

      But good job completely missing the point of the article.

    • Cheeky says:

      There is enough going on in life without going out of your way to find something to get offended at.
      The analogy of a woman rape victim group was just the way this writer compared it to to expand their understanding and you somehow find fault in it?

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  8. bergmann620 says:

    “What if this atmosphere of racism we’ve all been living in–the one that shames me when I catch myself being more afraid of a black person walking toward my car than I would be if a white person was walking toward me–is the same atmosphere that conditions a person of color to react to a face like mine with the same unsafe suspicion that a woman in a rape survivors’ group might have for a man walking into their safe place?”

    You answered your own question, at the beginning.

    If your greater fear of a black person is analogous to person of color’s reaction to a white face or a female rape survivor’s fear of a man…. Why do you feel shame, while the others are to be comforted?

    Fear or negative reaction to anyone who you have not specifically encountered or been threatened/assaulted by is at least irrational, and at worst, emblematic of -istism, even as it might be understandable.

    We’re not going to slow down racism by encouraging racist counter-reaction any more than we’re going to slow down rape through misandry.

    • So, please show us where the BLM movement says that ANY contact with white people should be shunned.
      Right.
      That is not what is said.
      This article went way over your head. Try thinking while reading, that might help.

      • bergmann620 says:

        “the meeting was only open to “People of Color.”

        I mean, I guess ‘white’ is the combination of all colors?

        Try not condescending. That might help, too.

  9. ALM says:

    #AllLivesMatter

  10. Pastor Tim says:

    thank you for this, my soul is rattled, and thank you🙏🏽

    • Ina McLaughlin says:

      Pastor Tim, now preach to your congregation that black people are persons. You can identify with a person. Teach your congregation to look at black people as they would a family member. Love is no longer enough. There would have been a greater whew and cry if white people had viewed those unarmed black men as a relative…then they would have identified. I feel you don’t really love me like you should. Like God wants you to. Food for thought. Thanks

  11. reader says:

    BLM on it’s own terms only exists as an ingroup/outgroup paradigm. It’s existence necessitates the exclusion of the “other” – in this case “white people”.

    I am not surprised at this, but I was surprised to awake to my own tribal instincts – as a part of the “white person” ingroup. I am not the only one.

  12. Personally I would like to attend on of these BLM movements because this is an important movement that is going on in my world. I see it and hear it everywhere. I am curious about the goals and objectives for my area and what this movement means and it seems like the actual group would be the best place to find out. Is it only about protest? Or is there more to it? Will it foster a good sense of community? Right now I know my community needs that so I sure hope it will. Are they protesting for better schools or just about law enforcement? In a few years my daughter will be going to school here, and I am really interested in making sure her education is at least good. I wonder if there is anything I could do personally, like donate books or time or knowledge? I know so little about my area compared to the long time residents, and my natural shyness does not help, though I try to be more outspoken.
    I won’t say I don’t see race because I can…well I couldn’t always (literally, I was race blind until I was 10, and I mean I couldn’t tell Data from Geordie La Forge except for his visor. I can’t explain this in any way except maybe Aspergers) but I can now, but I have to admit that I don’t experience the same issues I keep hearing about from white people. I don’t understand their fear or distrust. I understand it on the other side though. That makes sense. There is a good long history behind that. Why would anyone be scared of a black man over a white man? I just don’t get it.
    I know that I am not supposed to understand the black experience because I didn’t grow up in a black family, but how could anyone understand anyone’s experience other than their own? I mean, I don’t have the same upbringing as other kids, I didn’t watch the same shows, I didn’t like princesses, for all intents and purposes I can’t understand a stereotypical girl’s experience because I am not one. I am so far disconnected from that life I don’t even know what they actually did or watched on TV. But I don’t think that should prevent me from attending groups (though with that little in common I probably wouldn’t). Then again, maybe I am confused because I am also the kind of person who thinks that a man should be allowed in a rape group, because even though it may be uncomfortable to the women, men get raped too, and they need to be able to get help, and there are almost no rape survivors groups for men.
    It shouldn’t be about points ever. I don’t feel any need to impress my friends. We are friends, why should we need to impress each other? Maybe I just don’t get it.

    • JL says:

      You don’t get it

    • jroyer says:

      You don’t understand because it isn’t really about race. It’s about keeping the anger and self righteousness flowing. Blame someone else. Separate always. Complain and never change. It isn’t really hard to understand. No one can overcome until they decide to, and to do that they have to change. Until then, they will be helpless, trapped in their own closed minds.

      • Ina McLaughlin says:

        Hey racist, get over it. There you go talking about something you know little about. You are still mad because you are not invited to the party. Thank God, because you don’t have the capacity to understand anyway. You remind me of the whites who come to an organization with an attitude of “how did you survive without me but don’t worry, I am here to save the day”. Never once understanding that the day never needed saving. It was all in your small mind. You are like Aesop’s fables: the grapes were sour anyway. I can’t image your life??!!

    • Jane Hart says:

      Dear RingTailedDingo,

      I also have Aspergers and I don’t get it either. I think racism is one of those inexplicable neuro-typical weirdnesses that we never will understand.

      I also think that neuro-typical people have a tendency to see what they EXPECT to see and ASD people are more likely to see what is there – so we are better able to see ‘under the skin’ to the real person and treat everyone as individuals.

      Have you experienced that wonderful feeling of finding someone who actually understands what you are saying? After all the mis-communications in your life, not having to work hard to explain yourself? Neuro-typical people are used to having that ease of communication every day with members of their own race/gender/grouping and seem to really resent making the effort (that we have to make all the time) to communicate with people who are different.

      As I understand it,
      – black people need black only spaces so that they can get stuff done rather than spending the entire time explaining white-privilege to white people (who can look it up on the internet).
      – female rape survivors need women only spaces so that they don;t have to deal with male-privilege as well as everything else
      – and male rape survivors need men only spaces so that they can talk about the damage to their male-privilege as well as everything else.

      Be proud that you don’t get it. Refuse to understand why superficial differences between people can be used to cause such real and terrible consequences.
      Celebrate your own culture and enjoy experiencing other people’s cultures (at mixed events).
      Be supportive of everyone who gets a bum deal for stupid reasons and help them in any way that you can.

      • Meagan says:

        That comment was really nice. I’m not being sarcastic or anything. I’ve just been reading some of the other comments on here, and some of them are not so nice, so I just wanted to point out this one because I thought it was very well said.

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  14. George Green says:

    An honest assessment would note that black people don’t know a damn thing about white lives, either. These fears die hard, but are very outmoded. Interracial crime in the US is generally very low. But in the rare event that it does happen, it is overwhelmingly black on white crime. The violent crime statistics are very clear on this point. Our communities remain largely segregated, but in the event that I find myself in a predominantly black neighborhood, I would be in much more danger than a black person would be in a predominantly white neighborhood. Then again, a black person would be far safer as well in a white neighborhood than they would be in a black neighborhood. History teaches us about “sundown towns” in the Jim Crow South, but how is that any different than the violent black neighborhoods today? I grew up in a relatively affluent area, but close enough to such places as Compton to know about getting home before the street lights come on. The real issue here isn’t “White Privilege”, as much as it is “Two-Parent Privilege”. Kids with a father in the home are more likely to finish school and less likely to wind up in jail. 3/4 black kids in the US today don’t have a father in the home. Those who do are no more likely to be killed by street violence or police than white kids. Black Lives Matter ignores this fact. The wealthiest and least incarcerated race in the US (Asian-American) is also the one with the lowest rate of single parenthood.

    The reality is that the police shoot and kill people of all races. Any claim that black people are disproportionately targeted due to their race (26% of those killed by police last year were black, while 13% of the overall population is black) is no more valid a claim than saying they were targeted due to their gender (95% of everyone killed by police were male, while 49% of the overall population is male). If I were to start a group called “Men’s Lives Matter” to protest police violence, people would rightfully laugh.

    • bergmann620 says:

      Alas, the roots of the single-parent home in regard to the black community has its’ roots in racism, as well, so we’re back where we started. Further, I’ll bet you’re comparing black kids with two parents to white kids at large, which is still not apples-to-apples. Lastly, your correlation/causation analogy between race and gender is flawed, to say the very least.

    • Ina McLaughlin says:

      George, where are you getting your information from. You are certainly playing hard and lose with the facts. You are crazy if you think blacks commit more crimes on whites. Who was doing the lynching and raping of the black race. Who had no legal rights in a court of law. Who was the object of Jim Crow laws. Is this a form of racism you are practicing – not owning up to the horrendous crimes your people have committed. And stupid (I call you that because some statements are so ridiculous that you purposely must be trying to mislead people) how many of those other races are the cops shooting while they are unarmed. What do you think the point of BLM is. I put not question marks behind my questions because I am really not asking you, I am merely pointing out facts to the people who might read your response. You talk like a soc major who did not do well in school. Sorry for your explanation as to why you are like you are. Unfortunately, I do not have the time nor energy to address all your misdeeds. Got to go put out fires elsewhere.

  15. Tamara Brewster says:

    Fairly well written article overall…
    I live in Canada, but I have also lived in America for periods of time.
    I am white, really white…
    I, like you have always believed with all of my heart that I am not a racist…
    That I support people of color, indigenous peoples, landed immigrants… that we all really are equal and should have equal rights and opportunities…
    And so forth…
    WE SADLY DO NOT!
    The gross inequalities between men and women in both Canada and America is more than enough to be angry about. Really angry…
    Those inequalities do not begin to compare with racism in all of its ugly injustices and brutal truths…
    I too would love to continue to believe that I am a part of the solution … that I’m an allie. . .
    I too am (unfortunately) ignorant… and being less ignorant than others is NOT ENOUGH…
    I am saddened to agree that racism is still an overwhelming reality today… I think we all should ask, “what can I do to not be a part of the problem?”
    If all of us ignorant, well-meaning allies can just get out of the way long enough to open our eyes/minds and accept that we know nothing… maybe ask questions and LISTEN when someone is patient and willing to help us understand…
    Then, maybe… just maybe we can ask, “what can we do to help?”
    Thanks for putting words to an experience/understanding/awakening that many of us are having…
    Thanks for admitting you (we) know nothing… I agree that is as good a place to start as any… certainly better than believing that we do know shit that we really don’t have a clue about…
    I believe myself to be as empathetic and sensitive as anyone… and I have a shit-ton of personal experience being on the short end of the privilege stick… IT SUCKS! A LOT! This as a poor, white female in Canada… ergo: I DON’T HAVE A FUCKING CLUE WHAT IT IS ACKTUALLY LIKE TO BE A NON-WHITE PERSON IN AMERICA… I can try to wrap my head around it… and I am all for evening out the playing field… but I have absolutely no idea where to even begin with that..but I am open to learning/listening/trying to help others understand…
    I certainly am not going to tell anyone with less privilege than me that they shouldn’t be angry! Or that they need to feel sorry for me…
    If we all could maybe just start by opening our eyes….. watching where we are going… and ALL HAVE THE AWARENESS AND GRACE TO MOVE OUT OF EACH OTHER’S WAY… to NOT ASSUME PRIVILEGE; or at least to NOT be angered and outraged and frightened and hate every step up towards equality that others make… maybe that would be enough to make a difference? Maybe that would at least open channels for real change to incur? Maybe?
    I know sweet fuck-all… but I admit it… and I’d like to not be a part of the problem… I would love to be a part of the solution….

  16. albanymiriam says:

    Oh my goodness all you other white folk who are missing the point–there’s plenty of work for us in this movement. BLM does not say there isn’t. I know plenty of white folk who are deeply involved, and I have been well welcomed by my local activists for the bits and pieces I’ve been able to contribute. The point was only that SOMETIMES there’s a reasonable reason for a space without whiteness in it, because of the reality of living in a white supremacist world, and the habit (proven here by you) of too many white folks, even the well-meaning ones, to make everything about them and their own confusion and hurt and opinions about fairness and strategy. Don’t nitpick around the edges. Every time you make it all about you and your being left out you are only reinforcing what the original author was saying. People are getting EXECUTED DAILY and you are going to whine because people want to have a meeting without you now and then? Sit. Down. and. Listen.

  17. FeistyAmazon says:

    Reblogged this on FeistyAmazon and commented:
    Very good article about systemic racism.

  18. Pingback: I Don’t Know A Damn Thing About Black Lives | The Boeskool | Lexy Wolfe

  19. Kathleen says:

    Reblogged this on KaleidoscopE and commented:
    Remarkable post, enhanced by audio from Bomani Jones, important links, and video of Rev. Martin Luther King. Thanks, Kellye. Truth.

  20. dirtbomb1 says:

    Literally the most self absorbed, self righteous people on the planet.
    I used to defend “black lives” till the cows came home but over the last 30 years its just one stupid ignorant episode after another.

    What a joke. More than 50% of all murders are committed by Blacks yet they are only 13% of the population. Yet if a white kills a black its a parade of self righteousness. Im sorry but how about grasping the facts and stop seeing the world through pathologically biased eyes. Congratulations, you’ve succeeded in making enemies of everyone

    0

    • Let me guess….you’re white?

    • Ina McLaughlin says:

      Dirtbomb. You are not very bright are you? Your facts are a joke and the crux of the matter is that WHITE COPS ARE MURDERING UNARMED BLACK MEN. Are you trying to deflect the racism of you and yours. Why do you people have the habit of trying to compare apples to oranges. There is but ONE issue…white cops murdering unarmed black men. And as for a tidbit of a fact: white men kill more cops than any other race. Get it! Jeez

    • theboeskool says:

      1) I think it’s SO brave when people show up on blogs and write racist, hateful comments under fake names. Just kidding. It’s totally the opposite.
      2) You are allowed to show up here and say things that are dumb, but you are not allowed to make up completely fake statistics and pass them off as if they were true. One of your racist friends probably wrote the “50% of all murders” bullshit, and then you just repeat it without checking it out… But you have the internet (as evidenced by your presence here). You have extra time (as evidenced by your presence here). USE those two things to do research before passing along lies. Unless you already know that your stat is a lie… In which case: Stop telling lies.

      Either way, feel free to stick around, because maybe you’ll end up reading something that shows you how truly colossally racist you are, and how you are loved by a God who is way better at loving ignorant, blatantly racist people than I could ever hope to be (we’re all racist… Some people just seem to celebrate it, and wear their hate like some demented badge of honor). Also, maybe try being respectful to people who are different than you.

  21. I could be wrong for some reason I’m missing, but the problem with complaining about BLM not being able to use the Nashville Public Library is that it is public property. You can’t exclude people from public property, it’s against the law. If you want a so-called “safe space” you can exclude people from, use your house or other private property.

  22. Community Cats says:

    Perhaps having a Friends of Black Lives Matter group would solve any arguments and the lack of the feeling that “I” can help too. This way people can learn what they need to do to help make the changes needed, even if this is only changes within themselves. On a global scale this is not only a black/white issue but a brown/black issue and, probably every other color that we have decided a group of people has.

    As for the side discussion of the fantastic example of a rape victim- in areas where there is not a men’s or unisex group, perhaps a particular males’ case may be brought up and the regular participants can decide if they want to extend an invitation.

  23. E. Maes says:

    I absolutely LOVE this.
    Thank you.

  24. Maria Acosta says:

    Amazing, just amazing…a very well written and passionate article. I caught this on FB from a white friend that is also coming to terms with her white privilege that had allowed her to live in a comfy and safe space for so long…her words, not mine. The recent killings seen in the span of two days of those two blacks men have been seen by many more people now and it is driving these exact thoughts that white people are having: “Maybe there’s something to their claim of racism”. I applaud all that are arriving at the same places everyone else has been for a long time. I myself do not need to go into any details about my experiences with discrimination and racism. We have our own issues in our own communities. Right now, the light needs to shine on this problem and it needs to stay here until everyone can do what Ina told a pastor here to tell his congregation: “Teach your congregation to look at black people as they would a family member. Love is no longer enough. There would have been a greater whew and cry if white people had viewed those unarmed black men as a relative…then they would have identified.”

  25. Bradley Butler says:

    Until white people accept the fact that their privilege is a result of THIER old system, which still runs many policies and procedures, they will continue to resent and resist the call to racial equality in this world.

    http://www.theliturgists.com/podcast/2016/3/29/episode-34-black-and-white-racism-in-america

  26. Ellie says:

    A summation of this article and the comments herein, with the assignment of “BLM” being solely based on the article and its ensuing comments:

    Me: hey, I’d like to join in and see what I can do to help

    BLM: hold up, you are not entitled to join our group.

    Me: oh… Ok… I just wanted to be a part of the solution.

    BLM: you can’t be a part of the solution because you can’t understand the problem. You don’t even understand your own privilege, and we’re not going to spend the whole meeting explaining it to you.

    Me: ok… But I actually have had some cultural and educational experiences that have taught me about white privilige, and I’ve done an in-depth study on black struggles throughout American history. It’s really important to me.

    BLM: I don’t care what you think you know, you’re ignorant. You can’t understand what you haven’t lived.

    Me: but you don’t know what I’ve lived…

    BLM: and anyway, you don’t belong here. You don’t allow men into a support group for rape victims. You and your race have oppressed us and this is our way of congregating together to support one another.

    Me: but a support group is geared for discussing one’s problems and healing each other, not organizing to activate change. You’re organizing a movement that is supposed to change our nation, and I’m a part of that nation, and I want to be a part of this movement because it’s something I believe in.

    BLM: this is NOT about you!!

    Me: but you want to create significant change in a nation I’m a part of… That does affect me a great deal.

    BLM: you’re just hurt because you’re not invited. How typical. Get over yourself and find another group to join.

    Me: but if you don’t want white people to be involved in this movement then how can you change the white perspective? What am I missing?

    BLM: listen, we don’t need your help. We’re not victims, and you’re no hero.

    Me: I never said I was… I’m just saying how can you change the perspective of people that you refuse to include in the process? How is that going to work? If you appear to encourage segregation within the movement itself then how can you create a better atmosphere of equality on a larger scale?

    BLM: you just miss the whole point.

    Me: ok… I can accept that. Can you explain it to me?

    BLM: see, you are just another racist that will never understand, and I don’t have the time to explain it to you.

    *closes door*

    ???????

    I am more than ok with groups of people meeting exclusively, but degrading the intelligence and intentions of others as a means of excluding them from a cause that will ultimately involve and affect those people… that’s just not logical. I’m far less discouraged by a group meeting exclusively than I am by the comments, degrading, and bickering in this thread. Of course racism is a real problem. I just don’t understand fixing the problem with a dim reflection of the problem itself. Why not all hands on deck? And if not invite white people to attend these meetings, why not create separate meetings that ARE geared toward educating and enlightening whites so that they can be a part of the change? That could help the cause in a big way. Like I said- all willing hands on deck. I mean, in the end, are you out to make a point or are you out to create significant change in our nation?

    • theboeskool says:

      You have no idea what you are talking about.

      BLM welcomes white folks at some events, and they work closely with SURJ (Standing Up for Racial Justice) which is more for white folks who would like to help. The meeting in question was a leadership meeting. A BLM group wanting to have only people of color as their leadership is no different than a rape survivors’ group not wanting men in a leadership role… Even men who have never raped anyone.

      Though, the fact that you didn’t gather that from the article makes me skeptical of your ability to gather that from this comment. So maybe just stick with my first sentence, and disregard the rest.

  27. George says:

    As a brown person I must say you people are dellusional. Keep supporting these radical groups, it is already backfiring. Dr. King fought for intergration, not for special treatment of minorities. Last weekend 5 Hispanics died by the hands of poilice; where are the protest?

  28. Ray says:

    This is a completely fake article made up by a person who’s opinion was decided way before he says it was. The school system analogy is pathetic, I grew up as poor as it gets and we barely made it out, so don’t tell me the parents, mom, dad, uncle, aunt, grandma whoever couldn’t make it a priority to get the hell out! Everybody makes decisions everyday and then you must live with them. Some people have good intentions with the BLM movement but many are just using it as an excuse to hate and cause more racist violence plain and simple. Sugar coat it all you want people aren’t stupid no matter how many times you call them ignorant or privileged or whatever. Everyone makes up their own mind on how they treat others based on past experiences, family, friends and media influences (just to name a few things) and this article is a week attempt to influence people in a direction by trying to humiliate or de-value ones own feelings or past experiences. I wish I hadn’t even spent the time to read it!

  29. Robert says:

    Black Lives Matter is not about blacks being killed by cops, or the “but” is always, “But, blacks kill more blacks that anyone else … by far.” BLM means black “livelihoods” matter. It means black people are always doing illegal things just to be able to afford the I-phone bills that all white people have jobs to pay for. BLM means stop pulling us over and shooting us because we are always doing something worth wanting to run away, meaning cops will always shoot us. What they are saying is pass some form of a consumption tax, so all the money they make illegally, which is unreported to the IRS, will go towards buying too many gold chain necklaces, which will not get them any rebates from the replacement for the IRS. The BLM will mean, stop taxing us!

  30. Pingback: Prejudice & Racism – The Militant Negro™

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