Sweet friends, I have intentionally not chimed in with the many bloggers who have expressed their opinions in the last few weeks over the deaths of George Floyd and Rashard Brooks, and others in Chicago, Baltimore and across the country. My blog is really just about how I have found ways to fill my life after retirement. And not about the harder topics of race relations, violence, homicide, police brutality, riots and protests. Filling my idle hours was hard enough for me!!
What I believe about the any current events often changes and evolves as I learn more. So what I might post about my beliefs this month, could morph into something different after I do more research or speak with others whose opinions I value.
Which is the reason I am writing this post today. Change of perspective. Linking up with Penny for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.
Shortly after the death of George Floyd, I was watching CNN news at my daughter’s house while I was there helping with her daughters. At 62, I am definitely more conservative than my daughters and their husbands but less conservative than my PC, my brother, sister and brother-in-law. So my beliefs generally fall somewhere in the middle of those I am closest to.
All Lives Matter
We were watching the rioting and protests in Minneapolis on the TV. I mentioned that I find the slogan “Black Lives Matter” to be a segregating statement. Which seemed to me to be in opposition of what I understood the BLM movement was all about.
The kids were quiet for a moment. I went on to explain that “All Lives Matter” is inclusive of every race, religion, culture and creed. And in my opinion, it is important we respect all lives. Lauren asked if I knew what the BLM anthem is all about. I replied something about “Black Lives Matter” being an outcry for all people to recognize the value of the lives of Black people. An admittedly uninformed explanation. She said yes that was part of it, but said BLM was more than that.
Black Lives Matter
Lauren looked up something on her phone. She sent a link to this article on GoodHousekeeping.com to my phone. I decided to change the subject and turned away from the TV to care for Cia and Cami. A few hours later, when I had a moment, I followed the link Lauren had sent.
My opinion was changed.
This tweet by Makayla Butler was the first thing that opened my eyes.
The article entitled “What Black Lives Matter Means (and Why It’s Problematic to Say “All Lives Matter”)” by Lizz Shumer begins by identifying why the phrase “All Lives Matter” is worrisome.
At its face, “All Lives Matter” sounds like a we’re-all-in-this-together statement. Some may be using the phrase to suggest that all races should join hands and stand together against racism, which is a sentiment that comes from a good place. But the problem is, the phrase actually takes the focus away from those who need it. Saying “All Lives Matter” redirects the attention from Black lives, who are the ones in peril. [source]
I spent the next few minutes reading and digesting the article.
Relay for Life Analogy
Later that day, I told Lauren I had read the article and it had changed my perspective on BLM. I think she was pleased. To further explain why BLM is more accurate, she offered an analogy to the Relay for Life events I have participated in with my sister in Houston. She asked me to imagine how I would feel if while at a Relay, fundraisers for heart disease, AIDs, Alzheimers interrupted the event to promote their own organization and health issues. Drawing the attention away from the purpose of the Relay event which is fundraising for cancer research and treatment. @judychen_ seems to be saying the same thing in her tweet:
For years I have attended the Texas Library Association (TLA) annual conference. At the registration booth, participants pick up their name badges. There they are invited to add ribbons to the tags that identify the various round tables and regions to which the member belongs. Some of the round tables are New Members Round Table, Library Support Staff Round Table and Children’s Round Table.
But there are also round tables for groups based on race and sexual preference. Black Caucus Round Table and Queers and Allies Round Table, respectively. And I have been frustrated, in the past, for the need for groups that identify themselves by these characteristics. I guess I wish there wasn’t a need for a Black Caucus Round Table and a Queers and Allies Round Table. Because in an ideal world, the concerns and interests of the individuals who belong to these specific groups and their patrons would be recognized by the Texas Library Association as a whole.
It always seemed to me that these round table groups were segregating themselves from the rest of the organization. But now I better understand that they are not attempting to separate themselves, but are interested in finding ways to ensure these specific patrons are better served in libraries across the state.
One last thought, in the article the letter b is capitalized in Black Lives, Black experience, Black joy but only occasionally in Black people. But in the only direct reference to white people, “…compared to a white individual…”, the letter w is not capitalized. Is there some unspoken rule about when to capitalize these adjectives?
Have your opinions or thoughts been changed through recent events? One thing I haven’t changed my mind about is disagreeing with the rioting and destruction of property. Peaceful protest, yes. But not all of the destruction I have seen on TV. Won’t expound beyond saying that is just not right.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. said…
Thank you for spending a few moments of your day with me. Hope you have something fun planned for your weekend. I was pretty down in the dumps this morning about the whole same old same old that is our life since Covid. And with the increase in number of cases (and people being tested, I know) across the state of Texas, we are being directed to stay at home again. So, it’s entirely possible I will no longer be a homebody when the germs finally settle once and for all.
Hugs and kisses,