Black Lives Matter: Some Reflections

Neal Blair, of Augusta, Ga., wears a hoodie which reads, “Black Lives Matter” as stands on the lawn of the Capitol building. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

As we near the long, long homestretch of the political season, it is hard to ignore the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement. It has been primarily a disruptive factor as far as politics goes. Those who think this is just radical, left-wing liberalism in new garb should remember that Black Lives Matter activists shut down campaign events for Bernie Sanders in protest. There is something else going on here.

Why would anyone want to promote a slogan that claims “Black Lives Matter”? The answer is pretty simple. There are some who wield government power or who have influence over opinions who do not think that black lives matter, at least not as much as some other lives.

My contact with the black community is not as strong as it has been in other locations, but I have seen various reactions from the non-black community concerning this movement. Here are some of them:

Black lives matter, but we should be saying that all lives matter. Yes, that is the point. All lives do matter including black lives. We should not stand for those who devalue people of color, whether overtly, covertly, or through neglect.

This is really about maintaining law and order in the community. Black lives matter, but the so-called martyrs of the Black Lives Matter movement were criminals and thugs. Do the lives of those who run afoul of the law not matter? Some of the black people who have been killed by the police were less than model citizens, but not all. Some seemed to be just law-abiding Americans.

Black lives matter, but the tone of this movement is fueling racism in America. Sorry, I don’t think it needs any fueling. If exposing long-standing racist attitudes and practices is dangerous, we might as well admit that the American proposition of “all men are created equal” is dead and not an ideal for which we strive.

Black lives matter, but …………. yes, black lives matter to me. I don’t need any “buts”. Ah, now we are getting somewhere and can begin to have productive dialog.

Mark Krause
Nebraska Christian College of Hope International University

The opinions of this blog are solely those of the author.


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