#BlackLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter
These three hashtags have flooded my social media feeds over this past week. Do any of these hashtags mean more than the other? To be honest, I don’t think so. I think they are all valid and have real meaning behind them. But, with recent incidents the last few years, the focus IS and SHOULD be Black Lives Matter. Hell, nobody was shouting or tagging ‘all lives matter’ and ‘blue lives matter’ until the Black Lives Matter movement began.
What’s the real issue here? Why is the Black Lives Matter movement such an amazing movement to witness in this generation? What does Black Lives Matter mean? In my eyes, Black Lives Matter means justice. Justice that when a black child is murdered –executed, even treated like an animal instead of a human being with a family– the person at fault for that CRIME is dealt with accordingly. That consequences are given to suit that CRIME.
When a white man goes into a church and kills nine people, he’s escorted out with a bullet proof vest and taken to Burger King. Keep in mind: this man admitted to wanting to “ignite a race war” and his attorneys are currently trying to drop federal charges because it is “unconstitutional.” When a white man rapes an unconscious woman behind dumpsters, he’s labeled as a star athlete and his swim times are released. He is only sentenced to six months. SIX MONTHS because prison will have ‘a severe impact on him.’
When Alton Sterling was selling CD’s in front of a convenience store, he gets executed like an animal on camera after being told he was making a disturbance. When Philando Castile was pulled over for a broken light and let the officer know he was licensed to carry, he was shot in front of his girlfriend and child. When Eric Garner was selling cigarettes and told officers, “I can’t breathe”, he died. Where is the justice?!
Now believe me when I say my knowledge on every single incident that has happened worldwide is probably not what it should be. Still, I can’t stay quiet as a woman of color –yes, I’m Puerto Rican and classify myself as a woman of color – and mother of a mixed child. I don’t ever want my son to become “another hashtag” that proves to society how fucked up things are getting. From the moment I knew I was going to be raising a boy in Chicago – a city whose violence is recognized worldwide – I was scared. As a mother to a boy who is half Puerto Rican and half African American: I am scared. As a mother of a mixed boy where police seem to be targeting our babies: I AM SCARED!
In no way am I shocked about the shooting in Dallas. I do not agree with it, and like with any tragic or unnecessary loss of life, my heart aches. But I am not surprised. The people are tired. Tired of being treated unfairly. Tired of walking around having to fear for their life. Tired of having to explain themselves in situations that don’t necessarily need explanation. We are tired, and just like most people who are fed up when nothing else seems to work, when going about things the ‘right’ way gets no response, no change…something drastic must be done. Our communities are hurting and our people are dying. Our babies, our brothers, our sisters, our moms, and dads are dying. We need to stick together and JUSTICE – just like we were raised to believe in – MUST BE SERVED.
I end this with a video by Joe Budden released at the perfect time. Those who have a platform need to take a stance and lead to help our people. Plus I’m a Budden fan and an active member of the Beyhive, so this video and song gave me life!
Nati is part of the La Verdad familia and based out of Chicago. You can find out more about her on twiter: @natiii_21 !!