Losing a Friend Over Black Lives Matter – Good Riddance

mhelmet

Motorcycle helmet wearing dog I saw yesterday. Thought it would lighten the mood after a heavy subject like this one.

I recently lost a Facebook friend over the whole ‘All Lives Matter’ nonsense. They posted that they didn’t care about being politically correct and felt they needed to speak up and say that All Lives Matter, and that the Black Lives Matter movement was racist.

In response, I politely said that just because the movement is saying that black lives matter, doesn’t mean they are insinuating that all other lives don’t matter.

I could have skipped over the post. I only knew this person through my online writing. I also despise Facebook and was only going on to ‘like’ some of my partner’s posts, but I couldn’t let it slide.

Anyhow, one of her friends or relatives posted a graph that showed the police killings of unarmed civilians and told me that I was being racist. I wish I could take a screen shot but unfortunately, they ended up taking the cowards way out and de-friending me after I told the graph wielding friend/family member that the BLM movement is addressing the hundreds of years of racism African-Americans have faced, and that if he felt strongly about how badly white people were being treated by the justice system, he should start a movement to address it.

I also said they should stop behaving like a spoiled child waving his hand in the background saying, ‘What about me? I’m here. I matter too’.

Of course all lives matter!

However, white people are already valued in North American society and aren’t being killed in droves by police.

This pissed them both off and I was called a clown etc.

Whatever. I can take it.

The problem is that the ‘All Lives Matter’ thing wasn’t made up on its own. When taken by itself, it makes sense that all lives matter and that’s what this sort of statement feeds on – it doesn’t own up to being made in direct response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

It was coined as a rebuttal; a refutation of BLM. It’s saying we should ignore the way African Americans are being treated and furthermore, it seeks to brand those who are pointing out that one group of people are being unfairly targeted as racists.

It’s nonsense of the highest degree. It’s also ironic that the person who made the post said they were championing free speech and non-PC talk, but raced to hit the de-friend button once someone actually disagreed with them.

When someone says Black Lives Matter, they are in no way, shape or form saying White lives, Hispanic lives etc don’t matter. They aren’t saying they’re better than anyone else or that they count for more, but that they matter too.

If I say ‘Save the Rain forests’, I’m not saying ‘Fuck all Other Types of Forest’.

The data shows that African Americans are being killed (EDIT: proportionally) in far greater numbers than white people:

The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.

One way of appreciating that stark disparity, ProPublica’s analysis shows, is to calculate how many more whites over those three years would have had to have been killed for them to have been at equal risk. The number is jarring – 185, more than one per week.

Stop and frisk data:

Last year, the NYPD stopped and interrogated people 532,911 times, a 448-percent increase in street stops since 2002 – when police recorded 97,296 stops during Mayor Bloomberg’s first year in office. Nine out of 10 of people stopped were innocent, meaning they were neither arrested nor ticketed. About 87 percent were black or Latino. White people accounted for only about 10 percent of stops.

And it even effects us on a subconscious level:

Following the event in Minnesota, even the state’s governor, who is a white male, told the press that he didn’t believe the incident would have occurred had the driver been white. Similar sentiments were expressed by President Obama shortly after.

Of course this does not mean that police forces across America are composed of open racists that actively conspire to take black lives. However, what has been proven by countless empirical studies is that, in general, brains respond differently to black males in ways that create a perceived threat out of an otherwise neutral event — a process that often occurs outside of conscious awareness.

So please, if you’re one of those people spouting that All Lives Matter because you heard it somewhere and think it’s clever…just stop. It’s not news that all lives matter. No one is disputing that all lives matter. No one is trying to tell you that you don’t matter.

And good riddance to the Facebook ‘friend’ who ran at the first sign of opposition.

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49 Comments

  1. When someone says Black Lives Matter, they are in no way, shape or form saying White lives, Hispanic lives etc don’t matter. They aren’t saying they’re better than anyone else or that they count for more, but that they matter too.

    What disturbs me is that it looks like this isn’t the case with the “Blue Lives Matter” campaign. Maybe I’m wrong, but as best as I can tell so far, the underlying message is that they are more important. There’s no question that there’s a problem when police are being ambushed on the streets, but I see this as being less of an actual movement than a counter-attack.

  2. There are problems with the “police state” that DO cross over issues of race – and that is a problem, too, but as a white person, I realize that statistically, I am much less likely to be harmed by some over zealous officer who is (whether consciously or subconsciously) racially profiling.

    There are so many wonderful officers out there, but it only takes one to destroy a life. There are so many wonderful activists in the BLM movement, but alas, it only takes one to feed into the prejudices the movement is seeking to alleviate.

    I have friends who spout that “All Lives Matter” nonsense. If they are friends I’ve had for a while, I usually just keep moving, especially if we have common ground on other issues. Some of *those* friends are coming from a place of bitter life experiences, and challenging them won’t change their mind. What may change their outlook is counterbalancing life experiences. I may try to urge them to see the other point of view through hypothetical situations, though.

    Some of the BLM people can be discriminatory against their paler brethren. I have a Caucasian friend who attended meetings in support of the movement, who was told his opinions were worthless because he was a white man. That’s a shame, because only coming together and working together can truly overcome racism and division. I suppose, though, that it IS understandable, as trust is difficult to come by.

  3. First, a brief technical point. Black people are _not_ “being killed in far greater numbers than white people [by police].” _Proportionately_ the rate is much higher than for white people. That’s an important distinction. (Bill O’reilly ignored it recently when he said, correctly, that cops kill more whites than blacks–while he said nothing about the all-important matter of proportion.)

    As almost anyone who’s lived for any length of time in a poor black, hispanic, or racially mixed neighborhood in the U.S. can tell you, some cops are okay and will consistently do the right thing–maybe as high as 15% or even 20% of the total; another 15% or 20% are little Hitlers who love to push people around, and sometimes assault and kill them; and the remaining 60% to 70% will routinely perjure themselves in court to protect their brutal brethren. (Anyone who’s paying attention would, in court, rather take the word of a pimp than a cop.)

    Hence, police in the U.S. kill over 1,000 citizens annually with impunity. Some killings are justified on self-defense grounds, but many, many others are voluntary homicides and murders. Yet police are almost never charged and when charged almost never convicted.

    Cops have impunity to kill citizens. And they do — in droves. They kill far more blacks than whites proportionately. Which is why black lives matter.

  4. One needs to be careful when using data, it’s entirely too easy to get hold of data that has either been already slanted (and then carefully sanded to disguise the slant) or distorted in some way: for example, if a health service (to prove its point about the dangers of, say, a particular strain of flu) states that of the 3000 people affected with X in the last year 1500 died of the disease, you have what appears to be a major health problem.
    What is not stated is that those stats were taken from nursing homes and hospitals that catered to the elderly and the infirm, people who were already at major risk simply because they were already weakened by other illnesses or less able to withstand the flu’s ravages. And the flu doesnt kill people, it’s the pneumonia most of them die from that does. Two important pieces of information, left out to ‘prove” a point.

    In the statement about the number of non-white people in NYC being stopped for interrogation, I would want to know 1) the proportion of people who were stopped in heavily Latino and/or Black neighborhoods, and 2) how many of the apparently “black and latino” stops were actually and individually Black. Sounds like cheese paring, but NYC is a huge place, and you can find a LOT of people who are not white, far more easily than you can the other way around.

    I am not denying there’s an appalling problem, not by half. But I am incredibly wary of data that states ‘because of A and B, then C happens” without mentioning the rest of the equation.
    I also took the liberty of checking out ProPublica itself, and they are apparently on shaky ground much of the time, according to this: http://www.groupsnoop.org/ProPublica

    There is an old joke that I always think of, when I see data like this put out as fact: there was a car race to prove the supremacy of different models of cars, from around the world. In the race, the Russian car came in second, and the American car came in next to last. It was carefully not mentioned, but there were only two cars in the race. =)

  5. Hi Judy! Thanks for stopping by.

    “Sounds like cheese paring, but NYC is a huge place, and you can find a LOT of people who are not white, far more easily than you can the other way around.”

    No. NY city is not made up by mostly African American and Latino people. I’m not sure what you mean by this. Are you talking about the city overall? Areas of the city?

    If you’re talking areas of the city, why are police targeting these areas?

    As for ProPublica, the same stats were published all over. You can find the same or similar stats in the mainstream media.

  6. Great post!

    These 3 things you wrote sum it up well:

    1) When someone says Black Lives Matter, they are in no way, shape or form saying White lives, Hispanic lives, et al. don’t matter. They aren’t saying they’re better than anyone else or that they count for more, but that they matter too.

    2) If I say ‘Save the Rain forests’, I’m not saying ‘Fuck all Other Types of Forest’.

    3) And good riddance to the Facebook ‘friend’ who ran at the first sign of opposition.

    __________________________

    Did you know that BLACK cats are the least adopted and most euthanized cats?

    http://kindnessforcats.rescuegroups.org/info/display?PageID=7189

    My husband jokingly says, “Black cats matter” … and we were recently changing lightbulbs in our house to brighter more eco-friendly bulbs and my husband jokingly said, “White lights matter”. 🙂

    Anyway great post … and yes, all lives matter, well except maybe fire ants, Zika-virus carrying mosquitos and the Guinea worm … oh the haters are going to start now — I’ve just proposed an attack on our ecosystem!

  7. Words and labels mean things.

    And the people who use the labels mean things.

    Good Bernie Sanders stated, “All lives matter,” during one of his speeches.

    Guess what?

    Black Lives Matters thugs stormed the stage and Good Bernie had to promptly get lost.

    The label, “Black Lives Matters,” is inherently racist.

    And the people of Black Lives Matter hate white people, especially white police people.

    I don’t say that. They say that.

    So why does the atheist insist on hallucinating an alternative reality?

    God only knows.

  8. Is it assumed or is it a fact that black people in proportion in these areas are found statistically to commit more crime than whites? I do not live there and would not make this assumption, however if this were the case this would be a strong motivational point for the police to pick on black citizens.

    I say this because I also notice many black people are part of the police force and it has not had any stabilising effect on these issues. In fact from what I see, police do not appear to be targeted by colour.

      • I was going to just slip away from this conversation without a word. I would have it weren’t for the fact that I just read the Godless Cranium post titled ‘Loving Your Readers, Even the Ones That Disagree With you.’ In that post, you said, “It’s what I strive for with this blog. I want this to be a safe haven for people to voice their views.”

        All right then. Disagreeing with the Black Lives Matter movement does not make a person a racist. Disagreeing with a movement called Black Lives Matter does not mean that a person believes that black lives do not matter. So when I see the words, ‘you can’t use reason on a racist,’ it upsets me. I don’t believe in the Black Lives Matter movement, but I am not a racist. To label dissenting opinions racist or sexist, or whatever else, is not only insulting, it provides you with the ability to ignore opposing arguments on a moral basis that is not there. Quite frankly, it’s the kind of thing I expect from narrow religious views. Ironic to find it here. Then again, I realize that Mister Baker might not have intended to box others’ opinions in safe, villainous motivations, but it certainly did sound that way.

          • The comment I was actually referring to, right above your response to my response to your response : “GC, I have to give you credit for trying to explain this, but it’s a lost cause. You can’t use reason on a racist any more than you can on a creationist.”

            I said it before, so I shouldn’t have to repeat it, but I will. The intent of that comment might not have been to apply the appearance of irrationality to the dissenters. It certainly does look that way though. At the very least, with or without intent, it was the casual use of a very important concept, racism, as a conversational weapon. And an insulting one at that. Again, I find the sentiment ironic here on this particular platform. I understand that this is one of your readers, not yourself, Mister Cranium, and to Mister Baker, the original commenter, I’ve already said that I recognize that your intent might not be what it seems. I can’t apologize for the misconception though because it really does seem to be what you’re saying.

            The irony is this. If you don’t believe in God you’re a sinner. If you don’t believe in Black Lives Matter, you’re a racist. Except that this is actually worse. Call me a sinner, it doesn’t matter. I’m not religious. Call me a racist, and I’ll answer the accusation, because racism does exist outside the confines of the Black Lives Matter ideology. It’s also something I take very seriously. Admittedly the comment I responded to may not apply to me. Perhaps it referred only to the people you discuss in your post. But it sure does look like a blanket statement because it states that you’re wasting your time explaining this. You’re explaining it here, on an internet blog where anyone can read it. You’re explaining it to everyone who reads it, and I read it.

            Is it reasonable for me to take offense? That depends. Have I ever been called a racist, not potentially but directly and absolutely, for disagreeing with Black Lives Matter? Yes. More than a few times. Have I heard others called racists for their position against the Black Lives Matter organization? Yes. Again and again and again and again. And yet, I have still granted the proviso that it might not apply in this particular instance even though it is so extremely common place and even though it does seem to be the implication in the comment I responded to.

            That was the point I was trying to make. I wasn’t trying to provoke debate about whether or not Black Lives Matter is legitimate.

              • You asked twice. Be careful what you wish for.

                I can’t answer that fully in a single blog post response like this. It is, after all, a very complex issue. Many people who discuss it, supporters and detractors alike, seem to see it in the simplest terms.

                I’ll give you two things in response to your question, since you seem to really want to know, but I’ll repeat, because it bears repeating, what I just said. This is not a full answer. It’s more than enough to be the start of one.

                The first thing is not a reason to be a detractor, it is an observation that may seem so self evident it doesn’t have to be said. Then again, a lot of people don’t seem to understand it. The IDEOLOGY represented by the phrase Black Lives Matter is not the ORGANIZATION called Black Lives Matter. The most the organization can do is represent and serve the ideology, but it is not the ideology itself. Is it possible to think that black lives matter and also oppose a group called Black Lives Matter? Absolutely.

                So, separating the two, do I believe that the organization serves its ideology? Complicated question. Too much for me to answer here, and anyway, I’d have to do a few days research at least to be able to truly support my argument. It’s not worth the effort to me to do that here. Maybe on my own blog, if I ever decide to, but I have no plans to.

                My main criticism of Black Lives Matter lies in the methods and positions I find opposed not only to my values, but arguably to many of the values that Black Lives Matter would lay claim to. Even if I believed in the cause, I could not support the movement. A quick digression, if you’ll forgive it, but that last sentence makes it sound as though I find no merit in the cause. That’s not so, but again, it’s complicated, isn’t it? Whether you’re supportive or critical.

                Here is the strongest reason I will never be a member of Black Lives Matter. I can not support a movement whose response to terrorist attacks in France was to start the hashtag FuckParis. I can’t support a movement that charges the stage at political events and the like to take over the narrative, thereby denying the self expression and opinions of others. I can’t support a group that would halt a gay pride parade until it receives special status in the parade (among other things). I can’t support a group that threatens to incite riots if certain political candidates are elected. I can’t support a group that has been known to march down the street with hundreds of people chanting “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” Yes, that happened. I’ve seen the video footage of that and other similar occurrences. I can’t support a group with so many members who openly, publicly celebrate and support the actions of the Dallas and Baton Rouge shooters after the deaths of police officers. These attitudes are far to prevalent.

                A common response is that these things, while they do happen, do not really represent Black Lives Matter. That does not absolve their organization. I’ve personally known some skinheads. Contrary to what you see in movies and television, most skinheads abhor violent methods and some even decry the uglier methods of their groups. Does that make it any better? No. The skinhead movement, if you can call it that, is still on the hook for the (ahem) indiscretions of their movement. That most are not truly monsters doesn’t save them from my contempt. Now I realize that comparing Black Lives Matter to the skinheads isn’t fair, but that’s not really what I was doing. I used a more evident and extreme example to make my point. And to sum that up, you don’t have to be as bad the skinheads to fall out of grace with my values. When I look at Black Lives Matter, I see anger, arrogance, intolerance and irresponsibility. The ends can not justify the means, and the darker aspects of the organization can not be entirely outmeasured by the more rational elements of their group. Perhaps if they showed the dignity of the NAACP, I’d have more regard for them.

                Sorry for the long response. Then again, imagine the length if I gave a full answer.

  9. I don’t disagree with much of the sentiment here, but isn’t it a little simplistic to focus on these particular statistics? Surely the problem occurs long before an individual or group is ever intercepted by police?

    We all know that people from struggling socioeconomic groups are disadvantaged in income, education, occupation, health etc. and are more susceptible to engaging in activity that puts them on the wrong side of the law. Can we really blame police for “unfairly targeting” disadvantaged groups (this could include white) that they know are more likely to commit crimes in their district? Like it or not, this is efficient use of limited resources. Of course we should question police brutality and murder, but surely not this basic “policing.”

    Is it really the police that need to reform the system and reverse the inequity that starts when many of these groups are given this sentence at birth? Or does our community really need to look harder at why these groups find themselves in this position in the first place?

    As far as black lives matter, a recent media comment summed it up beautifully… there is one race, the human race. You will find disadvantaged groups in all defined races, the only way this will change is if the advantaged are will to give something up… and I don’t see that happening any time soon!

    • Hi Puff and thanks for your comment and opinion.

      I agree with parts and disagree with others. I do agree that racism and socioeconomic factors are both of concern and I believe the Black Lives Matter movement believes so also. In fact, their site affirms this.

      Even if it didn’t, I think that just because something else is broken, doesn’t mean we can’t look at this.

      While we are all part of the human race, in this instance it is primarily a minority that is being targeted. That needs to be addressed.

      And yes, I think the police need to be reformed. That won’t necessarily affect the systemic racism, but it will help one aspect of the problem, which is better than nothing.

  10. In terms of black cats, the same applies to black dogs.

    However, to address BLM, ALM. I’m not black, but I’m a woman, and piping up that All Lives Matter, and ignoring the oppression of black people is like men who suddenly butt into a feminist conversation and say, ‘what about teh menz?’

    If/when a minority group is saying something, we don’t jump in and talk over the top of them. Whether they are women, black, disabled people, mentally ill people, homeless people, old people, or whoever.

    Yes, all lives matter. But not all lives suffer from historic oppression. Was your ‘friend’ white? No matter. But on accuracy, although she cares little about that, black people can not logically be racist.

  11. Yes yes yes! Black Lives Matter does not mean others do not. It’s because their lives have been valued less, and it’s a reminder that their lives do in fact matter. Sometimes I get so tired of engaging with people like that so I just go ahead and unfriend them myself haha.

  12. I recently wrote a post on #alllivesmatter versus #blacklivesmatter, and touched on the exact same point. We share the same views on the subject, might want to check it out. It could be of interest to you.

    It infuriates me when I see people on social media use the tag #alllivesmatter. Because the tag #blacklivesmatter doesn’t mean white lives don’t, or that black lives matter more than white lives. It’s a matter of black lives being valued JUST AS MUCH as white lives.

    Why? Because blacks ARE unprivileged. Blacks ARE being targeted. There IS a difference in how police officers treat blacks and how they treat whites.

    Thank you so much for sharing. More people need to understand this.

  13. Pingback: Losing a Friend Over Black Lives Matter – Good Riddance — Godless Cranium – Hijab+theWorld

  14. I actually just created a blog/open forum in light of all the Facebook posts I saw over the election. I am a teacher and feel limited with what I can express lol. So, I created a blog http://www.takethefloorblog.com where we could anonymously post our thoughts on race, religion, politics without worrying about our employers, friends or getting unfriended.:) Please share your insight on this topic. Your feelings on this topic would be appreciated!

  15. I just posted a blog about why black lives don’t matter. Though we’re addressing the same situation from completely different perspectives, I really appreciate the fact based evidence you provide in your blog. Mine is more from a spiritual standpoint, that in no way during my day does the skin colour of anybody bear any weight in the success or failures I face.

    In no way is it an attempt to disregard the extremely obvious mistreatment of various groups across the world (gay, straight, fat, thin, black, white, etc) but to highlight the fact that, hey, black lives just don’t make any difference to the course of my day, neither do white ones.

    Rather, the way people treat me and the way I treat them matters. If the entire globe could adopt this type of perspective, I have an inkling that racism would be entirely redundant and non-existent. Of course, however, for the benefits of some people remaining wealthy and others extremely poor, it’s unlikely that will ever happen.

    Sigh.

    Really love your posts.

    Nat xx

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