I'm going to intentionally keep this blog entry short and sweet. There's no need for a lengthy essay when it is far easier to communicate my feelings with a few paragraphs.
I've found that many white people have problems understanding the Black Lives Matter movement. Many white people seem to incorrectly perceive that protesters are claiming that black lives are more important than the lives of other people. This couldn't be more wrong. "Black lives matter" is a response to the perceived notion that black lives do not matter, and especially to police who seem to readily shoot and kill mostly unarmed black men and then get away with just a slap on the wrist. Meanwhile, police are perceived to be very hesitant about shooting unarmed white men. It's almost as if police go out of their way to not shoot and kill white men, resorting to using tasers, bean bag guns, and other means, while black men are immediately shot and killed.
The problem here is something called "white privilege". Many white people do not think that such a thing exists but it assuredly does. Many of these people wrongly conclude that since they themselves are not wealthy or have positions of power that such does not apply to them. They would be wrong. Think of it like this. Ask a woman if she thinks that there is such a thing as "male privilege". Most likely she will answer yes. Most women will agree that there is indeed male privilege. However, most men would deny that such a thing exists and even though the double standards imposed upon women are quite blatant. If a man is in touch with his sexuality then he is praised and patted on the back. If a woman is in touch with her sexuality then she is a slut. Males can act horribly and their actions are dismissed with, "Well, boys will be boys!", meanwhile women are taken to task over insignificant character faults. Well, the same applies for white privilege. So it doesn't matter if you live in a shack, don't have a car, or are on welfare. If you are white you automatically are born into a state of privilege over minorities.
I came across a picture on FaceBook that I can no longer find or else I would post it here. It sums up white privilege by showing how the media treats white and black people different. There were two pictures of looters wading through water after Katrina. One picture had white looters. The second picture had black looters. The captions were completely different. The caption for the black looters correctly stated that they were looters. The caption for the white looters stated that they found supplies. So blacks are looting and whites are just finding supplies. This is white privilege.
Now, the Black Lives Matter movement is not perfect. I openly critique them for not self-censoring certain violent hate-speech that certain protesters have been using. I also find fault with their allowing of uneducated and inarticulate leaders to be their voice. A leader needs to be intelligent and well spoken in order to be effective. Hate speech and threats of violence against white people in retaliation for perceived wrongs will ultimately doom the movement unless members begin to voluntarily clean house and remove people who continue to engage in such behavior. If the Black Lives Matter movement can do this then they will become a power to be reckoned with and will see great strides and victories leading to real change. Failure to do this and the movement will just fizzle out with time. Only time can tell what will be. However, it's time white people wake up to this reality. This only started with how the police are killing unarmed black men at a rate nowhere similar to unarmed white men and is just an introduction to a real problem with our society as a whole, one that can be fixed.