Do Black Lives Matter to Us?


My husband and I were having a discussion about the latest tragedies, where innocent black lives are being taken for no particular reason. I told him how it literally made me sick to think about; to know that yet another man/woman/child is being slain by a white person. I am usually not one to focus solely on the specifics of it just being black on white crime, but lately it’s hard to ignore or spin any other way.

My husband on the other hand, had a different perspective of the situation. I am paraphrasing what he said, but he basically asked this question:

black people are using these opportunities to rally, march and speak out about the racial war between us and white people, but what about the internal race war against ourselves?

That question really made me think long and hard about things. Most times, when I am on Facebook, I see just as much violence between blacks as I do against us. On one hand, I stand firm and will support the hash tag #BlackLivesMatter at every opportunity, but at the same time, when will our race begin to take on that mentality with each other?

I believe that as a race, we are discriminated against, treated unfairly and blatantly disrespected on more than one occasion. There have been more than enough incidents that have happened in recent years to prove that the African American race has not gotten fair treatment, and as a result, lives have been tragically lost at the hands of racial vigilantes and power-hungry officers who feel that having a badge makes them entitled to negate protocol and use the most excessive force possible, when it is completely unnecessary. We have protested, marched and rallied behind the cause to force people to see us. but it starts with a collected effort to change the narrative surrounding us and within us as a race and a world-wide community.

The media does not do a good job portraying us as we deserve to be portrayed (after all, we are humans too), but let’s take a minute and really think about it and ask ourselves, are we truly taking a stand to uplift ourselves, and show that we are more than what the media says? We fight each other in the streets like animals, but expect people to respect us. How can we when we haven’t shown that we respect ourselves?

I have learned in past years a few things:
1. I have to be more cautious than I ever have been.
2. I have to look and appear to be as non-threatening and hostile as possible to not be labeled as a “threat”.
3. I have to live in a constant state of paranoia.

But I think the most important thing I have learned that black lives have to matter to black people also. Or else no one will take us seriously. We have to stop fighting each other and stop killing each other, or else they will make that a justification for their actions. I’ve heard people say “well black people don’t even care about each other, they kill each other all the time.” So when is that going to sink in? When will we let our actions match our words?

12 thoughts on “Do Black Lives Matter to Us?

  1. rebbit7 – A twenty-something-year-old who finds pleasure in writing anything, from poetry to rants to musings. I don't know what the future holds for me, but for the moment, I will enjoy this roller-coaster of a ride through my twenties and live my life!
    rebbit7 says:

    Powerful post. As a person of color, I agree that we have to first rally ourselves within the community before we can take up the task of taking our grievances to the multi-cultural, national level. Otherwise, not only will we be small in number (and less visible), but also we won’t be taken seriously, as you said. It’s a huge task, but hopefully, over time, we will get there.

    I have been following the news on these issues of race and gun control lately, and I wrote about it on my blog. So if you’re interested, feel free to check it out:

  2. rixlibris – Retired from child care photography after thirty years of coaxing smiles and wiping noses. Currently venting years of repressed fictional story lines via self-published novels. Married and still alive in a remote corner of Waller County, Texas.
    rixlibris says:

    Your husband is a wise man. I was raised in integrated government housing. There was no infighting among the black, white and brown, just a bunch of folks sharing what was not the best of circumstances. As for the police, they treated all the young guys the same, with an equal amount of disdain. I have personally had a night stick bounced off my head a time or two for the crime of ‘loitering’ outside the building in which I lived. I have been known to be wrong on a few occasions but I firmly believe that the racial divide in this country provides a profit motive for leaders on both sides of the line and until the time that promoting unity attracts the Benjamins it will remain that way. A poor black kid from the slums pulled himself up and became the top neurosurgeon on the entire planet and is now running for president of the USA. Why is he not being held up as a role model for all communities? Oh, right, he’s a conservative and ideology trumps accomplishment. The Eagles had a song back in the day with the following lyric, “so many times we live our lives in chains and never know we have the key.” I left that housing project far behind but in retrospect I can see how easy it would have been to join a lot of my friends from back then in their careers as consumers of corrective services. You made me think and now my brain is starting to hurt. ‘Til next time, be safe and happy.

    1. Egypt English – Baltimore, Maryland – Because I define gravity, nothing but my mind can keep me grounded; thus, I invite you to plunge deep into my world of trials, adventures and fairy tales all conquered by love, and watch with me from on high—as my delicately fabricated fictions emerge from the depths of my mind and dance with real life.
      E. English says:

      I’m very glad you shared your experience. Yes, the war on ethnicity is real and by nature it’s not going to go away anytime soon, but that fact was written in stone by the ancients–so it should not come as surprise indigenous people are dying by the boat loads. Nevertheless, people need to understand this is not simply a war on race (which is man construed) anymore. This war is spreading like wild fire to a war on humanity, led by a power hungry creatures. <–That's me being nice. 🙂 –Peace & Love, Namaste E.E

    1. You are absolutely right. All lives matter; however, my post is touching on a different perspective. Just like in the post, recently, the media has shed light on more African Americans dying at the hands of white police officers, but I am not going to sit here and say that that is the ONLY spectrum of police brutality, because I know it’s not.

      What I am trying to say in my post is, specifically with supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement (which I fully support), the African American race also has to be accountable for the crimes that we commit against each other. Black on black crime is just as bad as a black man, woman or child dying at the hands of a white police officer. Our race wants people to know that we matter in this world just as much as anyone else; however, we have to matter to ourselves as well.

  3. Robert Matthew Goldstein – San Francisco, California – I'm a writer, photographer and mental health advocate from San Francisco. I enjoy good conversation, history, technology and learning new skills. I have strong political views, a lifelong interest in literature, poetry, and social justice.
    robertmgoldstein says:

    I recall that as a child of five in Charleston South Carolina that I knew nothing about blacks except that they were somehow ‘bad” I remember that the atmosphere in that City was so steeped in race hatred that I held my breath once when sitting next to a Black man on the bus. I was five and somehow thought he carried diseases.

    The function of discrimination and institutional oppression is to strip the target of the internal sense of self worth that allows him or her to take real pride in themselves and to fulfill the minds and talents. To be a child and to hear your people discussed as if they are ‘things’ to be dealt with rather than respected as people, to hear political opportunists discuss your needs as a person as if those needs are parasitic, to sit silently as your people are ridiculed, discounted, called inferior, used as ‘examples’ of moral and ethical decay–how does one grow up in a deeply racist country without internalizing and acting on that racism.

    How can one say that we live in a post racial country when rich white Donald Trump can hurl racist smears at our President and have that discussed as political strategy and not as a reason to discredit him as a potential President.

    Yes, Black lives Matter very much.

    Speaking as a man who had the good fortune to hear Dr. Kings words before he was gunned down for daring to be Black and strong, my prayer is that the Black Lives Matter movement will evolve to see that they matter so much that a discussion must be had about the internalized hatred that is the bullet that kills slowly.

  4. Excellent post. I often wonder what would black people be like….if we were never enslaved, never pinned against one another when we were enslaved. Will there be a time, when we have truly overcome “the Willie Lynch Syndrome” and value, appreciate and respect ourselves and one another. Will we ever get to a time in life where we just focus on the fact that all life matters. Focus on the human race as a whole and let these racial issue’s disappear. #wishfulthinking

  5. Egypt English – Baltimore, Maryland – Because I define gravity, nothing but my mind can keep me grounded; thus, I invite you to plunge deep into my world of trials, adventures and fairy tales all conquered by love, and watch with me from on high—as my delicately fabricated fictions emerge from the depths of my mind and dance with real life.
    E. English says:

    My husband and I just had this same conversation last night. He made the point that in the Baltimore area, where we live, last week 45 deaths were the result of “black” on “black” crime. Our people need to wake up, fight the enemy and not themselves. Nevertheless, conscious individuals need to constantly spread knowledge so that it can reach the masses.

    Peace & Love, Namaste –E.E.

  6. Egypt English – Baltimore, Maryland – Because I define gravity, nothing but my mind can keep me grounded; thus, I invite you to plunge deep into my world of trials, adventures and fairy tales all conquered by love, and watch with me from on high—as my delicately fabricated fictions emerge from the depths of my mind and dance with real life.
    E. English says:

    Reblogged this on Nadira's Locs.

  7. Damita M-S – I am the Founder/Publisher of a digital and printed newsmagazine called Ujima, located in Austin, Texas. Ujima focuses on the "everyday hero" in our Black community. We promote, inspire and educate through writing positive stories. I also love art, dogs, photography, journaling, blogging and wine.
    Damita M-S says:

    Reblogged this on Damita's Life.

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