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Defining Black Lives Matter – Part 1

Introduction

“We shouldn’t get too caught up in this notion that somehow people who are asking for fair treatment are somehow, automatically, anti-police, are trying to only look out for black lives as opposed to others. I think we have to be careful about playing that game.” Statement of President Obama

As a Pacifist, I believe that every life matters.  For the last two weeks or so, I’ve watched town hall meetings with people speaking about the Black Lives Matter Movement.  I listened.  I learned.

After watching a town hall meeting on CNN called Black, White and Blue, I asked myself why are people who have had no experience whatsoever being discriminated against in America because of the color of their skin, arguing over the meaning of Black Lives Matter?

Each generation sits around the dining table and shares stories of their lives.  They talk about the challenges and struggles. First generation immigrants had struggles, but Black Americans have had continuous struggles. Many of the struggles are because of laws, policies and procedures that were intended to keep people of color in their place.  For example, employment is one area where systemic racism has resulted in the trickle-down effect where people of all races are now faced with student loan debt and low wages because of employers raising the bar for educational qualifications.  But, that’s another subject for another post.

On a gun control basis, I could very well argue that the problem with violence and killings is rooted in the lax procedures for getting guns in America and particularly, assault rifles.  The illegal distribution and selling of guns is like the distribution and selling of illegal drugs in America.  The root issue is that those distributing and selling are not the people who are bringing the products into this country. Those caught with them are punished in the legal system, but the origination of drug traffic is never stopped. But, that’s another subject for another post. Read the rest of this entry

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