Over the past few days, I’ve logged onto my social media to all different kinds of posts about police brutality, racism, #BlackLivesMatter vs #AllLivesMatter, and so much more. It seems like day after day, more and more tragedies, problems, and “accidents” are plaguing America. As an Asian-American, part of me feels removed from the conversation because I’m not Black or White. But as an American first and foremost, here’s my thoughts.
First of all, I’ve never had to do so much research to state my opinion before. It takes me back to my AP Lang days when I had to research and pull all sorts of cases for class debates. I’ve heard something about Dallas, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and phrases that were once names become significant symbols for certain communities. Now unless a name is becoming a symbol by unifying and uplifting a community, it’s never good news when something spreads across the nation like wildfire.
And correct me if I’m wrong but this is another domino sequence of bad after bad. Philando Castile and Alton Sterling have been shot dead in different scenarios but both by police officers in the name of public safety. It seems like no one really knows details of anything and unless you’ve been keeping up with this minute by minute, it’s really overwhelming to play catch up. Because Castile and Sterling are only 2 of the many names to be added to a never ending roll call of Black men shot by White police officers. Some of those cases were valid and just, and some were completely uncalled for. It’s important that we discuss that too, but in these cases that have literally set the nation ablaze, we’re going to skip that.
Because we don’t have time to talk about details as people are rioting in Dallas and police officers are being killed. I don’t agree with the shooting of officers at all. I think it’s barbaric, it’s obscure, and it’s jumping to conclusions. I also don’t believe an eye for an eye though. I don’t think taking down five police officers in retaliation is efficient. Micah Xavier Johnson, a “black militant”, did this because he was upset about the recent shootings and wanted “to kill white people.” If you want your voice to be heard, if you want to make a change, if you want a reformation in this corrupt society that’s stacked against you, you do not fall into their trap and criminalize yourself. You rise above it and you become a person of power, and you prevent your brothers from being shot in the future. Because whether Micah shot 1 officer or 50 officers, it will not bring back any of the Black men that have already died, it will not help the fight for #BlackLivesMatter, and it will definitely not change any racist mind that people are equal.
So I think this is all absurd. I think shooting officers is stupid, but I think the fact that people are still fighting over #BlackLives versus #AllLivesMatter. I understand the #AllLivesMatter but I don’t really at the same time. Because yes, all lives matter, everyone’s life is equally valued. However, not everyone’s life is sending the nation in a fury, not everyone’s life is in danger, and not everyone is scared of discrimination for the texture of their hair, or the color of their skin. That’s the difference. Because black people are physically different from the “majority”, they have grown up with a fear that they’ll be tackled to the cement and shot dead before they can say “I’m innocent”. It’s not fair, it never has been. So yeah, black lives matter because black lives are the ones making headlines when they’re dead on the street.
And to clarify, I’m not pitting one race against another or saying there’s a right or wrong in these situations. I don’t know enough about anything to make a judgement call. I don’t think anyone knows enough about anything to really make any hard factual statements. Everyone’s just fueled on fear and anger right now which is totally justified. But like everyone else in this situation, I think it’s time to act rather than just make trending hashtags on twitter, facebook posts, or blog posts in my case. Contact your rep and ask if something’s on the docket for this. E-mail Obama and ask what his plan is. Get some answers and check on what you can do because that’s what I’m about to do.
We can’t just sit here and let this happen, but that doesn’t mean we get to play the blame game. So what do we have? We have a powerful platform of social media and the whole world can be accessed in a second. But you gotta act, so you know, go do that. Just don’t sit here and make judgements and blame one side or the other. You’re asking to not generalize all cops or all black people, but blaming one side or the other won’t help your case at all. This is a multi-faceted situation that needs to be taken care of by lots of painstakingly annoyingly slow steps. But that’s how it’s going to have to work.