My last post of the day, and this is verbatim a comment I felt so enamored of that I had to publish it. I forgot to get the name of the commenter, but it was on The Hill Article regarding the NetRoots protest in Phoenix in July.
Fed up with the blatant racism of the mostly conservative, George Soros is a Nazi conspiracy theorist commenters, and getting no love from the people who professed their liberalism this anonymous person said it just perfectly:
No, this is what happens when white liberals refuse to address the same systemic, culture-wide white supremacy that defends them when they lecture black people on the material conditions of their oppression.America rebelled against the commonwealth and held a revolution, and now you think intractable systemic injustice can be solved by asking nicely? Hypocrisy. Civil unrest is not the fault of the people who demand change, it is the fault if the government that does not represent one or more classes of its people.If you don’t think black Americans have legitimate grievances, the right to protest, and the right to interrupt white people who say “all lives matter,” you are part of the problem. If you are ignorant of the reasons black people are disrupting a process that harms them, you are part of the problem. If you insist that “all lives matter” when people tell you that BLACK LIVES MATTER, you are part of the problem. You, personally, contribute to this problem.It’s like this: when unarmed, innocent black people are being maimed and killed for no other reason than their skin makes police think “armed,” and the press pillories the victims, we have to remind you that BLACK LIVES MATTER.Insisting that no, ALL lives matter is like insisting that firefighters spray every house on the block on the way to a fire because ALL HOUSES MATTER.Saying ALL LIVES MATTER is demanding that EMTs give you the same time and attention they give to the victim of a shooting.Saying BLACK LIVES MATTER is NOT saying other lives don’t matter, the same way “save the whales” doesn’t mean “only whales matter, ever, kill everything else.” It is a straightforward call to action that addresses a single urgent need in an effective, straightforward way.Finally, nobody who says “all lives matter” was saying it before they heard “black lives matter.” They used terms like “collateral damage” and “s/he was no angel,” as if cops and white supremacist vigilantes have some sort of divine or governmental right to perform summary execution without trial for the alleged crimes, social media opinions, and the news media can dig up ex post facto. The fact that O’Malley either wasn’t paying attention or didn’t care enough to reflect on this before speaking is an indictment on his ability to lead these people or listen to them.The thing about asking nicely is that black Americans have been asking nicely for years as their kids were shot dead, and now that they’re raising their voices, you want them to go back to asking nicely.