You’re in a safe space here.
You can read these words from the comfort of where ever you are. No one else is watching you, judging your reaction, none of that here. You can be utterly open and honest.
I’m going to be. I don’t know how to reach you. I want to be respectful of your journey, of your opinions. I don’t want to sit from the comfort of my home and angrily hit the block button, or mute a tweet because I don’t agree with what you’re saying. I’m trying to see you, I’m trying to understand why you would make comments that I don’t think you realize can be hurtful and cause harm.
I’m not going to get into a statistics debate with you. That isn’t what this is. I want you to ask yourself a few questions. I want to gain a better understanding. I want you to take just the smallest peek at another perspective. Don’t worry, you don’t have to stay here.
When you say, #AllLivesMatter what does that mean to you? Take a moment and really think about it. What does it mean to you? When do you use it? Do you use it when you hear about the bombings in Baghdad? The problems in Giza? Do you use it when you watch the news and hear about a shooting, or read the paper and find out someone has been murdered in an act of senseless violence? Do you only use it when you see #BlackLivesMatter? Why?
What are you afraid of? What do you find threatening about #BlackLivesMatter? What bothers you so much about it? Why don’t you want to acknowledge that just maybe, they have a point. That just maybe one person murdered by police is too many? What in your belief system will break if you acknowledge that institutionalization racism exists? Take a second, really think about that. Are your shoulders rising? Are you suddenly uncomfortable? Have these written words inspired anger? Do you want to immdieatly proclaim bullshit? Why? What in you breaks if your perspective changes?
That’s the problem you know. And it’s not really a problem so much as it’s truly hard for people to understand the things they don’t experience. I’m a big believer that I can’t really help people if I’ve never walked in their shoes. I think it’s why I can take the trauma I’ve experienced, the hardships in my own life, and on good days look at them and say; “these wounds will help me reach someone one day. I’ll be able to look at someone and say with utter honesty and a deep understanding I’ve been there.”
But you haven’t been there. In the issue we’re talking about, you’ll probably never be there. You can’t see it. It’s not your world. Can you recognize that? Does something within you break,or shift in an uncomfortable manner if you were to acknowledge that your reality isn’t someone elses? Is the pain of that too great? I understand, you’re a good person. You know what love is, you know what love of other people are. You remember. And I think, if you are to acknowledge what’s broken, that opens the damn, the flood gates and lets in a lot of pain, a lot anguish, a lot of shattering of perception. Basically your bubble will get fucked up, and you’re not ready for that.
I get it. That’s okay. Really, it is.
But here’s the deal. Your world isn’t someone elses world. Someone elses words is pain and fear on a different level than yours. And because of it, they’re asking for change. They’re marching for it, crying for it, in same cases their shoving it in your face when they block traffic and make you late to work. You can be annoyed. But you also should quietly acknowledge, my world isn’t their world. Maybe, they have a point. They’re fighting a fight you don’t want to fight, you can’t you’re not ready. That’s okay.
Then be silent. You speak out of fear, not hate. You throw around that hashtag because you really do believe that, that all lives matter. We all do. But you’re not in a place to understand what you’re taking away from when you use in the manner that you use it. You’re not in a place to understand the truth of the situation, you are not ready on your journey to acknowledge what’s broken. Which is fine.
Be silent. Unplug instead. Spend time with your family. Spend time with yourself. If you cannot see the problem, don’t become it to defend your own perspective because there’s no need. No one is attacking you. What’s being attacked is something that is broken. Not you. Something else. You will heal, you will grow, you’ll fight your own battles, personal or larger. Please. Be silent. Spread love.
And if or when you think you just might be ready to take another step, if you feel like you’re surrounded by only one opinion but you’re a little afraid to try and get another, maybe some additional reading can help.
I hope it can. Because just an acknowledgement causes a ripple that can heal a wound. One tiny little thing, is a huge thing.