I am writing in response to the letter printed on Sept. 11, with the title “Writer urges resistance to Black Lives Matter.” This letter claims that Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization and a racist group, existing for violent purposes. These opinions com from a lack of information and knowledge and are a result of fear mongering.
Perhaps it would be easier to understand the movement if it were called “Black Lives Matter, Too.” If you could put yourself for a moment in the shoes of a black person in this country with their shared history. White people in this country enslaved black people and treated them as less than human. One hundred and fifty years ago, white people “freed” black people from slavery. But laws were made which made it impossible for them to vote, own land, or have many of the same rights as white people. They were denied the same access to education, bank loans and housing.
Slavery was racism. Racism did not stop upon the “freeing of the slaves.” It has been persistent, prevalent and ubiquitous. Parents still need to have “the talk” with their children about how to behave if they are stopped by the police, many times for the sole reason that they were “driving while black.” Children are taught to be subservient, even if there is no justifiable reason for the stop, just to ensure their own safety.
Lynching, discrimination and treating black people as “less than” is unfortunately part of our history. Black Lives Matter is asking for acknowledgement of this; for an acknowledgement that their lives do matter.