Letter: Why Black Lives Matter

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Black Lives Matter focuses on the inequity and injustices faced by black people, while also uplifting the humanity of black people. It is imperative to understand that this movement does not view black lives as being more valuable than the lives of any other people. Contrary to this false narrative, often used to undermine its legitimacy, Black Lives Matter asserts that all lives matter.

The unconscionable and ruthless murder of George Floyd, at the hands of the Minneapolis Police, serves as a reminder of the importance of this movement. This movement focuses on eradicating institutional racism and racial injustice. This movement is fighting to end experiences of police brutality, inadequate access to medical care, injustice in the judicial system, gerrymandering, and other forms of violence and injustice towards the black community. Also, this movement affirms the worth, dignity, and value of black lives.

Black Lives Matter is also a human rights movement acting in solidarity with causes such as missing indigenous women across the US; homophobia, transphobia, and violence experienced by the LGBT community; sexism, sexual assault, and misogyny faced by women; and the inhumane treatment experienced by undocumented people living in this country.

This movement is not against police, but it stands against police brutality. It is not against justice. It is against skewed laws that criminalize people because of their race and class. Black Lives Matters is not against white people, but it stands against white supremacy and institutional oppression.

So, if people are concerned with athletes taking a knee for human rights, then people should be profoundly concerned and horrified when cops put their knees down on the necks of black people. If people are outraged and condemn the violence that we are witnessing, then people must be equally outraged and condemn the decades of violence committed against black people and other marginalized communities. And if we are truly concerned with restoring peace to our communities, then we must focus on the sources of injustice and not just the outward expressions of centuries of stored up pain, anguish and fury. Justice cannot be one sided.

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