Sunday, July 10, 2016

What Black Lives Matter Means to Me

Rudy Giuliani is a perfect example of how not to talk about police, race, and gun violence in America. No solutions. Very defensive. Extremely offensive. He obviously takes deep offense at the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it inherently racist. (

It’s actually the job of the police and the community to stop the violence on the streets, not Black Lives Matters protestors. The violence on nation’s streets is very difficult to manage. Giuliani says BLM does nothing about Chicago street violence. That’s actually not true. (
OurStory is an inclusive community centered project organized to show young people their value and self worth by uplifting their voices and experiences by providing them a medium to tell their stories in a meaningful, creative way. OurStory engages the community with Poets, Activists,Organizers, Rappers, Singers and Comedians who exchange stories with residents through artistic expression and political education.  OurStory also intends to foster a culture of sharing, giving and reciprocity by giving away care packages and having black owned businesses donate discounts to community members and in turn promoting these business to residents to patronize regularly. OurStory meets people where there at outside in public spaces, be it the corner, parks, porches or in front of stores, we come to them and then we invite them out to our workshops and events.”
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He either hasn't bothered to actually sit down and discuss these issues with the actual leaders or supporters of BLM or hasn't listened to anyone who does support this movement. This is similar to the myopic statements by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s unfortunate string of comments since the deadly ambush and standoff. 

Let me explain my understanding from my own experiences. 

Saying Black Lives Matter doesn’t negate anyone else’s lives mattering. 

It is simply to focus the attention of the public of not only the loss of life of the black, brown, and poor communities that absolutely and more frequently is the victim of violence across the country, but also the subject of the negative attention these same communities are given by law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
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The loss of life is not just from cop-related shootings but from citizen-on-citizen crime. It is all connected.

Mostly, the police treat people with respect and dignity. However, the police that do not, the police that fear the people that they are pledged to protect and serve, endanger not only the public but all other police. It is the continued defense of those few members of the police force and criminal justice system that endanger us all, especially cops who have a dangerous job where they have to deal with so many different kinds of people on a daily basis.

If the people who the police come in contact with fear them, both police and citizen alike are placed in a heightened state of danger. That has to change. It can only change with open and honest communication without defensiveness and seething anger from both sides. 

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The innate and instinctive need for so many people to become defensive or enraged when cops kill citizens or when they hear the words ‘black lives matter’ is something that both sides need to sort through and mediate in order for us to focus on solutions on how to move forward as a nation. That is never easy when there are bodies in coffins and holes in families. 

Otherwise, more people, more cops, more sons, more daughters will senselessly die. No one wants that. No peaceful protestor wants violence. No cop wants to kill an innocent person. 

Can we not at least start there?

Let's at least start talking to each other somewhere instead of yelling at one another.

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