Yesterday, yet another white identified woman responded, on Facebook, to my Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter spring 2015 conference. Having never attended the event, she wrote how “ridiculous” the event idea was, that “All Lives Matter”, and then whitesplained that “Black men do not get shot if they beat up their girlfriends” (a random ‘connection’ she was making after reading that a Black man who abused his girlfriend didn’t end up getting shot by the police).
She makes this comment the same day my twin brother contacts me about Fay Wells in Santa Monica, CA, whose neighbor thought she was breaking into her own home (19 cops showed up to take down this ‘scary’ Black Dartmouth College graduate who was VP of a firm…[I guess she shouldn’t have been
wearing a ‘hoodie’, should have gone to college, and made something of herself because , duh, only Black people can prove their humanity by working hard and looking professional to earn the approval of White people that their lives matter Black.] )
My brother said he had to take a triple take on Fay Wells’ image in the newspaper because, “Wow Amie, I thought she was you.” (Because nothing says ‘good morning’ like waking up to the possibility that your twin sister was racially profiled and could have been shot and killed by the police while chillin’ out in her own house…. I don’t think she looks like me, but for those of us who are sight -abled, remember we don’t just ‘see’ with our eyes but our worries, fears, conscious or unconscious, help us ‘see’ and interpret– we often see what we expect to see based on those fears, worries, assumptions….)
Raise your hand if you’re like me and my twin and check in with your Black or brown dad, mom, your best friends and siblings every other f*cking day to make sure they aren’t dead because apparently, not everyone realizes that Black Lives Matter.
Raise your hand if you send out those emails, make those phone calls, etc. to make sure your parents, best friend sibling, child is not the next Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, etc
A few days before my brother contacted me, one of my dearest friends who is a Black Muslim, informed me that several Muslim women have been beaten up by anti-Muslim people in her neighborhood and one woman was pushed onto train tracks of a commute rail. My dear friend told me that she must be careful now when she leaves and must adjust her head wear (wearing hijab) to be safe. A few weeks before that, I had been worried that I had not heard from her because we always chat and 2 or 3 weeks had gone by and no response. But, she was okay, just busy…But I didn’t know of course. I just thought… “What if….?”
My concerns are real and not ‘ridiculous’. We witness Donald Trump (and his followers who hold onto his every word) that plants seeds of violence and normalize it as legal and acceptable forms of terrorism (except when you are white, it’s not terrorism). He is a cultivator of terrorism. How do we know that the people who shot 5 Black Lives Matter protesters didn’t have seeds of hate that were planted because they may listen to Trump and similar cultivators of terrorism? (See: Trump’s statement the other week that “Black Lives Matter activists need to be roughed and similar)
Remember the dream I had about my twin brother? They are re-occurring nightmares and I have similar about him and my own children.
Just wondering how it can all be “ridiculous”
And if it is all ‘ridiculous’ and ‘All Lives Matter’….were you ever that [white] person who called the cops on that ‘suspicious’ Black or brown person?
If you have done that, just wondering if you ever gave a f*ck about the repercussions?
Do you ever wonder what happened to the ‘suspicious’ person you called the cops on?
Did you follow up to make sure they are okay?
That they were treated as if ‘All Lives Matter’? …
Or, did it just simply never occur to you to do anything, beyond calling the cops? (Because that is what privileged bubbles tend to do.)
Here is a little suggestion. A White man wrote it (Because maybe this Black feminist scholar with a PhD, who doesn’t wear a hoodie, went to Dartmouth College, Harvard, ‘talks like an oreo’, and graduated summa cum laude from UC with her doctorate in Social science isn’t enough to convince you). Maybe he can explain why “Black Lives Matter” isn’t ‘ridiculous’.
And maybe my conference I organized that is downloadable for $25 (16 hours all with Powerpoints and Audio) can help. Discounts are offered if you can’t afford the $25, just email me at breezeharper at gmail dot com).
About the Author and The Sistah Vegan Project
Dr. Harper currently manages the Staff Diversity Initiative’s Multicultural Education Program at UC Berkeley and is the founder of the Critical Diversity Solutions. Check her profile out on LinkedIn. Inquire about Dr. A. Breeze Harper lecturing or giving a workshop at your organization, school, or business.