This morning, like most of the rest of the US population, I saw protests against police brutality in our cities. Most protests have been nothing but peaceful displays of solidarity. Some, less so, with police responding to property destruction and graffiti with violence, including pepper spraying an eight year old.
I am a pacifist; I do not believe in the use of force, in any case.
Recent news has shown, in clear and not uncertain terms, that being a white male shows that I am not a target. People of color do not enjoy that privilege. It is easy to be a pacifist when systemic racism does not target me.
Statistics back me up here. I am unlikely to be arrested, injured or killed by a police officer. I don’t need to send messages to my friends and family when I have been pulled over by a police officer, as that police officer is unlikely to believe me to be ‘aggressive.’ **
In general, I trust police officers to keep us safe. I fully accept that my privileged position supports that trust. That said, I want all people; people of color, LGBTQ people, differently-abled, and any marginalized group I’m (as of yet) unaware of to feel the same.
The police should make people feel safe.
Everyone’s life should matter. However, saying #alllivesmatter’ is fundamentally ignoring systemic racism. Use of force by police statistically impacts people-of-color drastically differently than it impacts white people.
So, being unable to protest myself in the time of COVID19 (I am high risk, heart condition), I will say emphatically here: Black Lives Matter.