If our response is “All Lives Matter,” we are totally missing the point.
Yes, all lives do matter, but only one ethnic group is being so discriminated against that they are literally dying in the street in this country.
It’s time we admitted that black people’s slave labor built this country’s wealth.
It’s easy to build a world-dominating economy when labor is free.
However, the black community has had no share in this.
Even when slavery was abolished (America being one of the last countries to do so), segregation and Jim Crow laws continued to keep black Americans from sharing in this economic success.
Even today, especially today, the in-built racism pervasive in our society continues the vicious cycle set up by lack of good schools, well-paid jobs and decent health care for the black community.
Unless we accept that we have a societal problem, where people are prejudged solely based on the color of their skin, where black people are assumed to be criminals before the facts are known, or killed before they can defend themselves, we have no hope for a just society.
The problem is glaringly apparent when we look at the police force and the way they impose law and order.
Over the years, police have become increasingly militarized, and made to believe in the “warrior” mentality.
Too often they shoot first and ask questions later, more so when they are confronted by a black person. You must read the appalling statistics to see the racial bias.
Is the horrific public killing of George Floyd and senseless police-involved shooting of Breonna Taylor, a young, black emergency technician, a myth?
Is the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, a young black jogger hunted and killed by a white man and his son, a myth?
Was calling the police on Christian Cooper, a black Harvard graduate because he asked a white woman to keep her dog on a leash in Central Park a myth?
If these incidents do not represent “white privilege,” I’m not sure what does.
It is no wonder that the world is outraged by the recent killing of unarmed black Americans in the past three months.
Senseless killings all based on racial prejudice that black men (and women) are inherently criminals.
White people need to own this problem since they built the system that continues to repress the black community and they need to fix it.
As Banksy (an anonymous artist and social critic) rightly put it:
“It’s like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. The faulty system is making their life a misery, but it’s not their job to fix it. They can’t, no one will let them in the apartment upstairs.
“This is a white-people problem, and if white people don’t fix it, then someone will have to come upstairs and kick the door in.”
Narima Lopes, Carlsbad