To reiterate a tidbit of advice I offered on my social media sites to my peers in the battle for justice, please stop defending #BlackLivesMatter. It needs no defense. It speaks for itself. Those who support and participate in the cause are needed. The energy that we expend debating and arguing the logic of it with those who are determined to be illogical is needed elsewhere.
#AllLivesMatter is the antithesis to the cause. Raven Symone and the others who want to undermine the movement are asleep. They are complacent. Notice that Raven Symone is a person of color despite her musings otherwise. So even those who are affected by the injustices that #BlackLivesMatter combats are asleep.
And that’s okay. Everyone is not going to open their eyes. Everyone is not going to join the cause and that is perfectly alright. It doesn’t take the entire world population to accomplish the goals that we will accomplish. We only need a percentage.
Now, I am not saying that one should not explain the movement to those who may not be aware (though I don’t see how they wouldn’t be). Recent news stories continuously demonstrate why the movement matters. That’s our explanation, not our defense. The disproportionate arrests and convictions of Black men and women for menial crimes is our defense. The fact that we even feel the need to defend a cause that speaks to us in the first place is our defense. Who attacks those who support animal rights and combats their rhetoric with their own? Who combats environmentalists with a movement that directly antagonizes theirs? But when people of color, Black people especially, forsake respectability politics, when we stop stressing about the White Gaze, when we arm ourselves with knowledge and stand hand in hand as unmovable forces for our fallen friends and family members, we are somehow the problem? No.
I will not argue with anyone about #BlacLivesMatter. I will not expend the time or energy. I encourage everyone else who locks hands and hearts with fellow #BlackLivesMatter activists to spare their energy as well. We do not have to apologize and we do not have to defend. We have to do the work. Susie Q on Facebook isn’t going to help us do that by her illogical sentimentality to all lives at the expense of Black Lives. These twitter klansmen and their invisible hoods tweeting insanity will not stop us. The Raven Symones and other comatose people of color who undermine the cause with their misguided intelligence will not stop us either. They have platforms, yes, but so do we. We have the stats, we have the facts, we have the passion, we have the truth.
Those who scream to social media sites #AllLivesMatter are not marching in the street. They are not strategizing. They are not trying to make a change. They are simply blowing air and tapping keys to make themselves more comfortable with race relations in this country. They aren’t about this life. Their movement is static. Its stale. Its saltless. It has no soul. We are the soul. We are the body. We are the movement. Let’s stop defending our souls, our bodies, our movement, and lets continue to be present. #BlackLivesMatter is the anthem so put your damn hands up and let’s keep it moving.
Rakeem ‘OneVoice’ Person
BA in Religious Studies
Minor in English