"It's Not Your Funeral: Don't Make BLM About You"?
By Matt Jungblut, Member of BATs
Regarding the recent deaths of black men by some bad police (this piece is not anti-police, there are many more good police doing a a really hard job with a lot of stress, for very little money - if you want to debate that, start another post elsewhere, please), there are many whites who have some confusion and questions as to what to say and do.
Black Lives Matter is not an anti-police or anti-white group or organization. There may be some folks who are using it that way, much in the same way that there are some Christians who hate, Muslims that bomb, Jews who cheat, and so on, but you'd be wrong to think that those bad people represent the entire group.
If you're still with me and not frothing with outrage right now, good, you're probably the target audience, a rational person who isn't instantly offended.
I am trying to support my black friends best right now by being there if they need me or ask me to be. I am also reading everything that they are writing and posting about, I am doing my best to listen.
That's right, listening, reading, and self educating. I consider America's black community to be in mourning right now. There is a lot of pain and people are expressing it as best as they can, and trying to make sense as to why this is still happening in our country. If you are unsure how to act, perhaps you should treat this situation like a funeral.
Some things I'm not doing: I'm not going on their pages and saying all lives matter. I'm not saying I completely understand how you feel. I'm not saying that we can solve this with love. I'm not saying my prayers are with you. I'm not saying white people get killed by police too. I'm not saying I don't see color. I'm not "white-splaining" the situation. It's not about me. I wouldn't go to a funeral and get up and start preaching or making a eulogy unless I was family or invited to do so.
I'm also not asking black folks to help me understand. It's 2016, these conversations should have happened already. It's not up to black folks to educate me. There's plenty books and articles out there, where black people are expressing what they think. And if you read them, you'll see that there are a thousand different viewpoints being expressed by the black community. There is no single black viewpoint; your friend, coworker, child's teacher, student, neighbor, or the person standing next to you in the elevator does not speak for the entire black community. Neither do President Obama, Al Sharpton, Beyonce, Allen West, Ben Carson, Carmelo Anthony, or Serena Williams. They only speak for themselves and from their experiences. I don't speak for you; nor does Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Mike Trout, or Steven Colbert speak for all white people. Do not expect black folks to explain Badass Teachers Association: