Over the last few days we’ve seen 2 black men shot by white police officers and several police officers gunned down in Dallas, TX. I would venture to say there has been way more violence than these 3 instances, but these tragedies have made national headlines.
We see the chants of “Black Lives Matter” (or #BlackLivesMatter, if you prefer), “Blue Lives Matter” (or #BlueLivesMatter), and I feel like we’re sorely missing the point.
Lives matter. Go ahead and hashtag that. #LivesMatter.
I have seen instances where people have in one way or another basically shamed those who say “All Lives Matter”, because that is somehow ignoring the injustice acted out on group or another. I’d propose you can support the claim of all life mattering while not dismissing one group or the other, since “All” is inclusive.
So, I’ll refrain from all of these phrases, hashtags, whatever you want to use and simply state, “Lives Matter.”
Yes, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, (fill in the blank) Lives Matter. Lives Matter.
And here we get to the tricky part. It seems to me that there are those who have a vested interest in we as a people not mending the years of racial issues in our culture. There are those that maintain positions of power by stoking the flames of racism (whether directly or indirectly) in such a way that it makes true healing hard to achieve.
We live in a nation and world of sensationalism. The best story sells / keeps people in power. So, for instance, why not play “The Man” out to ALWAYS be the oppressor and always the racist? Why not paint the cops out as the main contributors of racism? Why not sensationalize the killings of black men and women by white police offers when possibly, just possibly, it didn’t have to do with the color of their skin?
Why not keep one group riled up against another? It plays to our fears and then “they” (those in power) swoop in to help calm us and ensure us that “they” can fix our problems.
You’ll see it if you follow politics long enough, especially when these types of tragedies unfold. The thinly-veiled (or not-so-thinly-veiled) implications that one side of the aisle is “for” a certain people group and the other is not, thus creating further division among us.
I know it sounds cliche, but we should seek to look at what unites us – not what divides us. Seems like a simple enough concept, but hard to put into practice at times.
On the topic of Lives Matter, I would be remiss to not talk about an issue I’m passionate about – the unborn. Sadly, it seems, their lives do not matter.
Their lives don’t matter because we’ve made it legal to snuff them out before they even get a chance to enter our world (crazy as it might be).
Their lives don’t matter because it’s easier to think of them as a clump of cells or “just a fetus”, rather than a human being.
Let’s look at some statistics (taken from the CDC)
- 699,202 occurred in 2012 (that comes out to 1,915 A DAY)
- Of the areas that did report (by race), Black abortions accounted for roughly 36% of all abortions. If we assume this to be the norm across all reporting, that would be 251,712 abortions (689 A DAY)
We could go further, but I think those 2 statistics hit home – HARD. At least they do for me. We are creating national outrage, division, etc. when we see violence perpetrated in different areas, by the police, etc. – I’m not trying to diminish that – but look at these numbers. Look at them.
We are, legally, murdering 1,915 children A DAY. A DAY. Where is the outrage? Where is the #UnbornLivesMatter movement?
And if we are protesting the fact that Black Lives Matter (which they most certainly do), then where is the outrage that roughly 689 Black lives are being snuffed out every single day in this country? I’d like to know where that outrage is, because I’m not seeing it.
So, back to my main point. Lives Matter. That really should be the end of it. Black lives, police officer lives, Asian lives, female lives, male lives, and, yes, the lives of the unborn.
Perhaps, just perhaps, if we truly followed the commandments of Jesus in Matthew 22, these issues would be less and less of an issue and our nation (and world) could find some healing.
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’