When I received an email from my daughter’s school a few months ago, in regards to her displeasure of the curriculum when it comes to the history of African-Americans, I was surprised. Taylor is a major introvert, super respectful (cause she knows her momma is crazy) and her empathetic nature scares me. If she expressed her concerns, there was a problem. See, her school is dominated by one specific culture. The school actually helps coordinate dates for private cultural celebrations to make sure there are no conflicting dates for families. Being in the education field, it is very important to acknowledge ALL cultures. At her school, February isn’t referred to as black history month. They call is diversity month or some BS like that. All lives matter, right? Yet, hispanic heritage month and women’s history month is honored for what it is. So, when I read the message from her school, that pretty much stated that she was sick and tired of learning the same thing from the school about her heritage since kindergarten (she’s now about to be a 9th grader), I was proud. Over dinner, she expressed how she felt that anytime she brought up the plights of African-Americans in her classes, it was minimized or dismissed by her teachers and peers. Meanwhile, the oppression of the dominate culture is magnified. The school administration scheduled a meeting with her to discuss so that they can improve for upcoming years.
Now, in light of recent events, she has so many questions. She, too, is enraged. Her father and I often talk to her about injustices and the reality of being black in America. Oh, but its so different witnessing it happening and understanding why “black lives matter” deserves to be a standalone statement.
When people say that “all lives matter”, what exactly are they saying. If your reply to “black lives matter” is “all lives matter”, you are most definitely a part of the problem. See, white lives have ALWAYS mattered. When have they not? Any time the oppression of black people is mentioned, there is always a but…but that happened hundreds of years ago, but what about the oppression of other minorities. We need to be specific.
We started the civil rights movement…which benefited ALL minorities and genders TO THIS DAY! Yes, our civil rights laws, that so many (black and white) fought for, were even turned into All Lives Matter. When can “black lives matter” without others feeling like they have to minimize what it stands for? “All lives matter”, does not include black lives.
We didn’t get a boost to our cultural foundation from reparations to help us rebuild our stolen identities, broken families and respect.
Cowardice is allowing the acts that have gotten us to this point.
Sorry, America. It seems as though the brave has arisen…we cannot be silent.