I remember when Black Lives Matter became a common meme. I didn’t get it. I was the first to think, “Wait. All lives matter.”
I felt defensive, like someone was telling me that black lives matter more than other lives.
What I came to realize was that of course all lives matter.
But that is not the point.
The point is:
Black lives shouldn’t be incarcerated at 5 times the rate of whites. Source: NAACP
Black women shouldn’t be arrested twice as much as white women. Source: NAACP
The median white family should not have 41% more wealth then the median black family.
33 percent of black children should not be living in poverty (compared to 10 percent of white children). Source: National Center for Children in Poverty.
The rate of home ownership should not be 77% for whites and 44% for blacks. Source: Inequality.org
There should be more than 3 black people in a list of Fortune 500 CEOs, especially when the workforce is over 44 percent people of color. Inequality.org
Black unemployment rates should not be twice that of white unemployment rates. Inequality.org
The US poverty rate for black women should not be 20 percent compared to 7 percent for white men. Inequality.org
Black women should not be 3 times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes then white women Source: CDC
Food insecurity for black children should not be twice as high as food insecurity for white children. Source: The Children’s Defense Fund
Black people shouldn’t account for 60% of coronavirus deaths. Source: Washington Post
Black people should not be killed 24% more frequently by police then white people despite only being 13% of the population. Source: MappingPoliceViolence.org
THIS IS WHY WE SAY BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Because, yes, all lives matter.
The numbers are clear.
Black LIVES have been systematically undereducated, underrepresented, underpaid, underfed, under protected, over incarcerated and killed in this country while white people have enjoyed the luxury of ignorance.
If you care about ALL LIVES, if you have that much compassion in your heart, then these figures should disturb you.
These figures should compel you to want to shout out BLACK LIVES MATTER. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. WE NEED TO DO BETTER.
Your life matters.
Your voice matters.
Your compassion matters.
Stand up against systemic racism. Not because you are liberal or conservative or black or white or somewhere in between.
Stand up against systemic racism because you are a human who cares about LIVES.