In mid June, when the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer were in full swing, and I was posting information and updates about Black Lives Matter around the clock, a friend of mine sent me a painfully racist video. It came with no explanation and when I asked her why she sent it to me, she said that it was an accident, that it was meant for her family, not me. To this day I am still trying to process how and why this video ended up in my inbox.

Prior to receiving the video she had been radio silent about Black Lives Matter. She wasn’t posting in opposition, but she was not supporting my posts or discussing the situation with me, at all. (Later she told me that her and her family had been so annoyed by my posts that she deleted social media so that she wouldn’t have to see them anymore.)

Her silence, combined with the negative comments people in her family had been leaving on my posts about race, and the random things her and her family have said and done throughout the years, I could have guessed where she stood (though I didn’t want to admit it).

I had known for a while that I needed to confront the situation, but had been putting it off. We had been friends for over a decade. I was at the hospital when both of her children were born and thought of her extended family as my own. She is the type of person who’d give the shirt off her back to help a stranger in need. Her entire family supported me during some of the toughest years of my life. I knew that addressing this head on, would change, and possibly end, my relationships with them, and I just wasn’t ready for that.

She Beat Me to the Punch

As painful as it was to watch the video she sent, it forced me to finally confront the situation. This was her response when I expressed how shocked I was by the video:

“Yup. All lives matter. Not just the colored people. We are all humans. We all matter. Some are given more hardships than others but your life is what you make it. I am all about helping those who need it, always have been. But we can’t help those who refuse to be helped. I wish we could all not see color and live in peace. More white people have been killed by police than any other race but that’s of course not on the news. We are all entitled to our beliefs and clearly we are on different sides. I can’t be sorry for that.”

We sent messages back and forth a few times. I tried to explain the impact of systemic and institutionalized racism, implicit bias, how pretending that we don’t see color and the ways in which skin color impacts life outcomes only makes things worse, and how this isn’t about people who “refuse to be helped.”

I explained that even though white people are also killed by police, which is a problem, they are NOT targeted by police because of their race and killed at a disproportionately higher rate than people of other races. Black people are.

I addressed many of the problematic statements made in the video, but I couldn’t cover them all. The conversation was exhausting.

It ended on what I thought was a, somewhat, positive note, at the time. She told me that she watched “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” by Emmanuel Acho, and that he made points that helped her better understand what was going on. She told me that she would do more research and, in the very last line, she thanked me for “opening her eyes.

That was over two months ago, and despite reaching out to her and her family, I haven’t heard from any of them since. Not even on my birthday.

I am not sure what to do with the feelings of confusion, anger, sadness, disbelief and loss that I am still sitting in. My hope is that writing about this situation will not only help me process the emotions it evoked, but will also help others who are confronting family and friends who oppose Black Lives Matter.

Racist Video Addressed

I have combed through the video and addressed every racist comment it contained:

1. “I’m sick to death of this Black Lives Matter bullshit. All lives matter.”

No one ever said ONLY Black Lives Matter or that white lives DON’T matter. The American government, law enforcement, and the media have historically proven, time and time again, that Black lives are valued less than white lives, in our society. “Black Lives Matter” is telling a country, that clearly doesn’t already believe it, that Black Lives Matter TOO!

For the first 100+ years this country existed, Black people weren’t even considered human! Historically Black people have been barred from decent housing, jobs, education and access to quality food. To this day Black communities are under-resourced, underfunded and over policed. Black people are consistently the targets of predatory lending, voter suppression, racial profiling and negative stereotyping.

Think for a second about how the media portrays the murder of Black man, on the Southside of Chicago, versus a white woman in the suburbs. The latter is all tears and disbelief while the former is treated as a routine incident that, for whatever reason, the victim probably deserved. And don’t come at me with the word “criminal,” for two reasons. First, many Black people are labeled as “criminals” because of minor drug offenses, like weed possession. Guess what?! Suburban white woman smoke weed TOO! They just don’t have a criminal record for it because their neighborhoods aren’t over policed. Even when a white woman gets caught with weed, it’s usually followed by a warning and on with her life she goes. A suburban white woman’s history with weed would never be used to justify her murder! Second, NOT EVEN CRIMINALS DESERVE TO BE MURDERED, not by police or by anyone else. Period.

Here are a few quotes and examples to better understand what is meant when people say “Black Lives Matter.”

“I say “Black Lives Matter” because “All” didn’t cover Black when they said “All men are created equal”. I say “Black Lives Matter” because “All” didn’t cover Black when they said “With liberty and justice for all.” I say “Black Lives Matter” because they’re struggling with the definition of “All.”  

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For all the closet racists who want to deflect and put focus on things that don’t have to do with the subject at hand. This isn’t about an organization, A group or whatever bullshit conspiracy that people want to tie to the statement. Before any organization, it was a statement to say black lives matter also, we are just as important as anyone else. Notice I said just as important, meaning we are all important. It’s no conspiracy that In the United States between 2005 and 2020, of the 42 nonfederal police officers convicted following their arrest for murder due to an on-duty shooting, only five ended up being convicted of murder. Notice the key word “Murder”… not self defense. If “All” really means “all”… act like it. Half of you say all lives matter and then say some racist shit in the same damn sentence🤷🏾‍♂️you all hear equality and in your head it translates to special treatment. And look I am fully aware someone will read this meme and also this caption and still try to make it about something else… and to them I say I don’t give a fuck, I’ll still keep spitting the truth and you can continue to deceive yourself into thinking otherwise. Enjoy your Saturday Not sure who made this but I got it from my people over at @iloveblackpeopleapp @sinclairskinner.

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Saying “All Lives Matter” is not a more inclusive version of “Black Lives Matter.” The slogan “All Lives Matter” is a direct criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Now it was late, maybe 1 in the morning, and I was heading back to my cottage, where Mark Anthony was supposed to be sleeping, but instead, was standing outside our home, barefoot, in pajamas, and with his hand cuffed behind his back. Mark Anthony, the beautiful child of one the original members of Earth Wind and Fire. Mark Anthony, whom I’ve loved since I was 16. Mark Anthony, my soulmate. Mark Anthony who had challenged himself and the privileges he enjoyed. A long, lean, light skin wave of a boy, all the white girls wanted, but who always chose us. He always chose black girls. He always chose me. And now, all we had read about and studied, all we were building our muscles to fight, had come crashing in through our bedroom door and dragged this beautiful healer outside and handcuffed him in the cold night air. This is who the police yank out of sleep… They said he fit the description of a guy who’d done some robberies in the area. They offered no further explanation… I am not so afraid, as I am angry. Later, when I hear others dismissing our voices, or protests for equity, by saying ‘All Lives Matter,’ or ‘Blue Lives Matter’ I will wonder how many white Americans are dragged out of their beds, in the middle of the night, because they might fit a vague description offered up by God knows who?”
-Patrisse Khan-Cullors, When They Call You a Terrorist
“Yes. We know that all lives matter, of course. I deeply believe in the humanity of all humans. And what I’ve seen, what I’ve grown up under, what I’ve experienced, and witnessed, is Black folks are literally under attack. Whether that is economically, whether that’s their livelihoods, their ability to have access to healthcare, Black women’s ability to give birth to a child without dying, our bodies, our spirits, are under attack and unless we are honest about that, unless we have a reckoning, we actually won’t be able to transform the lives of other people. We know that when Black folks fight for Civil Rights, it means that everybody else reaps the benefits… The fight for Black lives, is a fight for all of our lives.”
Patrisse Khan-Cullors, When They Call You a Terrorist

2. “If the Black lives mattered so much to you Blacks, then you wouldn’t be burning down our country like a bunch of fucking heathens.”

He is clearly addressing Black people directly (and derogatorily) when he says “you blacks.” It seems as if he thinks only Black people are protesting, rioting and looting, or in his words “burning down our country.” That is NOT true. People of all races are in the streets, protesting against police brutality and racism in policing. However, due to the very same thing that is being protested, racism in policing, Black people are more likely to be arrested while protesting than white people, and that is what gets plastered all over the 6 o’clock news.

Protesting, rioting and looting are the last resort. Only when every other option has been exhausted do people fighting for justice take to the streets.

“For us, protests, marching, that’s actually the last resort. That’s what you do once you’ve tried to talk to political officials, when you’ve written the letters, and you’ve sat down with folks, when they’ve made promises that they haven’t kept, marching, protesting, hitting the streets, shutting it down, that’s pretty much the last things you do. And so then, if that’s the case, you know, how much as happened to lead us to have to end up hitting the streets?”
-Patrisse Khan-Cullors, When They Call You a Terrorist

If no one listens when people object to injustice peacefully, what other choice is left?

“A riot is the language of the unheard.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

The choice of the word heathen is a racist mess. Let’s take a look at the definition of the word heathen:

Heathen:

  1. a person who does not belong to a widely held religion (especially one who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim) as regarded by those who do.
  2. a person regarded as lacking culture or moral principles.

When the transatlantic slave trade began in the 1600s, white people had to find ways to justify subjugating, enslaving, beating, raping and killing an entire race of people, Black people. White people convinced themselves (and even attempted to use science to “prove”) that Black people were lesser than white people- less intelligent, Godless, uncivilized, and immoral. White people even went so far as to tell themselves that slavery was good for Black people, because it brought them to a Christian land and civilized them. The FUCK!?

These lies about the inferiority of Black people were then woven into the fabric of the nation and still largely impact the ways in which Black people are portrayed, perceived, and treated in American society today.

Comparing Black people to heathens, stems from the lies white people told themselves over 400 years ago to make themselves feel better about slavery.

3. “Cops aren’t going to good, outstanding citizen, Black people and busting down their doors and killing them. If you don’t want to be killed by the cops, stop breaking the fucking law. That’s all there is to it.”

First of all, yes, yes they are. Atatiana Jefferson and Breonna Taylor were not involved in any criminal activity when they were killed by police in their own homes! Atatiana Jefferson was playing video games with her nephew and Breonna Taylor was asleep in her bed!

Second, COPS DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO KILL PEOPLE BREAKING THE LAW, EITHER. Period.

4. He emphasizes the numbers of each race killed by cops over the last few years to prove that more white people are killed police each year than any other race:

  • 2017: 457 white, 223 Black, 179 Hispanic, 44 other, 84 unknown
  • 2018: 399 white people, 209 Black people, 148 Hispanic, 36 other, 204 unknown
  • 2019: 370 white, 236 Black, 158 Hispanic, 39 other, 202 unknown

The guy in the video, and the woman who sent it to me, argue that because more white people are killed by police each year, there is no racial correlation. Oh, but there is! When you think about how few Black people there are in this country, compared to the number of white people, it becomes clear that Black people are killed by police at a disproportionately higher rate than white people.

For the purpose of this conversation, I am going to focus only on the numbers of Black people and white people killed by cops (although it must be noted that other non-white people are also impacted by racist policing).

60% of the US population is white while less than 13% is Black. That means that there are about 5x more white people than Black people in the USA.

Look at the number of people killed by police in 2017: 457 white people and 223 Black people. Yes, when looking at the numbers alone, 2x more white people were killed by police than Black people. But, the USA has 5x more white people than Black people. So, for the number of white people killed by police to be proportionately equal to the number of Black people killed by police, 5x more white people than Black people would have had to have been killed. That means, in 2017, 1,115 (223 x 5) white people would have had to have been killed by police to have been proportionately equal to the 223 Black people killed by police. Not even close!

While police need to stop brutalizing and murdering people of all races, white people are not targeted and killed by police at a disproportionately higher rate because of their race, Black people are. Black people are over 2x as likely to be killed by police than white people.

This graph gives an excellent visual using data from 2015 to the present day:

5.“Leave the cops alone, don’t get in trouble, quit doing crack.”  

He is essentially telling Black people that if they don’t want to be murdered by police they shouldn’t get in trouble or use drugs. In comment #3 I already named two people who were not in trouble yet were still killed by police, in their own homes! And, again, COPS DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO KILL PEOPLE WHO ARE IN TROUBLE OR USE DRUGS, EITHER.

Here are a few more Black people who were not in any trouble when they were killed by police. Elijah McClain was killed by police while walking home from a convenient store listening to music, Tamir Rice, a 12 year old child, was killed by police while playing in the park with a toy gun, and Rekia Boyd was killed by police after leaving a celebration in a city park.

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Elijah McClain. I saw a lot of posts yesterday claiming that Elijah's case had been reopened, but @justiceforelijahmcclain state this is false. In reality, the ongoing investigations have produced NO RESULTS and no one has been fired or charged for the murder. There are 3 Ongoing Investigations: 1. Investigation by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser as to Whether or Not to Prosecute Those Responsible 2. External Investigation by the City of Aurora 3. CDPHE Investigation Regarding the Use of Ketamine 1 Year, 3 Investigations, NO JUSTICE. Keep the Pressure Keep Demanding Justice for Elijah McClain info via @justiceforelijahmcclain , final picture based on a mural by @spraytheirname . . . . #art #arte #procreate #design #creative #doodle #cartoon #ireland #comic #book #webcomic #webcomics

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Tamir Rice . *update- it was a man not a woman who made the call to the dispatcher. the officer who shot Tamir did so while still inside the squad car, had only started and wasnt yet supposed to have a firearm. When Tamir was shot his sister ran up to the scene where she was tackled to the ground, where she watched Tamir die. No ambulance was called. Tamir had special needs. – source , a family member of Tamir. . . . Largely based off of the article "the final hours of Tamir Rices life" by Ryllie Danylko, cleveland.com, 2015 and the official report by Cuyahoga state prosecutor Timothy J McGinty. . . #art #arte #procreate #design #creative #doodle #cartoon #ireland #comic #instart #artist #instaartist #wip #drawing #ink #sunday #comic #book #webcomic #webcomics #tamirrice #blacklivesmatter

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Let’s talk about crack.

“We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be Black but by getting the public to associate the Blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing them heavily we could disrupt their communities. Did we know we were lying? Of course we did –John Ehrlichman, Richard M. Nixon’s National Domestic Policy Chief on the administration’s position on Black people.”
-Patrissa Khan-Cullors, When They Call You a Terrorist

Reagan did the same thing with crack in the 80s. Crack and cocaine are the same drug in different forms. However, the American government conditioned us to associate crack with poor, inner city, Black, criminals and cocaine with wealthy, white, party people. The punishment associated with crack is far more severe than the punishment associated with cocaine- why if they are the same drug? Because crack is a tool used to target, criminalize, imprison and control Black people.

Telling Black people to “stop doing crack” shows how effectively we have been conditioned to associate crack with Black people and to believe that crack users deserve to be punished, even killed, not helped.

6. “I have a lot of black friends… and I love my black friends.”

Bull shit. There is no way the man who made this video has real, Black friends. Being nice to Black people you see in public, having Black acquaintances or working with Black people, does not mean you have Black friends. And it definitely doesn’t make you not racist.

Even if you do have genuine Black friends or family members, you are not exempt from racism. Everyone born and raised in America is socialized with anti-black biases, even Black people. The only way to prevent/undo this social conditioning is to practice unwavering anti-racism. Saying racist shit, then qualifying it by saying, “I have Black friends” amplifies your racism and highlights how little anti-racism work you have done.

“The opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘anti-racist.’ What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.’”
-Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

7. “I am sick to death of the bull shit that only the Black people matter anymore.”

NO ONE said ONLY Black people matter.

Refer back to comment #1 for more information.

8. “What basically you black people want is to be able to break any fucking law that you want, and not be charged for it. You don’t want any repercussions for anything that you do.”

Ummm no…. Not at all. Asking to not be murdered in the street by police is NOT the same as asking to break the law and not be charged for it.

George Floyd allegedly attempted to use a counterfeit $20 bill when he was murdered by a police officer. Does this allegation warrant him being murdered by police in the street? NO!

George Floyd should have been arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced, according to the crime committed. NOT MURDERED BY POLICE IN THE STREET.

Also, we need to look at what conditions cause people to resort to crime. What resources are they lacking? What other viable options do they have? When we look into this more deeply, we start to see broader, structural injustices, rooted in policy rather than than personal choice, that directly affect poor, Black communities.

Black Lives Matter protesters, the ones who showed up for George Floyd and the ones who have been showing up in the streets since the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, want equity and justice for Black people.

According to the Black Lives Matter website, “#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.”

9. “Most of you don’t care about George Floyd. All you care about it is ‘hey, this is a good opportunity for me to go get some free fucking Nikes.’”

“Looting is as American as killing millions of Indigenous Peoples, enslaving millions of Africans, enacting war crimes against brown people of the world, oh, and apple pie.” –@riseindigenous

This video sheds some necessary light on the reality of looting:

“They are lucky that what Black people are looking for is equality and not revenge.” -Kimberly L. Jones

10. “Most cops are good. Good goddamn people. There’s a few bad eggs in every carton. And I know, one bad spoke breaks a wheel, and them cops need to pay. And there’s a lot more on video of cops being brutal, and that shit does need to change. But it ain’t helpin’ with you fucking idiots going out there looting and burning down the fucking country because of it.”

“Police, the literal progeny of slave catchers, meant harm to our community, and the race or class of any one officer, nor the good heart of an officer, can change that. No isolated acts of decency could wholly change an organization that became an institution, that was created not to protect, but to catch, control and kill us.”
-Patrisse Khan-Cullors, When They Call You a Terrorist

It doesn’t matter how many good police officers there are, individual cops do not have the power to change a system that was created NOT to protect, but rather to control and kill Black people and other marginalized people.

First we must start by examining the history of policing. “In a nutshell, the police was created to protect white wealth at the expense of Black people, immigrants, and minorities. Slave patrols evolved into modern police departments, and the police’s racist history has yet to be reconciled…” Read more by clicking through this post created by @theslacktivists.

Also, check out this post shared by @the.mirror.

And if he is referring to the protests when he says “it ain’t helpin’ with you fucking idiots going out there looting and burning down the fucking country,” and I believe he is, he is incorrect. Throughout American history, Black protest has led to progressive change, and the Black Lives Matter protests are no different.

Protesters have accomplished a lot since the murder of George Floyd- all four officers involved in his murder were arrested and charged and Minneapolis has committed to disbanding the Minneapolis Police Department. There is still A LOT more work to be done, but saying that what is happening it the streets “ain’t helpin” is not true at all.

And while we are on the topic, take a moment to read through the following slides to understand what people mean when they say disband, abolish or defund the police

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For those interested in learning more about police and prison abolition, read this piece by Mariame Kaba. ✨ Text images by @idonatednowwhat; Reposted from @xicanisma_) ✨ Here are some additional readings to visit (list contributions from @thecomradecloset too) ✨ “Origins of the Police” by David Whitehouse ✨ “Race and Criminalization; Black Americans and the Punishment Industry” by Angela Davis ✨ “From the Prison of Slavery to the Slavery of Prison: Frederick Douglass and the Convict Lease System” by Angela Davis ✨ “Imprisoned Intellectuals: America's Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation, and Rebellion” edited by Joy James ✨ “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander ✨ “Prison, Where is Thy Victory” by Huey P. Newton ✨ “Abolish the Police. Instead, Let’s Have Full Social, Economic, and Political Equality” by Mychal Denzel Smith ✨ “Brown U. student leader: More African-American men in prison system now than were enslaved in 1850” ✨ “Native Americans are the unseen victims of a broken US justice system” by Jake Flanagin ✨ “Against Hired Guns” a response to Oakland Police Murders ✨ “Instead of Prisons: A Handbook for Abolitionists” ✨ “Abolition Now! Ten Years of Strategy and Struggle Against the Prison Industrial Complex” by Critical Resistance ✨ Abolition Journal ✨ #Liberation #Abolition #Resistance #BlackLivesMatter #AbolishTheState

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11. “…this stupid ass Colin Kaepernick (says his name wrong) or whatever the fuck his name is. What a whiny fucking piece of shit. Kneel for the flag because he’s oppressed? You make 19 fucking million dollars a year- well you don’t anymore because you’re fucking worthless, you weren’t even good then. Tell that to people like Michael Jordan, Emmitt Smith, some of them greats, Isaiah Thomas, the list goes on and on. They’re good fucking people and they work hard for what they have.”

This man has a problem with a peaceful protester too! He clearly has no idea what Colin Kaepernick was/is protesting against… In August of 2016, after refusing to stand for the playing of the Nation Anthem, Colin Kaepernick said  “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” 

Although Kaepernick is Black in America, and has faced what comes with that territory, he understands that his wealth and fame provide him with protection and privilege not afforded to the vast majority of people, especially Black people, in America. He felt it would be selfish of him to continue to enjoy his privileges while police all over the country continued to murder Black people and get away with it. He used his protection, privilege and platform to speak out against racial injustice!

All three of the athletes he mentions, Michael Jordan, Emmitt Smith and Isaiah Thomas have spoken up about the oppression of Black people in America. Michael Jordan and his company have committed $100 million over the next ten years to protect and improve the lives of Black people. Both Emmitt Smith and Isaiah Thomas have tweeted about why saying “All lives matter” is problematic.

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell posted a video on twitter condemning racism and the systematic oppression of Black people. He admitted that the NFL was wrong for not listening to the players who spoke out, sooner.

Goodell also appeared on Emmanuel Acho’s show, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, in August and again, said that he wishes he would have listened to Colin Kaepernick sooner.

12. “Nobody is oppressed in this country. You are what you’re making yourself to be. If you want to be something, get your ass out there and work for it just like every other hard working fucking person in the world and don’t think the government owes you a fucking living because they don’t. Nobody owes you a fucking living in America. This is America, land of the free, home of opportunity. If you wanna be something, goddamit go fucking be something.”

A LOT of people are oppressed in America. If you are not white, male, Christian, college educated, upper middle class or above, able bodied, cis-gender, heterosexual, thin, AND conventionally attractive, you my friend, face some degree of oppression in America.

But right now, we are focusing on the oppression of Black people in America.

In America we are taught bootstrap logic, that if you want something bad enough, all it takes is hard work and gumption and you can achieve anything. “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” they say. And for those of us, including myself, who didn’t have much growing up, yet we had a proverbial pair of bootstraps to pull ourselves up by, it’s easy to believe “If I could do it, anyone can.” We are so oblivious to the experiences of others that we don’t realize that not everyone even starts out with the pair of boots. Once we learn this, we don’t ask ourselves why we had something and someone else didn’t, we automatically blame the individual who is lacking.

We are taught the myth of meritocracy, that everyone is where they are in life because of choices they’ve made. Those that make it are praised for their merit and hardwork while those that don’t make it are tossed aside for not trying harder. Belief in this myth completely ignores the fact that resources and opportunities are inequitably distributed in American society. It also ignores the impact of America’s racist history, from slavery and Jim Crow to red-lining and mass incarceration, that still impacts the life trajectories of Black people today.

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Our schools (and our nation) are built upon the idea that success is the result of hard work. We are led to believe that those who have “made it “ have done so by their own merit and therefore deserve to be rewarded. Perhaps this would be true in a utopian society. But what about those who don’t “make it”? By virtue of this logic, they deserve to be punished, to be relegated to a second class position in our society because they didn’t try hard enough. And that’s just life, right? As Morrell and Duncan-Andrade (2008) posit, when opportunities and resources are inequitably distributed, why wouldn’t we expect to see those with the least failing? By design, schools are social stratifiers, producing winners and losers. Our schools so closely mirror capitalism that many can’t even conceive of a system that doesn’t necessitate having someone at the bottom in order to give value to those at the top. Stop punishing students and schools that are on the wrong side of this myth. Stop punishing BIPOC students. Stop punishing poor students. Stop punishing undocumented students. Instead, start indicting a system that sets the gameboard up unevenly and then blames you for not winning. Start investigating ways that you uphold this false meritocracy in your own classroom, in your grading, in your policies. Because honestly the whole thing needs to be torn down and built anew, but in the meantime, we do what we can to chip away at its foundation. #decolonizeyourcurriculum _____________________________________________ #urbaneducation #criticalpedagogy #blackeducators #youngblackeducators #meritocracy #fuckcapitalism #teachersofinstagram #teachersofig #iteachela #iteachsocialstudies #iteachmath #iteachscience #iteachelementary #iteachmiddleschool #iteachhighschool #teacherresources #blackstudentsmatter

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systemic racism

Imagine you’re playing a board game with a friend. She’s not a cheater; she means you no harm — but the rules of the game let her roll twice every turn, and you have to roll a four or higher for your roll to even count. That’s systemic injustice. Your friend may not see it. She may get really offended if you call her a cheater. She is playing by the rules, as she has learned them. The game is rigged though. After a while, she’s bound to start thinking of herself as smarter than you. She may start thinking of you as so bad at this game, you’re beyond help. That’s what systemic racism is like. (Cassie Brighter on Facebook)

No one is asking for handouts. No one is asking for preferential treatment.

We are asking for the rules of the game to be fair.

We are asking for equitable access to resources and opportunities in Black communities.

WE ARE ASKING FOR COPS TO STOP TARGETING AND MURDERING BLACK PEOPLE.

#blacklivesmatter

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter @tiffanymjewell