As both a feminist and a human being, I am a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. But as a white person, I’ve felt it’s not necessarily my place to address this topic in my blog. I have never been and will never be a victim of racial injustice. This isn’t “white guilt” – this is just a fact.
But as current events continue to unfold (police brutality, an outspoken racist in the running to become President of the United States), I felt I need to address the movement from a high-level because I often see its meaning misunderstood or worse, intentionally twisted. I’d also like to explain why it’s important for feminists in particular to support Black Lives Matter.
The most comment response I see is “ALL Lives Matter!” Yes, of course they do. If you think BLM is about devaluing your life (as a white person), you’re missing the point. The point is BLM is not about us at all.
BLM is about the racism that is alive and well in America – and across the world – today. Racism that we are largely blind to because we will never experience it. Racism that is built into every institution in our society. Racism that is costing lives.
BLM is also significantly important for feminists, not only because it is the reality for women of color, but because the movement critiques the same system of power, inequality and supremacy that feminism does.
But for some reason, so many of us are uncomfortable with the term Black Lives Matter. So uncomfortable that we have to rework it to include ourselves and completely invalidate the meaning of the movement. Why? I’ve never seen protestors at a walk for Alzheimer’s holding “All Diseases Matter” signs. And that’s not even a valid metaphor, because no one is questioning that white lives matter.
In a recent speech by Michelle Obama, she mentioned the White House was built by slaves. And white people freaked out. Why?! It is a fact. We need to stop trying to erase history – we need to stop trying to erase current events just because it makes us “uncomfortable”.
If it’s uncomfortable for us as white people to admit that racism still exists, imagine how “uncomfortable” it is for the people who must confront it every single day. So instead of making it about us, instead of proclaiming all lives matter, let’s listen and learn how we can show our support.