|Photo by Gerry Lauzon|
As a community, we're still waiting to hear from the Port Hope Police Association about their 'Blue Lives Matter' t-shirt campaign. If you don't know about it, click here to learn more.
While we wait, I thought I'd try to round up some answers to a question that's been asked a lot over the past few days: don't ALL lives matter?
The statement “black lives matter” is not an anti-white proposition. Contained within the statement is an unspoken but implied “too,” as in “black lives matter, too,” which suggests that the statement is one of inclusion rather than exclusion.The lives of all human beings matter. That's a universal ideal. BlackLivesMatter was founded and is lead by three inspiring Black women — Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrice Cullers— out of a desire to draw attention to the specific way Black lives in America are systemically undervalued. They've written about the movement's Herstory on the BLM website and about their experience of watching the language of their movement be changed and coopted.
Elsewhere I've read a few versions of the "dinner plate" analogy around the web, but this version from GeekAesthete on Reddit is winningly straightforward.
A friend shared this terrific Storify feed, which gets right to the root of things from a White author's perspective.
I think it's important to keep in mind how white privilege gives me a larger and safer opportunity to have this conversation without being excessively harassed - both highlighting the exact racism I'm discussing and the importance of having white people speak to one another when and how we can.I know that's the case for myself and many of the other women who've teamed up with me on this project, and I recognize that privilege.
I'm grateful to all who have asked tough questions, all who have shown openness, all who are asking questions. Please, everyone, keep sending and sharing your articles and stories (including to me). This process comes with growing pains and discomfort for many in our community and I want to acknowledge that. I believe we're working, together, toward a better community, a better Port Hope, a better Northumberland.
The way there from here is through dialogue, through education, through openness, and there's been a lot of that going on for the past few days. I know many of us look forward to welcoming the Port Hope Police Association into the conversation, to listen to what they have to say on these matters and to ask them our questions. In the meantime, we wait.
If you haven't yet, please consider signing our petition requesting the Port Hope Police Association stop the sale of t-shirts bearing the slogan "Blue Lives Matter," and issue an apology acknowledging this error.