Read the original on my blog.

I used to be under the impression that everything was made up, that the "Black Lives Matter" movement was just that, a movement. I had come to the conclusion that the black community was overreacting to a situation that was fine and didn't need to change.

The truth is, everything needs to change. Race relations within the United States have always been bad. There has never been a time where everyone got along. There was the illusion of peace, but never peace in entirety. This is the premise of "Black Lives Matter." Something has to change.

The problem with the social culture behind the Black Lives Matter vs. Blue Lives matter is that you have to be for one or against another. This is the struggle that I face. I felt as though I couldn't support one without opposing the other. I felt stuck between two extremes. How could I, as someone who supports our men and women in uniform support a movement that so many perceived as hating them? How could I, as someone who respects the black community, support a those who are perceived as hating cops?

As Trevor Noah so perfectly defined in his Comedy Central Daily Show:

"The hardest part about having a conversation about police shootings in America, it always feels like, in America, it's like, if you take a stand for something, you automatically are against something else. Such a strange world to be in. You're either a cat person or a dog person. You know, you're a Red Sox or you're a Yankee... Anyway, the point is, it's either one, or the other. But, with police shootings, it shouldn't have to work that way. For instance, if you're pro Black Lives Matter, you're assumed to be anti-police. And if you're pro-police, then you surely hate black people. It's seems that it's either pro-cop and anti-black, or pro-black and anti-cop, when, in reality, you can be pro-cop and pro-black."

This is the attitude in America. It is either for or against. You either love something or you hate something. It is this same area in which the "All Lives Matter" movement comes up. The "All Lives Matter" movement serves to bring light to the fact that not just black lives matter, but all lives matter, which, is true. But attempting to muffle the "Black Lives Matter" movement with "All Lives Matter" does nothing except to infuriate the process.

As Tyler Huckabee wrote in Relevant Magazine:

"...when people say 'Black Lives Matter,' they are acknowledging an important context that involves several centuries of slavery, civil rights, mass incarceration and brutality. It's specifically highlighting the value of black lives because, historically, this country has often ignored that value. The problem [with] 'All Lives Matter' is that it ignores context... like someone who 'runs through a cancer fundraiser screaming 'THERE ARE OTHER DISEASES,TOO.' The context of 'Black Lives Matter' is not that other lives don't. The context of 'Black Lives Matter' is that the value of black lives remains under assault in the United States."

These facts are all true. We can't ignore the fact that the black community is under fire. We can't continue to ignore the civil unrest in our country. We can't say that they haven't suffered. We can't make the claim that since slavery is over everything is okay. Even after slavery, the South installed an apprenticeship program that made it legal for African-Americans to be taken and worked on the farm for the same people who were once their masters. We can't ignore that the South was still segregated until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended all state and local laws requiring segregation. We can't ignore that segregation still exists today. Look at these pictures. This is in Texas. You can't ignore this. To get a view of the entire United States, click here.

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Austin, Texas

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Houston, Texas

 

 

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Dallas, Texas

 

So, when you say there isn't a problem. You are ignoring every sign possible. 

Not only is there a race problem, there is a problem with our police force. There is a problem with officers jumping to conclusions too fast. There is also a problem with people not respecting the authority of the officers. There are programs like the Peaceful Streets Project that hound our officers with cameras just waiting for them to mess up. They only report instances in which officers mess up, they never report the many good things cops do.

There are so many good cops out there. We only hear a fraction of the good stories and those are quickly dismissed by the multitude of the bad stories. Everyday they put on that uniform, they are risking their lives for us, for you. How would you like it if someone only reflected on the mistakes you made?

I'm not sure what the answer is. In fact, I'm not sure anyone knows what the right answer is. There is no clear-cut path in this situation except for we cannot let it continue. We cannot sit idly by and watch as our brothers and sisters are engaged in warfare. We cannot sit idly by and watch as our nation goes to shit. We cannot let the prejudice from all sides run rampant in our streets.

#BlackLivesMatter

 

Published by Mackenzie Winterowd