environmental words of affirmation

Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter. It’s not my protest of the month punch card with a soon free “not a racist” trading card. It’s a fact that it sucks to be black in America. They can’t escape how they are treated, even for 10 minutes a day. Instead, they had to develop the emotionally thick skin to walk around as they are in a society that says they’re wrong to be how they were born. Of course that would be exhausting. Of course that would be rage-inducing. Of course that would cause anxiety. Of course they would seek each other and gather for comfort. Of course they would create art to express their lived experiences and emotions. Of course they would gather and call out the wrongs done against them. Of course they would try to better their situation peacefully. Of course they would escalate when peaceful tactics didn’t work. Of course they would feel irritated that the group of people oppressing them is co-opting their art to look cool. Of course they would feel sadness when they see a person clutch belongings out of racist fear. Of course they would. You would, too. Only a coward would deny it.

I am surrounded by a lot of highly intelligent people. The kind that want to see the facts before they agree to any statement or at least a thoughtful question that makes them think. Let’s see if this one works: If given the opportunity to do your life over and moving the starting point to today, would you want to be a black person living in America? Once you finished the whole life, you’d be able to come back to this one. Unless we make some major changes in society, I can tell you, that no, I would not want to be black.

For the people saying blue lives matter: Police officer is a job. If a person loses their job, they can get another job. If a person is murdered, they can’t get another life. This isn’t Mario.

For the people saying all lives matter: your life doesn’t matter a lick. If the community isn’t willing to say that black lives matter, what’s stopping them from later deciding that your life doesn’t matter. Remember, Italians and Irish people weren’t white. What’s stopping them from getting demoted, again?

So, just who the heck do I think I am and why do I think I get a voice in this? I’m adopted. It was a closed adoption, meaning I had no contact with my birth-parents until we connected in my 30s. Not everyone in the adoptive family, but enough of the family and family-friends, told me to be grateful that I was adopted into the family. That I should be grateful I was given more opportunities. To be grateful I was given anything. They had no way of knowing what reasons my birth-parents’ had for placing me. They said that had I been adopted into their particular families I would have been expected to do more to earn my keep – like a servant, from the sounds of things. My parents, thank the powers that be, never said that and were quick to correct others when they caught them. I still heard the words. I still felt the words. I was and am grateful that I was adopted into my family but not because I was told to be. I am grateful because my parents earned that respect. So what does this have to do with Black Lives Matter? “If you don’t love America, go home to your country ” sounds similar to “if you’re mad at your mom can’t you go back to your real mom?” Also, how can they go back to their origin country if the records were that shoddy? You wouldn’t believe the hoops I jumped through to find my birth story. You wouldn’t believe the hoops that a black person has to leap through to find their family’s origin beyond Emancipation. “Blacks should be grateful for…” sounds a lot like “You should be grateful you were adopted”. Never mind that the event/the color of a person’s skin was nothing anyone can control. Am I equating being adopted with being black? Not in the slightest. Most people wouldn’t know I’m adopted unless I told them. I don’t think many black people have to announce they’re black to others all that often. That tiniest not-even-a-hair-width of overlap, though, is more than enough to see we’re, as a society, mistreating an entire group of people. The best way to solve that is to vote, be active in your community, and to call out bullshit.