Race/Gender

But WHY do black lives matter? S&R Honors #BLM, part 2

Black Lives Matter is a reminder that we’re not all that different from one another.

black-lives-matter-atl

photo courtesy of The Gateway Pundit

Part 2 in a series

by Jeanelle Folkes

#BlackLivesMatter to me because I am someone who works hard for success, who is following the path to the American Dream. I grew up learning to be tolerant, learning to accept everybody, regardless of who they are or where they came from. I was raised to embrace my Blackness, and to see it as beautiful, not as something that would hold me back.

Both of my parents are Black immigrants from the island of Jamaica. They experienced racism when they emigrated here, but they didn’t let it deter them from achieving their goals. They didn’t let it deter them from building a good life for me and my older brother.

They realized that people were going to discriminate against them because of the color of their skin. That’s something they brought to my attention very early in life.

They also taught me that I’m a child of God, and that loving my neighbor is important. I never learned to view any other race or ethnicity as inferior, but instead to view all people as equal.

The Black Lives Matter movement is a much needed reminder that we as Black people are important, that our lives have substance. We, too, have loved ones. We, too, have children that we would hope to have a safe future. We don’t need to be feared just because we have more melanin. We should not be generalized into a category of thugs, rapists, thieves, hoodlums, and killers. Those exist for every race.

We want to live and love and enjoy this life just as much anyone else. I think that people forget that. Black Lives Matter is a reminder that we’re not all that different from one another.

#BlackLivesMatter

Jeanelle Folkes is a Jamaican American entrepreneur and higher education professional. She currently works in New York City but resides in New Jersey. As the owner of Jeanesque Photography LLC, she hopes to one day use her creative talent to help continue the positive impact of the Black Lives Matter movement.

4 replies »

  1. “Black Lives Matter is a reminder that we’re not all that different from one another”

    I agree with the ” we’re not all that different from one another” part. The idea that that the BLM somehow has anything to do with that is kind of sketchy though. We Americans, black or white, are a lot more like each than a lot of other combinations.

    Remember over 40 years ago my military unit went to Kenya in East Africa. Seemed like some of the blacks in my unit thought that would be cool. Seems they were a little surprised at their welcome by the local native blacks. Weren’t prepared. Were disillusioned they weren’t welcomed with open arms as “brothers.”

    A black American has a shit load more in common with a white American than some black tribal guy in Africa. Just saying.

    • I used to play soccer with a lot of Africans. A couple of them were South African “colored,” if you know that group. The term “African-American” pissed one of them off to no end because in his view there was nothing African about them.

      Which was a new perspective for me.

      That said, none of this speaks to the reality of the issue, which is that a huge segment of the population lives in a wholly different world from the rest. The color of their skin means they face more barriers in their lives and it means they’re in much greater danger of being oppressed and killed by law enforcement.

      I’d encourage us all not to sidetrack the discussion, then, with points that are interesting, but ultimately irrelevant.

      • ” a huge segment of the population lives in a wholly different world from the rest. The color of their skin means they face more barriers in their lives and it means they’re in much greater danger of being oppressed and killed by law enforcement.”

        It is true that many live “in a wholly different world” but a lot of the barriers are of their own making. One example are inner cities schools where a black kid trying to get grades to get ahead will be taunted as trying to be “white,” etc. – the barrier in this case is other blacks. Another more complicated and profound cause is voting Democratic, the political party that has created the conditions that has lead to systemic poverty for many blacks.

        As to being “oppressed and killed,” the odds are enormously greater that those blacks will be oppressed (robbled, murdered, raped, beat up) by other blacks than by a white policeman.

        Blacks do suffer prejudice but a large part of that stems for their inordinate (and earned) reputation for violence and crime. Have you ever heard this quote from Jesse Jackson?

        “There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

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