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DO All Lives Matter? ALL??

March 11, 2017

That’s a scary Q to ask, because that matter is fraught with misunderstanding and fear, with killing, and with the fate of our democracy. But the Q MUST be asked, because in a democracy ALL Lives MUST Matter. That’s what democracy is.

So let’s stick our head into the lion’s mouth. As part of the racist lash-to-the-back of Americans who elected a black president, racist police officers began shooting black men in the back, or just driving up and gunning them down. We needed (and still need) a movement that insisted that Black Lives Matter Just As Much as any other lives in America. But that slogan was met with a counter-slogan: All Lives Matter, which was immediately seen through for what it was, hater White Folks trying to quickly diffuse what they perceived (rightly) as a threat to their racist domination of People Of Color.

But wait a moment. What if it was also a cry, by fearful, isolated, misinformed, economically vulnerable, seemingly disempowered, but not necessarily hating, WF, saying, Don’t leave me behind, My life matters too. ??  As suggested here. Can we hear that cry in the context of this finding that WF understand (and fail to understand) the facts of how racism works in America—what happens to a minority, along with the fact of demographic changes that seem inevitably to be turning their (misapprehended) “identity” into a political minority?

Grant that reality, and we simply must get to a “post-racial” America. We must achieve that large, inclusive, democratic American vision of mutually valued, all lives.  We must demonstrate that.

America is a movie in Technicolor. Black-and-white only appears to be true to life when haters are able to scare people into seeing themselves that way, and politically identifying themselves that way.

Lucky for us, because people are also vulnerable in their fundamental desire for loving empowerment, their faltering vision can be enhanced.

In the early ‘60s we asked That Q again and again, publically and privately. We talked and thought and demonstrated and got jailed and got murdered and talked our way through it, and we found that there were enough Americans of good will, enough persons who wanted to do the right thing, if they could see what it was, and if they could see that it wouldn’t destroy them, that we could achieve, with courage on their part as well as ours, a major extension of our humanity and our democracy.

But we didn’t keep on asking and talking. We left too many white folks isolated and vulnerable to hater politics. The result is that, within a period of eight years we have elected a POC President and a Hater.

I know I have left out a myriad of complications. (I’ve addressed them on other pages.) But those are part of the national conversation, personal and political, that we must have, if we are going to save ourselves from hate. We must open that conversation. We must step into the lions’ den.

Haters gonna hate. But we don’t need to convert the haters. We can out vote them, if WE includes ALL Americans of good will.  Or at least good-enough.

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