Some might wonder why Black Lives Matter activists are protesting, doing marches, and sitting in large groups across major highways and Interstates to stop traffic (only to have the police show up and start arresting people if they don’t move).
I’d like you to put yourself in the shoes of a parent. If you are a parent, this will be easy to do. Here’s a photo of me and my girls, who I love dearly:
Your child gets shot and killed. Your child was unarmed. The person who killed your child faces no criminal charges and walks free.
How do you feel?
Take a deep breath, put yourself in these shoes, and ask yourself how
Now I know some who have been following Black Lives Matter and the many shootings of unarmed black men across our country will now start to ask, “Yeah but they committed crimes…they deserved to be shot…”
Your child was unarmed. What crime done by an unarmed individual deserves instant death in our judicial system?
There’s a big debate in America about the death penalty. Should a person be sentenced to death who killed someone? Last I checked, there was not a debate about if someone should be sentenced to death for selling cigarettes on the sidewalk, shoplifting, having a tail light out, etc.
Your unarmed child was shot and killed and the person who killed them faces no criminal charges. How do you feel? Would you feel warm and fuzzy toward our judicial system? Would you feel warm and fuzzy toward the person who shot them? Would you “cooperate”?
You would protest.
What if your child’s death was caught on video? And millions of other parents witnessed it with their own eyes? Maybe they’d protest with you? Especially because they know their child might be next. Because child after child after child have been dropping this way for hundreds of years in America.
Look, I’m going to be real with you. As a white guy who grew up in the suburbs, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of getting a big group of people together to block an Interstate, while holding “Black Lives Matter” banners. Knowing the police are going to show up. Knowing roads can’t be blocked like this.
So why do people do this?
Because their unarmed children have been killed and the killers face zero consequences.
Over and over and over again.
It’s easy to look at these protests and ask, “What do they think they are accomplishing? Why are they causing more conflict?”
Sadly, this is the only way people can get the system’s attention. And guess what? It’s working. It’s been working since the days of Martin Luther King. You can have meetings with the mayor and Chief of Police, these things happen and are helpful, but nobody really cares about meetings. But people do care if they can’t use I-94 in St. Paul or the 405 Freeway in LA. They might make changes in order to get you to stop doing these things.
If your unarmed kid was shot and killed and their killer was walking free, you’d probably want to get someone’s attention too.
What Black Lives Matter activists want is justice. They want killers, whether these are police officers or the guy down the street, to go to court and to be given a judicial punishment for killing if proven guilty.
Do all cops who kill people in the line of duty deserve to be punished?
No. That’s not what Black Lives Matter is protesting.
Police have a very hard job to do and sometimes their lives are in danger and they have to take lethal action. But other times, many of which have now been caught on video, their lives are not in danger in the least and they take lethal action, and it just so happens this is usually against black men. Many many many police officers are amazing public servants who would never do something like this; but there are some who would and who do. And this group needs to be held accountable: for the sake of the good police officers, for the sake of the victims and future victims, and for the sake of the integrity of our American judicial system.
Are there some within Black Lives Matter who are anti-police? Yes. Is everyone involved or around Black Lives Matter guilt free in their attitudes or actions? No. Are there some who put on a Black Lives Matter t-shirt or grab a BLM banner and say or do hateful things toward police? Yes. And do these outliers who are committing violence or encouraging violence toward police need to be held accountable? Yes.
Just like there were many black activists in the 60’s who did acts of violence that Dr. King had to continually distance himself and his cause from. One of the problems with the Black Lives Matter movement is that there isn’t a centralized Dr.King-like figure who can do this sort of distancing with authority.
There are likely some within the official BLM movement who want to commit violence against police, but no one is really in control over who is in the official group and who has just grabbed a t-shirt and started talking. Those who want violence are the outliers and not the core of the movement. The core of the movement is simple: that black lives matter.
The outliers don’t negate this core principle.
The core principle that your kid matters.
And that it matters that your unarmed kid got shot and the person who shot them never even had to go to trial.
If people across the nation started protesting that your kid got killed while their killer walked free, would this injustice be nullified if some nuts bent on violence acted out at one of these protests for your kid? Of course not. The need for protest would still be there until your child’s killer was brought to trial.
As many headaches as Black Lives Matter protests may be causing, they’re working. They are making changes in the judicial system, though there is still a long way to go. Expect the protests to only intensify until more changes are made and the police officers who do these shootings are held accountable. This doesn’t mean they are all thrown in jail or killed or presumed guilty, it just means they are set before an unbiased jury of their peers and when they took a life when no need for taking a life was given, they are punished according to the American judicial system’s laws.
If this doesn’t happen, then that kid who got killed, your kid, really didn’t matter.
I can’t imagine what I’d do if one of my girls got shot and killed and our judicial system didn’t care:
But my kids are white, so that’s something I’ll never really have to worry about.
#AllLivesMatter when #BlackLivesMatter
Latest posts by Noah Filipiak (see all)
- Episode 10: Interview with Damon Seacott on choosing a life of singleness and celibacy - December 7, 2018
- Pre-Marital Sex: What the Bible Says - December 5, 2018
- Porn Stats Within the Church - November 2, 2018