“President Obama defends Black Lives Matter movement…” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-barack-obama-defends-black-lives-matter-movement/
Well, good luck with this Mr. President! And I understand and appreciate that one of your job descriptions is to serve as Intellectual commander and chief of complicated ideas and concepts. But unfortunately we find ourselves in the age of anti-knowledge and counter (as in contrary, not covert) intelligence. And if the Republican presidential primary polls are to be believed, at least 50% of those polled, prefer a candidate who will offer them the most thoughtless, unimaginative, offensive and crude suggestions as to how our nation should be led. Unfortunately, starting off Mr. President, with a 50% class cultural-illiteracy rate, presents a unique set of challenges, even for the skilled educator and chief.
Further, I am sure that there are many White citizens who are part of the nations unemployed, the working poor, and the “one check loss, or one serious illness away from poverty” middle class; who (like many of us) are watching as 4+ million dollars of tax payers money is being spent on the (comical if it were not so costly): “Get Hillary Benghazi-Email” Political Action Committee (PAC), in-(silly)action. It really requires a large less-than-adequately informed segment of the electorate to pull that political scam off. And thus, an additional major teaching and learning hurdle for the Professor and chief.
We have the modern confederacy states, starving their schools of resources and rich learning content; avoiding high national standards; while at the same time introducing curriculum and supporting textbooks that are anti-factual in history courses, and anti-science in science courses. Not the best recipe for building an enlightened population, who can navigate and process complicated theories and ideas.
I just think, Mr. President, that the complex concept of: “Black Lives Matter”, is an intellectual bridge too far, for too many Americans. All Educators know that one of the hardest lessons to teach, is to get students to hold “two valid truths”, in their minds at the same time; without seeing them as statements of negation. The French Revolution was historically speaking a good thing; however there were also some things that emerged from that effort, that were not so good. The important ecological role of lions in nature of helping to control the overpopulation of wildebeest—a good thing; lions entering human habitats, and attacking humans a not so good thing. If we say we need to reduce the national rate of Black unemployment; it does not mean we want to raise White unemployment. And the call for: “equal pay, for equal work”, in behalf of American women; does not mean exploit the labor of men, and pay them less than women.
Saying that a special wrong requires a specialized response; sounds simple enough, but not so to the simple-minded; and the resistant to complicated information closed mind. Or, a mind that has been poisoned by centuries of a sense of racial entitlement. And then I can’t imagine; someone saying in response to the movement to save endangered elephants in the world: “Forget it, no, we should save all four-legged animals!” Or, interpreting the movement to save these endangered elephants; as a movement that is calling for the hunting and killing of all other animals. The “All Lives Matter” movement is, if we are to be honest, a nice way of saying that: “No, Black Lives Don’t Really Matter”; because the obvious general statement suggest that the specific statement is unnecessary; that it is a false concept, something, as the President alluded to, as something: Black folks just made up!
And that is why my diminishing tolerance for foolishness (along with my seniorhood, and how I now want to efficiently use the rest of my time); I won’t invest any time in trying to explain BLM to my White friends and colleagues; or to any, amazingly still confused Black person; who insist on equating the Black criminal element in the Black community, to that of the responsibility of those who are officially sworn to serve and protect that community. Black Lives Matter less because of systemic and pervasive societal racism. And that overarching cultural dismissal of Black lives, equally infects both Black and White citizens (Read Franz Fanon’s: “Black Skin White Masks”). I don’t know why people find it is so strange, that in a society that is so invested in undermining the value and humanity of Black people; people are shocked that Black people would want to kill other Black people! When a K-12 mis-education (and a distorted advanced formal education), has conditioned a Black person to look into a mirror each morning, and believe that they are looking at the image of their number one enemy in the world. Forget about the violent “gang-banger”, what about what we (non-gangbangers) allow to happen to our children in our public schools. The extent to which our public schools damage, and commit daily acts of intellectual and self-esteem violence inflicted on our children; that are in many ways the most severe, damaging and long-lasting examples of : “black on black” criminal-cultural-emotional violence.
The fact that a mere non-radical and non-violent call for the affirmation of Black American Life, is met with resistance, diversion and derision, alone speaks to what does, and does not matter in our nation. And there is something strange about petitioning those who would deny your personhood; when in fact your de-personalization enhances the quality of their entitled personhood. If you are forced to make a case for your humanity; I suspect that those who are denying that humanity, will not be moved. We need to (as we demand respect for our lives), also affirm and assert our own meaning and sense of mattering.
And we could start in a place that does not require the permission of others…. And that is taking control of the education of our children’s lives as if those lives mattered; by political force and affirmative resistance in public education (An educational rights movement!). And in our neighborhoods, civic, social, religious organizations, and homes by personal force. It would matter greatly, and greatly matter to their sense of mattering; if Black children could receive a quality and self-affirming education.