As the Black Lives Matter Movement has reached its most historic and important moment yet, in the wake of the abhorrent lynching of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, perpetrated by Derek Chauvin, a racist White police officer—with murderous assistance from three other officers, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao—those of us in this Movement must keep solidarity as our guiding principle and most treasured value. When disagreements arise about diverse issues, policies, approaches, and etc., as they have and will continue, let’s not allow these disagreements to generate toxic rifts in our powerful and beautiful Movement for Black lives. We must always recognize what unites us is greater than our individual differences.
This does not mean we need to avoid our differences, however. In fact, we must engage in fervent discourses expressing our differences, but these discourses need to remain respectful. The end goals of such spirited conversations should be to maintain (and even buttress) solidarity and advance equity and justice for all.
Simon Ortiz, a contemporary indigenous American writer, says, “Our language is the way we create the world.”
What kind of world is your language engendering? Is it promoting a more just, more humane world, or it is spewing more venom, more violent invective into places where hate dominates?
When you’re devoting your time to waging war against those within the Black Lives Matter Movement, those who are supposed to be your comrades, you’re aiding and abetting our enemies, our oppressors, the racists killing us and planning to kill us.
For those trying to outdo fellow racial, social, economic, and educational justice activists, stop doing this; it’s a self-defeating, self-sabotaging practice. Some Christians think they’re better than others because they don’t commit certain sins; these self-righteous folks still sin—and sin is sin. Similarly, don’t constantly criticize other justice activists simply because you assert that your justice activism is superior.
Racist white police officers and racists in general don’t care about the intricacies of your justice activism. If you’re Black, racists have one malevolent desire for you and all Blacks: extinction. And, to think, these racists are working on exterminating
Black life, and some of you in the Black Lives Matter Movement are allowing disagreements on some issues to sow discord in the Movement. In the most vicious and barbaric ways, Whites have taught Blacks the way to prevent and dismantle solidarity: divide and conquer. Unfortunately, too many Blacks have internalized this racist and destructive divide and conquer strategy, and they have become just as much a part of the problem as racists.
Focus on what unites us in this Movement for Black lives. All of us in the Black Lives Matter Movement want racist police officers and other racist Whites to stop killing us like it’s 1820.
Advocate for my Black life as I advocate for your Black life. Protect my Black life as I protect your Black life.
This is the time for all Blacks to unite for our Black lives, to demand the nation to value our Black lives. It’s time to bury petty things that have divided us and fight for equity and justice alongside one another. Although I’m excited and hopeful about seeing such a remarkable multi-racial, multi-national coalition participating in the righteous war for racial, social, economic, and educational justice, Black people must realize that we must lead this righteous war; we must not be our own worst enemies on this arduous journey for equity and justice for all.
Black people across the world, unite!
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