• Danyol Jaye

Beaten Black & Blue: Losing Lives in the Crossfire!

In the thick of a movement that grows with every video post and every social media share, #BlackLivesMatter continues to come under siege for stances never made or identified by those who created the movement or those who empower it. #BlackLivesMatter has made it very clear what the movement is about and what the stance is: Anti-police brutality, anti-racism, anti-oppression of people of color, and anti-injustice across the societal board.

However, as is (what seems to be) the norm, the entrance of anything Black has automatically been interpreted as the exit or exclusion of anything non-Black.

In my endless scroll of timelines on Facebook and Instagram it continues to baffle me how cops across the world can stand in solidarity for other cops who perform the job incorrectly while allowing the lives of Black civilians to be senselessly and unjustifiably murdered. The very same civilians they have been sworn to serve and protect. I have had to sit in thought, prayer, and meditation as some of my friends and family, who wear the badge, have said close to nothing regarding the Black lives being lost in this monstrous racial war, but have so quickly donned profile pictures of them in their blue uniforms to support other officers they will never know. It begs the question: Who are they serving exactly? Who are they protecting specifically?

Likewise, it is disheartening to see Black people group all police together over the actions of those who do the job incorrectly. I get it! We’re angry at the silence of cops on the force who do not speak up or speak out against their fellow officer(s), but is it possible to acknowledge that their silence is a safety mechanism for their own lives and families that they are responsible for - while still on the inside? Do we likewise villianize those who are not cops who still choose to be silent or unwilling to participate in the marches because they fear for their lives if the marches meet brutal police? Do we attack the Black and non-Black people who are too afraid to march even though they support the movement? Is it possible that all silence from either side has less to do with not supporting the movement and more to do with fear of losing something dear to them - their life and/or their livelihood if things get too dangerous?

It is much easier to tell a person “do not fear; stand up and fight!” than it is to tell their families, “I’m sorry they lost their life because they were not fearful and they fought.”

It is shocking to me that (for some) the idea of “we must stand together” only applies to those who look exactly like us - on either side of the Black and Blue coin - causing a larger rift in a situation that needs us both working together and acknowledging each other to solve the issues.

Frankly, I don’t support #AllLivesMatter because I think it is a direct attack on the acknowledgment that Black people are losing their lives at an alarming rate; more so than other races in America and for far more medial crimes - if having committed an actual crime at all in the first place. I don’t support #BlueLivesMatter or #CopsLivesMatter as a stand alone movement because, again, I think it a direct attack on the media’s improper and despicable portrayal of #BlackLivesMatter and our reason for being. The fact that we are not excluding anyone within the #BlackLivesMatter movement nor are we declaring war on the police force does not seem to interest the mass media coverage. The reason why, however, that I will continue to support #BlackLivesMatter is because the movement is birthed - not out of malice towards ALL people who are not black or towards ALL cops - but because it is meant to bring attention, awareness, and justice to Black lives (and eventually all lives) across the board from racial injustices. It is a movement that wants for corrupt police to be taken out of uniform and not given a paid vacation instead, while waiting for the issues to simply “blow over”. It is a movement that continuously acknowledges that we understand it takes people of every color and career to fight with us (cops included) to stop racial profiling, racial assassination, and racial injustice.

The media is great at creating and maintaining chaos so that their ratings don’t drop. We can not allow the media to make us think that the radicals on BOTH ends are the pillars of anything. They are as they have been named - extremist radicals - most of whom simply want to destroy things in any way they can, with no real interest in reform or solidarity among us all. Let’s not allow the media slandering and verbal beatings of Black and Blue cause more Black and Blue lives to be caught in the corrupted crossfire of misunderstandings, miscommunications, misinterpretations, and misconceptions. #BlackLivesMatter has said over and over again at every meeting, every rally, and before every march that it takes ALL of us for this movement to work. Just because the operative word is BLACK doesn’t mean we’re against anything other than the issues at hand.

Feature Photo Original Courtesy of Thomas Hawk's Flickr Page- Creative Commons License

#BlackLivesMatter #PoliceBrutality #Racism

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