Understanding modern day racism in America requires understanding that Racist people don’t walk up to you saying racist slurs like “I hate Niggers” and “I think I am superior to you because of the mere pigmentation of the skin I was born in”. If it was, it’d be far simpler to identify, and change.
But understanding modern day racism in America is understanding that it is hidden in the passive racism that is embodied behind the #alllivesmatter movement, the confederate flag, #makeAmericaGreatAgain chant and many more. All of these things are equally offensive, but passive enough that you will not get fired, or reprimanded in any way, for vocalizing them. Today, I want to focus primarily on the #AllLivesMatter movement, and help you see it for what it really is: Racist.
Now let me be very clear here; there are definitely some individuals that post all lives matter out of oblivion of thinking we live in an utopian universe where color doesn’t exist, the same people who will never understand the need of affirmative action. But nevertheless the majority of people standing behind the #alllivematter hashtag are racist bigoted people. And at this point, with literally millions of people telling you that #alllivematter is personally harming them, there really are no excuses for purposely standing behind it.
Let me break it down; if those same people were passionate about all lives matter, they would ensure that all lives actually do matter and with that they would direct the same drive to ensure that all lives matter. In fact if you are pro all lives matter you will ensure that black lives matter hence the statement of all lives matter being true. Because all lives don’t matter until black lives matter.
All lives matter is an inclusive word but not when it is used to silence another movement. All lives matter was created to silence black lives matter plain and simple. The same reason #heterosexualPride was created; it is a satirical way of drawing attention from the original movement. If you want to draw attention from the black live matter movement you don’t want the current situation to change. The current state where black lives are being taken away in broad day light which is also known as the modern day leaching, and if you condone that you are as racist as they come.
I am certain we have all read through post threads where we see one person post #blacklivesmatter and someone responds with “No #alllivesmatter” and I am alsoas certain that many people have broken it down, explaining it using different metaphors of why it is that people say “Black lives Matter” that doesn’t imply only black lives matter but because many statistics have proven that black lives are being taken away from Police Brutality on a faster rate than any other race hence the birth of the black lives matter movement. Yet people still post publicly with no shame “All lives matter” and it is either from ignorance or racism which both offends me but I will bet my last penny that the majority of all the “#alllivesmatter” post are racist cowards hiding behind a hashtag.
Despite what you may think, I am new to police brutality, I wasn’t born in it. I was just a kid that traveled thousands of miles to come to the land of the free; the irony. If only I knew that the American dream didn’t apply to me and neither did it apply to anyone that looked like me however much their passport said AMERICAN. How can you be in the land that has criminalized you for centuries? Even my mom back in Rwanda has nightmares of me marrying an African American man because she thinks most of them are criminals. Not because she has ever met any of my woke African American friends that qualify and go to prestigious school but because the media portrays them as violent and criminals which is far from the truth, but we are not surprised by the lack of accuracy in the media since it is the same media that claims all lives matter and yet statistics after statistic, evidence after evidence prove it otherwise; that racial profiling is real and it obviously doesn’t work in favor of black forks.
I have always wondered how we can make racism a past tense. My cousin who just came to visit me from Senegal told me “ America would be heaven if only Racism didn’t exist.” I am a realist and I personally think that statement is far from the truth, I personally consider Rwanda as my heaven. To me, heaven is not where there is no lack of electricity considering I miss the mere romance feeling of waiting for power to come back on. But let us for as second consider that his statement is true. Racism is still a problem in this country and it needs to go away. In Rwanda after the genocide between the Hutu and the Tutsi, ethnic groups were abolished and it was a taboo to even say which ethnic group you come from. The mystery turned into boredom and eventually most people could care less about which ethnic group you come from, since there is no physical evidence of you being a Tutsi but rather the hustle to track down your lineage.
Race is physical evidence, racism is not. Just because there is race doesn’t mean racism has to exist. The first thing I see when I see a person is their race, but what happens after is what defines them as racist or not. I remember one day I called an Uber and when I came out he said with so much simplicity in his voice “ I am not working” as if it is something I should have known. This is the same person that waited for me for 2 minutes outside just to tell me he is not working, to him he saw my physical appearance and my melanin floating in my skin and decide I was not fit to ride in his car. In all honesty, it took me ordering for another uber for me to put one and two together to realize he was being racist. Remember this is going to be my 2nd year anniversary to racism. I consider that as my anniversary because that is when I checked into customs and the old exhausted white man told me “ Welcome to America” and ever since then racism has been my reality. I wake up aware that I am black and even when I forget the bank teller will remind me by calling me Felicia even though none of my name starts with an F, with the excuse that she can’t pronounce my name.
The reality is All lives don’t matter, at least not in America, all lives should matter but they don’t. If they did, our skin wouldn’t be as close to the guns as it is to the sun. If they did, the police would think twice before shooting at a person reaching for his ID, they would think twice before shooting at someone holding a BB gun in Walmart and they would definitely think twice before shooting at a person walking away from them and other many instances they should think twice like they were trained, but they don’t. Because our lives don’t matter as much. And yet my recently blocked Facebook friends insist that they do.
If people cared to enlighten themselves about racism as they do about Pokemon Go, there would be no need to explain what #blacklivesmatter means. But in the two years I have lived in America I have learnt a lot more about Racism than most white Americans have in their lifetimes. Having that one black friend is almost as hard as trying to find a white young blond girl from from Havard as an egg donor.
Many people try to define it as ignorance but for many it is a modern form of racism, the tendency of not trying to educate yourself on issues about race because they don’t affect you and at the same time leading a black culture inspired life.
You know all the lyrics to fetty wap’s song, yet you never listen to Kendrick Lamar because he is too black.
So do all lives matter? Yes, they should!
But that is not our reality and if you still post #alllivesmatter, then you with no remorse do not care about all lives because black children are being deprived of their childhood, black fathers and mothers won’t live to see their children become young men because their lives are being taken almost at the same speed as light. So before screaming through your keyboard that #alllivesmatter, first make sure that statement is actually true.
Anabella Isaro Is a rising junior, majoring in computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an App development Instructor at Digital Media Academy, and Girls who Code Advocate. She aims to advocate for social justice and be a role model to encourage girls to pursue STEM fields.