• Beau Steward

Black Lives Matter

Matthew 18:12-14

12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred shepe, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.
14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Most people that know me know that I am an atheist, so it's probably a bit weird to quote scripture from the Christian bible. But I bring this up in response to those who reply to "Black Lives Matter" with anything else, including "All Lives Matter" because "Black Lives Matter" is about the one sheep that has gone astray, that needs our help, while the other 99 stay with the flock.

I want to be clear: I'm a white middle aged man who really has no dog in this fight. The only thing I have to fear when I leave my home are the people who hate white middle aged men for their privilege, and those people are really not all that common in the real world. On the other hand, black men have to fear authority. Black men who want to just live their lives have to worry about whether its their turn to face a racist authority figure.

I really wish I saved that thread by a woman who was learning from her boyfriend just how hard black men have it. The gist of it was while she wanted to escalate tensions in cases where she felt they were right and someone else was wrong, her boyfriend, in private, would request that it never happen again. It took a couple of rounds of this for her to realize just how afraid he was of being the next black man aggressively abused by authority.

I'm not going to dig into crime statistics that show a disproportionate incarceration rate of black men, or anything along those lines, because there's a lot more to the story there (ie: poverty and history). But there is a disproportionate use of excessive force against black men. When the news comes up that another black man was killed by a cop, it just reinforces the mindset of black men that they could be the next one fairly easily. There's a reason the phrase "being pulled over for driving while black" exists.

I don't live in fear of authority. I can't pretend to know what that's like. I can only see it in the media that I would rather avoid, but really can't, because that is the reality we live in.

Black lives do matter, and they are the members of the flock that we must help.

George Floyd was murdered. The people have the right to be angry. Reform is necessary. Looking at the protests, demilitarization of our police is necessary.

There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.

William Adama - Battlestar Galactica

You can see in the events occurring across the country that in many places, the police have declared the people as enemies of the state. In many places, including in DC when the president needed is photo op, police are the instigators.

But they're not the only ones.

You can see anarchists also inciting riots. Many speculate who these anarchists are, but I will not. I acknowledge they exists and are not part of those who want change.

Thankfully we live in a time when cameras are everywhere and it's becoming easier to hold the guilty accountable. George Floyd's murder was captured on camera. The anarchists inciting riots are being captured on camera. The militarized police instigating aggression are being captured on camera. I would plead to as many as possible to use their cameras. In a time like this, they are far more powerful than any other weapon. Upload those videos everywhere. Put it on youtube, vimeo, apple icloud, wherever they can be stored in a way that makes it hard for them to be taken away.

It's often noted that the victors get to record history. It will be difficult to reshape this as anything other than what is being recorded and sent to various computers around the world.

I am thankful that there are those in positions of power that recognize there is a problem and choose to de-escalate and join the cause.

I really hope I'm not witnessing the spark of a modern civil war.

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