Should you support the Black Lives Matter movement?
Are you a parent? A child? A brother or sister? Are there people in your life so precious it would break your heart in two if anything bad happened to them? Are you human?
This is a movement about personhood, a refusal to be dehumanized. When people say Black Lives, Native Lives, Trans Lives matter, they are saying all lives matter and we must stop treating some as though they don’t — in our judicial system, in policing, in hiring, schooling, housing, health care … and breathing.
In the same way, these slogans of present and past movements reclaim personhood:
The second wave feminist slogan Feminism is the Radical Idea that Women are People
The current immigrant rights movement slogan No Human Being is Illegal
The Sanitation workers Strike slogan in 1968 I am A Man
Jesse Jackson’s rainbow coalition I am Somebody
Labor movement slogan Everyone Deserves a Living Wage.
The Disability rights movement: I am Not a Disability
Gay Rights slogan Marriage Equality
Right to vote from 18-20 year olds: If I’m Old Enough to Fight Your Wars, I’m Old Enough to Vote.
Black Lives Matter is terrifying to the powers that be because if the 99% refused to allow each other to be dehumanized, the billionaires would be in big trouble. Which side are you on?
I wrote the above after attending the march to the Minnesota State Fair in St Paul on August 29 2015. A few days before our Governor Mark Dayton said the march was inappropriate and that Black Live Matter should have petitioned the State Fair first. It was Dayton’s Hubert-Humphrey-Walter-Mondale-LBJ-refusing-to- seat-the-Mississippi-Freedom-Democratic-Party-moment. I wrote:
It IS a political reality — as Dayton is saying — that protest is the only thing that will move people to open doors, but is the not the RESPONSIBLITY of people to petition in order to get entities – (the state fair, police departments, schools) to be equitable and fair. Dayton’s statement assumes Black Lives Matter members have nothing else to do but petition and protest. People have a right to live their lives without having to petition for every door to open. The Governor is the one who is being irresponsible and inappropriate. Horrible language,wrong position.