Being a black man in America and old enough to have experienced racism, I know we have come a long way in this country as far as race relations go. But I have also listened to those on the right, who have the most racist and biased views of people of color, and would have people believe racism no longer exists in America.
Sean Hannity and other people of Fox News will tell you that the young people who started the Black Lives Matter movement out of Ferguson, Missouri are doing so based on a lie. They will tell you Michael Brown was a young thug whose life really didn’t matter, and shooting him six times was justified. I believe very few black Americans would agree with those statements.
I know that black lives matter when it comes to how people treat other people. For too long now, we have not been dealing with how we should matter to each other. The Lord has blessed us to be all we can be, so now it is up to us, all of us, to work together and teach our young people and older brothers to show one another the love we need for our community to matter in this world. We cannot let those on the right, or those at Fox News, tell us it ain’t so.
My hope moving forward is that the Black Lives Matter movement will begin educating people in the black community about how we should matter to each other, and that we will not paint a picture that all police are bad, or out to keep blacks locked up and down and out. But just like the few in the black community for whom other black people really don’t matter, so it is with some police officers who work the streets in black communities. So, yes, we have to keep making it known who these people are so we can move on as thriving communities.
Robert Warren is a formerly homeless vendor/artist for Street Sense, co-founder of the People for Fairness Coalition and board member for the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.