Black Lives Matter (BLM) has made waves in U.S. politics in recent years. They are a source of controversy all across the country and their message has created a racially divisive political climate at times. That being said, they have the right to be heard.
This past weekend there was a pro-Trump, free speech rally held in New York. BLM showed up to protest what was being said. Based on the all too familiar history of these sorts of confrontations, both sides expected insults, militant language, and threats of violence.
That didn’t happen.
Instead, after shouts from the BLM protesters, a pro-Trump coordinator requested they come on stage for a couple minutes to be heard. After all, it was a free speech rally, and they just want to talk.
The protestors took the stage and began giving their grievances, and received shouts as the crowd perceived their message as anti-cop. They correct them saying “We are anti-bad cop!”
It ends with protesters on both sides realizing that they both want this country to be great, but the difference in their individual experience breeds differences in grievances, both of which are justified. As both sides find their common ground, chants of “USA! USA!” erupted from the crowd.
Check out this article to see the exchange: http://www.dailywire.com/news/21335/black-lives-matter-leader-what-i-experienced-pro-james-barrett
There is a lesson in this.
The Tao Te Ching claims that both Heaven and Earth are impartial. This means that the sun shines for everyone the same and the rain falls for everyone equally, but the cosmic Truths echo for all as well. This is true in Christian thought. One Bread One Body states, “Gentile or Jew, servant or free, woman or man no more.” The idea for both of these ways of thought is that the rules of the cosmos apply to everyone equally because everyone has equal dignity.
So when justice is not served for a black man killed by police, that is an injustice for all of mankind, and everyone should be upset. If there are higher standards of conduct for police against in regards to white suspects than black suspects, that is an injustice for all.
BLM supporters must remember that convictions places the burden of proof for the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt. This needs to be applied to all, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, etc. So if a cop does act in an irrational manner when he feels his life is in danger, put yourself in his shoes. Outright murder should be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law, but a bad decision in the heat of the moment should result in a loss of job, just as the protesters ask.
When people listen to each other, solutions can be found. This problem is not a result of a lack of racial awareness, anti-police rhetoric, or police misconduct. This is a systematic problem in which misconduct is often brushed under the rug, police protect each other rather than upholding the law, and crime-ridden neighborhoods wonder why they are targeted.
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I am just trying to join the Conversation of Our Generation. Let’s get the dialogue going!