It is my opinion that the Black Lives Matter movement is misguided. I don’t find them to be on message, I don’t find their tactics to be effective and I don’t think they have a credible voice. I believe all one needs to do is look to history to see what worked most effectively when advancing civil rights. For me, that was the Rosa Parks situation. What worked, was not that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat but the response afterwards. People simply refused to ride public transportation until the law was changed. Economically, Montgomery lost a lot of money because all the supporters simply stopped riding public transportation. They car pooled and they walked everywhere; and very quickly (about one year), the city reversed itself. Money drives most things. Thus if the Black Lives Matter movement really wanted to be effective, they would organize people in different ways. I live in Chicago…do you know what would happen to this city if all the Black Lives Matter supporters decided to collectively take days off until things changed? Think of all the places where you see black and brown faces working. What if we all systemically started taking days off? First all the people that work at the airport, then all the public transportation workers, then the restaurant workers, etc. We would systematically bring the city to its knees day after day. The city could not afford to miss out on that revenue for days and weeks; they would have to respond quickly. Instead we have protests, some police still engage in questionable behavior, and the politicians get to drag their feet, while trying to convince us they are serious about change. Cut off the revenue and I believe the sense of urgency would soon develop.
But that’s my opinion. As a parent, I don’t get to be radical like that. I have 2 boys. Two brown boys who are growing up in a city, in a country, that is, generally speaking, hostile towards them. For their own safety, I don’t get to say what I am really thinking.
Instead, our conversations focus on how people are being treated unfairly and how that is not right. We talk about how important it is to respect and to be kind to other people. We talk about how it is ok to be angry, but it is never ok to touch, hit, scream or throw things as others; that you entitled to your feelings but you have no right to be treat someone poorly because of them.
I tell them that I agree with the Black Lives Matter movement. That we need Black Lives Matter to help because I honestly believe people are being treated unfairly and that is wrong. When we see something that is not right, we should try to fix it. When they ask how come I am not a part of the protests, I tell them it is because I don’t think it is right that you should scream, threaten and throw things at other people because you don’t agree with them. I explain that breaking things, burning things and throwing things is not how we solve problems.
And then I sound preachy, so I shut up.