The Din

Why do we have to yell that black lives matter?

Because to some people they still don’t. Because we live in a country built on black lives not mattering, and we are still recovering from that. Because the people saying, “all lives matter,” well see, your lives been mattered. Ours didn’t. To say, ” All lives matter,” in response, is to say, “Your struggle is over, we are now equal and you no longer have a right to complain.” But you see, if we didn’t have to complain, we wouldn’t. If our skin color didn’t have a vastly disproportionate percentage of men in jail, if our young men weren’t pulled over for driving while black, if our hair didn’t incite jokes on fashion television, if our skin color didn’t automatically make us more likely to be shot while unarmed, if our skin color didn’t make us nervous in certain cities at night (and sometimes during the day)…then we’d stop complaining and yelling that black lives matter. So, when you respond with, “all lives matter,” you’re participating in the din that’s meant to drown us out…but we did not stop when we were kidnapped from our original countries, we did not stop when we were drowned along the Middle Passage, we did not stop when we were raped and bred like horses, we did not stop when we were freed but then discriminated against, we did not stop when our Strange Fruit decorated trees, we did not stop when we had to be educated from antiquated text books, we did not stop for Jim Crow, we did not stop when racism grew quiet as a whisper and lurked behind closed doors for fear of being called out, we did not stop when cameras gave eyes to the system that our mouths had been speaking of for years. We will not stop so long as our brothers and sons must sit through the, “talk,” and learn that they will be treated differently because of the skin that they’ve been born with. We will not stop so long as mothers and sisters must imagine bloodied and pulped faces as they wave their young men out the door. We will not stop so long as, “be safe,” has the context of, “if you are stopped say nothing, do nothing out of FEAR for the very air that you breathe. Say nothing, do nothing because regardless of what your rights might be, mama just wants you home safe at night.” So you see, we will not stop, because black lives do in fact matter and there are still people who would prefer that were not true.