Life. Witnessing the wanton destruction of life has deeply impacted me these last few years. Every life I’ve witnessed killed on a video…every life I’ve heard was destroyed… everyone who has their right to life taken from them by someone who believed their right to kill trumped another’s right to live…all of those lives have changed me.
People are people. No howevers, buts, if onlys can change that.
Popular culture would have us believe animals are people. Some people are animals. Dogs and lions have a right to life. Some people forfeit their right to life the moment they’re born. That’s popular culture.
Popular culture is wrong.
People are people. No matter how a person is described in media, they have a humanity that cannot be denied or explained away. It is unfortunate that we have to announce, chant, insist, scream and demonstrate that Black Lives Matter with the full knowledge that doing so lengthens the noose around our necks and enlarges the target on our backs.
Encountering the hidden biases and deep-seated hatred of people I know personally has changed me. I haven’t succumbed to internalizing their venom but I have come to understand how so many others have. I don’t want to understand hatred in any form. Yet here I am, understanding with a great deal of disgust, the fuel that runs this world.
I choose to focus on life. What about a black life has impacted me most? Life. Shared humanity. The sure knowledge that murderers are killing and eliminating themselves even as they think they are “cleansing and purifying and keeping others safe.”
The world will not remain in darkness forever. It’s impossible to do so. The capability of the public to share murder and information in real time is already changing how injustices are perceived, received and handled. Life will win. Simply because sooner rather than later, everyone will recognize themselves in the abused, downtrodden, uncounted and eliminated.