If #AllLivesMatter, Then Why…?
On Wednesday August 26, 2015, Vester Lee Flanagan filmed himself shooting and killing two former colleagues outside of Roanoke, Virginia, and injuring a third person. He then posted the videos and faxed a 23-page letter to ABC that from the outset appears to explain his motivations as a black gay man fed up with racial and anti-gay discrimination in America and taking out frustrations on two people he didn’t like because they said racist things to or about him and black people. He stated that Dylan Storm Roof’s attack in Charleston set him off and he paid for a gun in cash two days after that massacre, which was explained by Roof himself as being a racially motivated way of maintaining white supremacy. He was doing his part to contribute to the race war…by ultimately dying because he couldn’t kill himself right after shooting himself on the highway while surrounded by cops.
Now we are yet again engaged in a pointless debate over gun control, which won’t happen until a Republican white male president bucks the system and rejects NRA funding and convinces gun lovers (who seem to feel most comfortable with that type of president) that sensible gun control is needed and includes things like mandatory background checks and mental health screenings. Most of America wants stricter gun laws. Why don’t we have them already? It’s not denying a (grossly misinterpreted) constitutional amendment, but it’s responsibly permitting it since it involves something that can kill someone!
Another debate that is going on is falsely accusing the #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) movement of being proud of Flanagan’s actions because what BLM really wants is white people dead and their blood soaking the amber waves of grain and majestically running down from the purple mountains.
It ain’t like that. Trust me. Black people were used to build this country, have gotten stepped on ever since first arriving here against their will, fought and died for this country that hates them and is fearful of them, and haven’t taken up arms to kill every white person around since the first slave was brought here, and we’re not going to start in 2015. We love America. We are a loving people. We even invited a white killer into our black church Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina, and didn’t side-eye him being there, but the situation likely would have been reversed at a white church. No black person anywhere, from what I’ve seen, is proud of what Flanagan did or justified it. I, and others I know who are black, cried multiple times yesterday over it. Alison Parker and Adam Ward did not deserve death.
The accusation that black people are happy is just as insane as Flanagan was. These people are using the #AllLivesMatter hashtag and the dubious #WhiteLivesMatter hashtag (forgetting that most white people in America are killed by other white people). (And before you say anything, many in BLM are already actively involved in curbing black crimes committed by/against other black people. Shut up and stand down.) But I have to ask…if #AllLivesMatter, then:
1. Why don’t we have sensible gun control that includes background checks and mental health screenings?
2. Why don’t we already have universal health care since life should matter more than profits and money?
3. Why don’t we have guaranteed pension benefit programs, mandatory vacation days, unlimited sick leave, and free public education from Head Start through Doctorate? Education is the one mostly sure guarantee of upward mobility in life from poverty to the upper echelons. Isn’t life worth living well?
4. Why don’t we have living wages in the U.S. but other countries seem to do well with it?
5. Why aren’t we emphasizing healthy living more? Why do we consume so much bad food in this country? Why are we the unhealthiest affluent nation on the planet?
6. Why haven’t the police been reformed to stop thinking they’re superheroes and everyone except them is a violent Magneto, Darkseid, or Lex Luthor when data shows that most people aren’t criminals but many cops and criminals have similar mental profiles.
7. Why haven’t we done something about pursuing people’s hearts to bring about changes in race relations and eradicating race relations? Policies and laws are band-aids on the real problem at best.
8. Why hasn’t something been done about the crime rate in this country in general? Why is it on minorities to resolve problems “in their own communities” but then you turn around and say, “We’re all the same. We’re one nation, one race: human.”
(Sidenote: Stop asking me to tell you why Flanagan killed two white people like I’m him. I can’t speak for him any more than you can speak for Dylan Storm Roof choosing to kill 9 black people in Charleston. Why are black people always called to the carpet to speak for other horrific acts perpetrated by other black people? Why aren’t we allowed to be individuals and free to make choices like white people are? Roof killed all those people and white people are like, “mental illness,” “racist,” “that’s him over there, not me.” Guess what? Those are my exact responses for a damnable monster like Flanagan. I’m not him. Hold a séance if you want answers from him. I have none. Stop asking me.)
Basically, #AllLivesMatter is showing itself to be, yet again, just a rebuttal against #BlackLivesMatter by people who don’t want change but want calm instead. It’s innocuous slacktivism in its worst form. It’s not galvanizing anyone to do anything or changes would have already been implemented and we’d be much better off already. It’s sad, actually, because the slogan is an ironic joke. If all lives truly mattered, why are we “here”? Why aren’t we in a better place?