Open Letter to Black Lives Matter Leaders
Posted on July 8, 2016
I don’t know what it’s like to be black or to lead a protest movement, but I see now that this IS a problem that needs to be addressed by our whole society. Here are some observations and suggestions to hopefully prevent future murders of all people from those in authority.
- OBSERVATION: Demand Specific Action Items
The Black Lives Matter movement as a whole doesn’t seem to have a clear agenda. This is why the Occupy Wall Street movement fizzled without bringing any change. They brought plenty of awareness, but no real change. The easier you make it for people to take action, the more people will act. Have specific, clear goals.
Losing lives to authority figures is a lot more important than losing some money to crooked Wall St executives and I think with a clear agenda, it will be supported by all of society.
When Jamar Clark was shot here in Minneapolis, the BLM protests were for the cops to release the footage. That’s a specific actionable item, and it was eventually granted. But the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore seemed to just be emotionally charged with no direction or specific agendas, and that’s why I don’t think they were as effective at gaining support outside of the immediate community impacted.
SUGGESTION: Current specific demand should be that these cases are investigated at a Federal level
To piggyback off Beyonce’s Open Letter about the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shootings, I absolutely agree that action needs to be taken and people need to contact their Congressman or woman. Specifically I think they need to demand that the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile cases be investigated at a Federal level so that there is far less chance of what happened in the Making a Murderer case happened with local law enforcement protecting each other.
- OBSERVATION: Seems like it’s BLM vs. Cops
It needs to be made clear that BLM is against BAD cops, not ALL cops. It’s not an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality because then people have to choose sides. This isn’t an issue of siding with one person or another, it’s a matter of being for human rights or not.
- SUGGESTION: #breakthestereotype
Racism will probably always exist, there’s no getting around it. But racism in my family is practically non-existent simply because we have a large family that looks like a rainbow because we’re so multi-ethnic. The more exposure you have – especially at a young age – to people who are ‘different’ than you, the more you just see people as a fellow human.
I personally know and am related to quite a few African American men who completely break the negative stereotypes. Let’s see more of those who #breakthestereotype be the voice for the movement and getting publicity on social media and the news.
Let’s see more pictures and hear more stories about educated African American men with no criminal history. Men like Tyrone, who married my cousin and has raised her 3 kids as his own. I would love to see more stories of the African American community reaching out to cops and inviting them in their homes. It will also be good to see pictures of cops reaching out and getting to know ALL the people in the communities they serve too.
How great will it be to see the internet flooded with pictures of cops hugging African American men and children? How can you #breakthestereotype in your life? Can you go to a church, grocery shop, or make a friend from a different part of town? Politicians do this while campaigning, we should be doing it on a regular basis in our own lives and especially with our youth.