Thursday, July 7, 2016

An Open Letter to Black Lives Matter #BLM

An Open Letter to Black Lives Matter #BLM

I want to start by saying Black Lives Matter. I want the world to accept Black people, and people of colour. My name is Chuck Bastie, and I am a white male. Acknowledging that privilege, I would like to openly talk about why Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter because Blacks are human beings. Every human being’s life matters, because we are all made up of the same energy. We all are living souls trapped inside a body we did not choose. I didn’t choose to be white, yet I understand it affords me a higher privilege in life that can be unfair to others who are not white. Some white people don’t understand the concept of privilege because they don’t take the time to understand the plight of other races.

White males have been the cause of many hundreds of years of oppression, and slavery towards others. White people can be fearful who react to their perceived fears in ways that create, and alienate others around them. Rather than including, white people have excluded other races, creating a class system which only secures a white privilege lifestyle, whilst destroying the lives and races of the world. Yet, it seems very challenging for most white people to say this. So I’m acknowledging it.
So here’s what I want to say to Black Lives Matter:

I want you to win, and progress by opening up the dialogue for why Black Lives Matter.  Yet watching you go about it can be utterly painful. I am left with many questions in my head about why you do the things you do in the name of inclusion. In many ways, Black Lives Matter is their own worst enemy. It’s like watching #BLM line up at the starting blocks of a race insistent on wearing a 10lb weight belt around themselves, and then complaining the race isn’t fair. 

The way I see it, Black people already are on the side of Black Lives Matter. Therefore, you need non-Black people’s support in order to grow the Black Lives Matter movement. Therefore, the job of #BLM is about educating white people, not attacking them for what their ancestors have created. Of course, it’s understandable that the situation is frustrating and challenging. It’s something that I will never be able to truly understand because I am white, which is not my fault, yet remains an issue in the conversation.

I think the concept which alludes #BLM is people generally don’t like to listen to other angry people because it’s bad energy. People are generally poor listeners to begin with. So most people will not hear what #BLM has to say if it sounds angry and aggressive. Ultimately, #BLM has to connect with empathy and vulnerability if you are to truly get people’s listening. Those are the only two connecting emotions that human beings use, yet Black Lives Matter aren’t using either. Instead, I see Black Lives Matter using fear generated emotions like, anger, frustration, aggression and resistance. These are exactly the same emotions used against #BLM by those who seek to suppress you, and as the saying goes, “whatever you resist, persists.”

It’s my worst fear that #BLM will use this aggressive energy to attract others with like energy. Then #BLM will become a collection of angry Black people shouting for justice in a world that doesn’t want to give it. That will create more resistance, resentment, frustration and little progress because it’s been like this for centuries. We all know the way this path leads to, and nobody wins.

I’ve been told by many Black people that  Blacks don’t like it when white people quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Yet I cannot help from sharing the very wise words that he uttered over 50 years ago in the face of greater resistance than we have now. MLK said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only Love can do that.”

Therefore the mission of the #BLM movement must be deeply rooted in Love, which is the opposite of anger and hate. Hate just creates more hate, and this world already has enough of that.  I hope that Black Lives Matter opens the conversation for all people who feel like they aren’t accepted for who they are. It seems that #BLM has the ability to open that conversation because in fact, all lives matter.

The common denominator in this thing called life is, that we are all spirit beings having a human experience. Each of us is wearing a different costume, yet we seemingly relate to each other as if that costume is real, when in fact, it’s not who we are. We are so much more than the body we exist inside of!  Until we start relating to each other as such, we will be limited by these costumes we wear, and be stuck at the party of intolerance, instead of the party of acceptance and Love. 

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