If you want to get people angry on twitter, you just need to ask a simple question. What does black lives matter protesters want? What specific changes do they want implemented? You will never get a solid concrete answer. Yet, it is a question I keep asking. However, the only answer I receive is general statements on how “vestiges of racism still exist” or how “as a white guy I just don’t understand.”
This last comment is spot on. I am white. Plus, I don’t understand. I don’t understand why we have a President who immediately assumes that a tragic encounter between a white officer and an African American was caused by racial tensions. I don’t understand why people cannot comply with a police officer’s instructions. I don’t understand why people, who believe their rights are being violated in a specific police encounter, aimlessly chant slogans on street corners, rather than contacting a lawyer to bring a lawsuit, so the court system can render justice. Some of the greatest victories in the civil rights movement were accomplished in the courtroom not on the street corner.
Perhaps it is because in actuality, no one’s rights are being violated? Perhaps it’s because organizing protests and demonstrations in hopes of capturing attention of media outlets is more exciting? Perhaps calmly streaming a video while your loved one is dyeing offers the thrill of going viral, something not available when filing a lawsuit to fight against alleged police misconduct?
As someone who is blind, I have and continue to face situations where I am judged by my appearance. When people see someone who is blind, many automatically assume you are mentally disabled or incompetent. So, I’m the first one to jump to the defense of those who are treated unjustly. However, it is not the 1960s. African Americans are not being beaten in the streets. African Americans are not being denied entrance into public places. African Americans are not being fired on by water hoses. If there are injustices in the operation of our court system, I suspect it has more to do with differences in wealth and the resulting lack of adequate representation, then it does the color of people’s skin.
However, I have never heard President Obama make a single concrete recommendation to alleviate the burden imposed on public defenders caused by the tremendous number of cases they’re required to handle. I have never heard any black lives matter protester recommend a single solution to alleviate alleged injustices in our court system. I have never heard any pundit including Al Sharpton offer one single idea of how things need to change.
I am completely blind, but my hearing is quite good. I will continue to listen, which protesters claim there is a lack of in this national debate. I hope to start hearing recommendations from protesters as to what it is they want. Be sure to shout loud so you’re heard over the concofeny of flying bricks and breaking glass.