Updated: Aug 29
Photo by Carl William
I’ll start by prefacing this with the fact that I’m not very well-read. I attended a different school for literally every grade, was educated in the failed Chicago public school system where the extent of Black history taught to me was Dr. King’s peace, Rosa Parks’ bus, and Harriet Tubman’s underground railroad. Oh yes, and let me not forget that class during Junior year that we watched Glory.
With that established, logic and common sense tell me that a land stolen and built up by people stolen from a land is going to be wrought with corruption (duh 🙄). And it’s wildly apparent that these conversations of systemic racism in law enforcement have merit based on the fact that literally everyone born in this country—whether you’ve studied any type of history, White, Black, or other—is aware of slavery, the role of the overseer, and the role of law enforcement as it relates to Jim Crow laws (aka Black Codes—The Remix).
So if we’re looking at 2.5 centuries or more of slavery added to nearly a century of Jim Crow laws plus the time between abolition and inception and the knowledge that the Civil Rights Act didn’t end Jim Crow Laws until 1964, and my momma was born in 1958 (that’s just one generation removed from me), then where is this math coming from that equal All Lives Matter when it’s evident based on the absolute loosest knowledge of American history that an entire group of people have BY LAW not mattered for centuries?
Because there is no blanket title are we actually expected to believe that where our system of justice is concerned there was a sudden change of heart post 1964 and these long standing traditions and racist practices for the purposes of enslaving blacks in general and black men specifically—POOF!—were just gone?
Of course not, people. Don’t be ridiculous. 😂
In a civilized society All Lives SHOULD matter but they don’t because we are not yet civilized—but this is a start. Before jumping on this ALM bandwagon or fully investing in this ALM narrative be clear which side of history you want to be on. And as the truly free American you are (assuming you’re reading this and you’re white) you have that right to choose because soldiers that look like you AND me, fought for that freedom. Just be honest with yourself about that choice.
And since so many like to use Dr. King’s peace as a comfortable place to draw upon to support their narrative about the way today’s activists have decided to protest and prove that they themselves are not racist, here’s a less shared quote that brings to mind my strong, black husband, Devon Anthony Johnson and son, Storm McKee:
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
—Dr. King 👑 too said this. Do better people. #beingmikistarr
Miki Starr is an author and digital content creator by profession. She has published 9 novels and co-authored a book of poetry. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, she now resides in Hopkins, Minnesota with her composer spouse and their cat-babies, Hendrixx and Ella.