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Human Lives Matter

I was infuriated.

It was a simple Twitter hash tag.

#BlackLivesMatter.

A “black” man had been killed by a “white” cop, and this pops up.

Of course human lives matter. But that wasn’t enough. The implication was clear. “Black lives matter more!”

More than who?

More than Navajo lives?

More than Hispanic lives?

More than Korean lives?

More than “white” lives?

The implication was clear. “Black lives don’t matter to whites. If you say otherwise, you have white privilege!”

Wow. There it was. And if a white person failed to abase themselves and ask forgiveness, why then, they were just mean.

So no matter what I’ve said before now, no matter what I’ve done before now, if I fail to do this now, I’m racist.

All because of the color of my skin.

“Blacks” are victims, you see. They’ve always been victims and they will always be victims. “The Man” will always be there to keep them down, and by the way, he’s pale-skinned and conservative.

I don’t believe that.

We’re a nation of 330 million people. You look hard enough, you’ll always find deliberate racism. Arizona’s Maricopa County has a headline grabbing racist sheriff who has fingers in all sorts of political pies. It’s so bad that there are jokes about “driving while brown.”

But “browns” aren’t “blacks” so that doesn’t get a hashtag.

Here’s the really scary part that most of the media deliberately ignores. “Black-on-black” crimes are beyond epidemic. But that doesn’t serve the narrative. Those “black” victims aren’t being oppressed by The Man. So those crimes don’t get hashtags either.

Some “black” lives matter more than other “black” lives.

And don’t forget, if a “white guy” tells you these truths, he’s racist.

The only people allowed to define what is racist are those who want angry victims that they can exploit.

Some “blacks” are even worse. They justify their racism by their victimhood.

Yep, I said it. “Blacks” are racist if they define folks by skin color and ethnicity. The ideal is that we’re defined by the content of our character, by the things we’ve said and done. Instead we have the same racist crap being perpetuated by the “victims” or the ones who claim to look out for the victims.

We let generations be victims when they deserved to be heros.

Because there is a pretty big “but” here. This lashing out, these demands for justice, it’s not for something that just happened. While some of us made noises about the Rule of Law and Liberty For All, we didn’t notice that the law had been perverted. We didn’t notice that the law was used to keep the little guy down. We didn’t notice how the calls for law and order fed an ever rising police state.

The signs were there. Zoning laws against big box stores? Who benefits most from lower prices, especially lower grocery prices? Drug crimes and mandatory minimum sentences? Who hurts more? Higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs for young and unskilled workers, yet it remains part of the law. Did you know that many communities around St. Louis use fines against their citizens for major parts of their budget? Neither did I, but it’s shocking. The list goes on and on. Requiring cosmetology training for commercial hair braiding. Limiting taxi medallions so the price goes sky high. Insurance requirements for home child care. And I still want to know how criminal forfeiture differs from robbery.

Yes, many major cites have huge lists of process laws. “It’s illegal because it is prohibited.” These laws, without fail, impact the little guy more. Progressive laws tend to be enforced against those least able to resist.

So when a “white cop” kills a “black,” it’s just the latest outrage. “The Man” is keeping “blacks” down.

All this is the distraction. The politicos and technocrats aren’t interested in your rights, they’re interested in power. So in the name of “law and order,” we have SWAT teams with military surplus hardware serving no knock warrants to the wrong address. When people die, the police forces are more and more unaccountable to the people they “serve.” Not all cops are bad, but power without accountability draws the worst people.

There’s a solution to this tangle, but we have to start talking to each other first. We must recognize that not all the players want an answer, their power depends on angry victims they can exploit on demand. We must accept that some laws were written to keep people down instead of protecting liberty. And we must realize that skin color and past injustice doesn’t excuse breaking the law.

Shall we start?
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