This is what it looks like when you say #AllLivesMatter

Just saw this on social media and it conveys the message well.

WhenYouSilenceBlackVoices

If we (white people) want to be allies, we need to stop making it about us. Saying black lives matter doesn’t mean that other lives don’t matter; it’s about addressing the inequality where it needs addressing. You don’t help starving people by feeding people who aren’t starving. You don’t help women who are victims by protecting men. So why would you respond to a call to help black people by making it about anyone other than black people?

I’m going to go a little further and say something that might seem contentious: We (white people) can never fully understand the point of view of victims of racism. We can never understand what it means to be a person of colour. We can try. But we can never really get it.

No matter how much empathy we have; no matter how much we try to imagine their plight, it’s still just imagination. We don’t live their lives. No matter how many black people we know, no matter how much we talk to them and how much we listen, no matter even how long we live with them, we are still not them.

Even if you live with a person of colour for several years and have a child with that person, you still don’t get it. People treat them differently when you are together. Even small things… like calling a school and asking about the admission of the child, can be different for them. When my ex called a school last year about her daughter, the woman on the other end of the line was rude to her because she could hear she wasn’t white. That same woman was polite and even friendly to me. And that’s just a small thing – a five minute conversation over the phone.

If we want to be allies, we need to understand it isn’t about us. I don’t know exactly what to do to help. But that’s because I’m white. I’m the wrong person to ask.

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