Opinion: First step to solving a problem, is to recognize it, says Massena resident
To the Editor:
To my neighbor: I have a hearing impairment, so please forgive me for not engaging in a discussion from 50 yards away on a windy day as I was replacing a stolen Black Lives Matter yard sign with a new one. When you yelled at me from your front door, I walked a few yards closer, but since I am a 6’5” circumferentially gifted male, I elected to stay at a distance so as not to give you the mistaken impression of any risk to your safety.At first, the only words I could make out were “all lives” and “white lives” -- so the rest is not a mystery; it’s the basic script from the millionaire anchors on billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s network. I then asked you if you are the person who took my sign, and I think you said “no.” I hope we can agree on respecting the freedom to place a sign on one’s own property without it being vandalized or stolen. If not, one of us ought to take down the flag we each display proudly on our home.
Because the possibility exists you are a person of good will who has been wildly misinformed for a very long time -- and if this is the case, it means there remains a chance you are also open to accepting facts -- I will now provide two:
1. Black Lives Matter does not mean Only Black Lives Matter.
2. Black Lives Matter means Black Lives Matter, Too.
The first step to solving any problem is to recognize it. Innocent melanin-gifted people are more than three times as likely to be killed by police. Undisguised voter suppression, prosecutorial and judicial abuses, the prison industrial complex, and the school to prison pipeline are shameful features of our country in 2020, as are restricted access to capital and healthy food, de facto redlining and segregation, and the ever elusive freedom of the melanin-gifted to live life without being subjected to suspicion, criminalization, and state sponsored violence.
The status quo will not change until enough decent people take action. The era of the innocent bystander is over. Each and every one of us must ask: What can I do to help make constructive change happen? -- and then do it.
Scott Allen Bennett, LICSW (MA), BCD