Hashtags, Movements, Justice, and Social Commentary

#BlackLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter

Due to recent events in the United States, these three hashtags have been circulating social media. Some longer than others, however all are prevalent in this discussion. Let’s get one thing straight. Everyone who is born unto this earth has the right to live. Life, no matter which body, race, gender, ethnicity, or anything otherwise individualizing, is something to be held precious and protected at all costs.

My condolences, love, and prayers go out to each affected family. My heart also goes out to everyone else who was impacted by the recent losses. No one should be unlawfully murdered.

How has our social order become so divided? Not to say that there was ever a point in time where it wasn’t. Why are we not doing something about the issues at hand? Truthfully, it has become a matter of “fighting fire with fire”. The murder of a police officer does not make up for the murder of a black/African American individual. There is no justice in unlawful death.

People look at race related issues in a plethora of ways. Some look to say that minority groups “play the race card” in order to get what they want. Others realize that racial injustice exists alongside white privilege and choose to do nothing about it. Many do their research and uncover the fact that racism in America is institutionalized. People of color have been pushed into a way of life they had no way of choosing. White supremacy is a global issue. Those with lighter skin have been and continued to be seen as “better” or “more equipped” or “more deserving” of a better life.

But one thing that is important to continually be aware of is the language chosen when discussing such topics. Whether it be a face-to-face conversation, a written presentation, or something provided through digital media, mindfulness is key. Media is quick to judge, twist, and distort commentary. When speaking on a controversial issue, the way you say something is a major contributor to how others will genuinely and unjustifiably perceive the given statement.

Be aware of what certain terms mean and the categories the fall under. This may be in relation to a certain word having a positive or negative connotation, or even whether or not most people agree on the meaning of a certain term. Be aware of who you are saying something to. Be aware of possible fallacies and over-generalizations.

Just be aware.