Judge of Characters: Black Lives Don’t Matter

There’s something so beautiful about the students-turned-activists who have emerged from the awful tragedy of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. Instead of being victims, these kids became champions for human rights and gun control, reflected in the March for Our Lives on Saturday. They have been fully embraced by almost everyone.

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However, the Black Lives Matter movement, created by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, has not received the same amount of love and support as the movement behind the March for Our Lives, and that’s the double standard that is tough for people of color to understand. When the officers in Baton Rouge, La., who killed Alton Sterling as he was being held down on the ground didn’t face any consequences, and the cops in Sacramento, Calif., fired 20 rounds into Stephon Clark, feeling justified in ending his life, it confirmed everything we already know: Black lives don’t matter.

Check out this week’s Judge of Characters, all about making black lives matter.

Pretty. Witty. Girly. Worldly. One who likes to party, but comes home early. I got stories to tell. Prince (yes, that Prince) called me excellence. Achievement unlocked.

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DISCUSSION

I just watched David Hogg get a very affectionate interview on CNN about some right wing smears that have targeted him and his group. The host was so sympathetic, she seemed to want to hold him and sing a lullaby.

He doesn’t deserve to be smeared, but the difference between the lightweight and kooky push back his group has received and the routine and complete degradation of young people in BLM is huge. Hogg and his friends are allowed to be angry and demanding, which young black people are not. In D.C., the march was protected by police who blocked off side streets so the kids could be safe from anyone who might want to harm them, as opposed to the terrifying phalanx of paramilitary police, always on the cusp of randomly attacking demonstrators at any BLM event with pepper spray, and tear gas, and arrests.

White America is not ready to believe that young black kids are brave and smart and beautiful. Unlike the white kids, they won’t give young blacks, the dignity of articulating a simple social concern they want to fix which is manifestly proven to need fixing. They won’t see their youth, honesty, and fearlessness as a wonderful contribution, or mother them during long cable interviews.

Hogg made a gesture last week to speak out about how the media ignored kids of color at his school. If he really wants to make a difference he might take a few minutes of every interview, every speech, every event, to remind his audience that black kids aren’t allowed to do what he is doing because they are denied of their very humanity.