Rae’s Rules to Remember #36: If you’re “picking a side” you’re a part of the problem

After the murder of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille a lot of people were silent on social media. They said nothing. They didn’t care. They didn’t feel that it was a problem within their community or something they felt needed to be addressed.

Then 5 police officers were murdered in Dallas and everyone that was silent before, started to talk about how heartbroken they were, how they were praying for their families, how they wanted the violence to end and they changed their profile pictures to show that they supported law enforcement.

All of this is what I have seen on my personal social media platforms and to be quite honest it makes me sick. Why is that people feel the need to rank tragedies in order by which ones they personally feel are “more devastating?”

Why is that you can’t prayer for all families who have lost their loved ones instead of decided which ones you think deserve to be recognized?

Someone (who I later deleted) posted that they were so upset by the police officers lives lost in Dallas because, “they won’t ever be able to go home to their families again.” Is this not also true for Sterling and Castile? And what about Anthony Nunez, Pedro Villanueva, and Dylan Noble? Two Latinos and white teenager that were all unarmed and killed by the police that same week?

Why is that you can mourn the loss of a police officer but not an innocent civilian? Why is that you can send your support to people in France but not the ones in your own backyard?

I completely understand that officers put their lives on the line every time they walk out of their front door. However, that should not make them exempt from being held accountable for the murders that they commit when there is proof that they were not at all in harms way.

And don’t try to say, “oh well what about black on black crime?” There’s not a huge difference between “black on black” vs “white on white crime” so stop using that as an excuse. Furthermore, civilians don’t take an oath to serve and protect. If you don’t want to support Black Lives Matter, that’s on you  although you really do need to check your privilege. The bottom line is that police brutality is a serious problem in the U.S. Don’t believe me? Did you know that 596 were killed by the police so far this year? If you want more information on that go to The Counted.

If a few rogue police officers cannot be used to represent the entire police force, then you also have to know that a few people willing to murder innocent police officers are not meant to represent everyone who supports BlacksLivesMatter. People need to stop believing that if a black man dies he must have deserved it and if a police officer dies then he goes out as a hero. Innocent lives shouldn’t be taken. Period. And have we seriously forgotten the importance of intersectionality? Does no one realize that the are black police officers in the world. If you mourn the loss of police officers because you believe that Blues Lives Matter, then will you also mourn if that blue life is also black?

If you try to justify the murder of a black civilian but are outraged at the murder of police officers, you’re probably racist.

If you mourn the loss of black civilians and feel that the murder of police officers is a form of revenge, then you’re prejudiced.

In both cases, you are a part of what’s wrong with society because you are saying that you support the murder of innocent people simply because of a group that they belong to. Instead of picking a side you should be mourning all of the lives lost due to senseless violence. But instead our country stands divided because people are too damn stubborn to look at the big picture and acknowledge that there’s a problem with the system.



6 thoughts on “Rae’s Rules to Remember #36: If you’re “picking a side” you’re a part of the problem

  1. This is a great post Rae and I think you are right. I have to admit that although my blog is primarily about books, I have posted about other tragedies like the Orlando massacre, I’ve recently taken a step back and didn’t say anything about the Sterling and Castille killings, Nice, Istanbul, Dallas, or Baton Rouge. For me I think everything been coming out so fast and furious that I had to almost psychologically take a step back. Does that make sense? Now I’m feeling rather guilty though.😕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! No need to feel guilty. If it’s not the focus of your blog then you don’t have to obligated to talk about it and the fact that you have before does show that you’re aware of the issues our country faces and that you care. And I agree that it has been sort of a rapid fire of tragedies and its overwhelming. If taking a step back is your way of processing it then that’s okay! I personally wanted to write a full post to get it all out but even just your comment here says a lot 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know I’m guilty of not always speaking up or speaking out. It’s something I am trying to change about myself. Just as I’ve been saying that the actions of a few Muslim radicals should not be held as representative of all Muslims, the actions of a few black people in no way reflects upon them all – it is grossly unfair to stereotype people, yet we are as a society quick to do so. It then moves on from there and becomes incorporated into our lives. I’ll continue trying to change this, both about myself and society at large.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am trying to take some time out, post-Trump election, but wanted to simply say how much I resonated with your article.

    “Picking sides” is something we did when we were children. Too many of us do not leave these ‘rules’ behind. We are just humans with all the possibilities and flaws that humans have. Learning how to work through the flaws and building on the upon hope takes a life-time.

    Whenever I need to focus upon hope I think of Rosa Parkes. Progress has been made since she did the extraordinary – nowhere near as fast as we’d like and there are many painful lessons along the way, but one woman stood up and sent ripples around the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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