I’m just an old fat white dude. What do I know about the Black Lives Matter movement? What do I know about being black and being persecuted for the color of my skin? Well, to be honest not much, but I know more than you might think. I’m a skater and it seems cops hate us to. That in its self isn’t a lot I know, but I also skate with several black dudes. I can tell you that in the past I’ve watched cops get a lot rougher with them then the white kids. For the first thirty years of my life I lived in and around Cincinnati. I got to watch first hand how the cops, and a lot of other people, treated black people. I’ve never been much for the color thing. I don’t understand the measure of a man by the color of his skin, his past, his religion etc. I measure a man on how he vibes. Good or bad. So what do I know? I know what history teaches us. I know what I remember in my lifetime.
I remember Rodney King. I remember sitting in silence watching the news while he was attacked, over and over again, as the blood thirsty police beat him and beat him. I didn’t know why he was stopped, if he had committed a crime, or if there was even any justification as to why he was attacked other than he was black. It really didn’t matter. The truth was it didn’t have to happen. These were men trained to protect us. Trained to show restraint and follow the law. There they were like it was the Wild West executing their own justice ignoring the law. I was sitting at a table in downtown Cincinnati with five people. Four of us were white and two of us were black and none of us cared. Especially that moment. All we could do is silently drink our coffee as we watched this man be beaten by cops. That night on the way home we were pulled over. My friend Mike was the only person searched. He was also the only black man in the car.
I’m not one of those people who believe that all cops are bad. I know they aren’t. You’ll never hear me say different. I don’t hold all cops responsible for the crimes of the bad ones. Unfortunately I see more and more cops who don’t take any stock in the actual law. Cops who lie, cheat and deliver their own form of justice “to get their man”. These are people who are trained to be calm and respect the law yet so such a vague regard for the law that it’s disgusting. (I know for a fact that a cop will lie, even under oath. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it.)
Until we stop killing each other we won’t be able to stop cops from killing us, but killing cops also isn’t the answer. We can’t target all cops for the sins of the bad ones. I don’t have an answer or a better solution. Maybe tougher legislation, maybe better training I really don’t know. We can’t keep killing each other though.
So what’s an old fat white guy know about Black Lives Matter? As I read on Twitter recently “You don’t run into an Chinese restaurant and yell What about tacos? Don’t tacos matter too?” (I can’t cite who tweeted it. I wish I could remember) So why do so many people get so upset when we say Black Lives Matter? Because each of us in some way is broken. We hold ourselves and other people responsible for the sins of our fathers, for the sins of the bad cops killing and beating black people.
But what do I know? I remember Rodney King. How many times can we keep making the same mistakes?
Yes, all lives matter, but until the media stops highlighting race then we do need to point out that Black Lives Matter.
I skate with people from every race and religion. I’ve never been at a skatepark and had the issue of race come up. I’ve never been asked about my religion. I’ve never looked at a guy and thought “Wow, look at that black guy skating” or “Wow, that’s a white skater” only “Wow, that’s one skilled motherfucker” and didn’t care if he was black, white, Asian, Mexican or Martian.
I don’t have a solution, but I feel that if we really take a look at our past we can change our future. We need to stop killing each other over race.
Maybe I’m wrong. It’s just a thought.