I must admit I was confused when I began hearing the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” Like many whites, my immediate reaction was to say “ALL lives matter!” A few weeks later I realized how defensive I was being with that retort. I also chafed at the notion of “white privilege.” Little by little I’m making room in my view of the world—a different version of “still learning to see!”—that, despite my best intentions in the past, I’ve pretty much been ignorant and unrealistic about race.
I just spend a week with the wonderful, big old family I married into. We gathered together for the 19th year in a row, this time thirty-seven of us, from 3 to nearly 96. I’m fortunate to be part of a “rainbow” family, thanks to my sister-in-law and her partner of 30 years—soon-to-be—finally—her legal wife. I am constantly inspired by them and appreciate the loving challenges they present.
It is so obvious the lives of these black members of my immediate family matter. How can it be any different for those who are simply part of our greater family of humankind? As for my white privilege, it is so clear I glide through a life that for many black people is strewn with treachery and traps. Maybe if we all mixed our families up a bit more, it would be harder to keep two sets of rules and, at the same time, we’d grow to more fully appreciate the value of both our similarities and our differences. I can imagine a world like that!
I don’t mean to preach but I wanted to share this learning I’m in the middle of. Thank you to the many people who are part of clarifying what is really true: Black Lives Matter!