So—while it’s good that more of us are getting on board with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, though well-intentioned, not everything necessarily tells the stories they need to when it comes to the Black experience.
Take this meme, for example, which serves as a cry for others to recognise their white privilege and understand why Black people are fighting for their rights:
“I have privilege as a white person because I can do all of these things without thinking twice about it…
I can go birding (#ChristianCooper).
I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery).
I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson).
I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).
I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark).
I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).
I can play loud music (#JordanDavis).
I can sell CD’s (#AltonSterling).
I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).
I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).
I can go to church (#Charleston9).
I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).
I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell).
I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant).
I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).
I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).
I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).
I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford) .
I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).
I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott).
I can be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).
I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).
I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).
I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).
I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo).
I can run (#WalterScott).
I can breathe (#EricGarner).
I can live (#FreddieGray).
I CAN BE ARRESTED WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING MURDERED. (#GeorgeFloyd)
White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today. EDUCATE YOURSELF AND USE YOUR PRIVILEGE TO BE AN EFFECTIVE ALLY.
*I copied and pasted this…please do the same. ?
…and that’s a good start. Yes, it gets Botham Jean’s name wrong and confuses parts of Sean Bell’s story with Khiel Coppin’s, but overall, it’s good to raise the awareness.
Except that what’s missing from this meme is the humanity. The stories that make you understand how heinous these killings were, often against Black people who died far too young, too often for no good reason at all. What was missing was context, so I wanted to put together a guide that’d give you a little more information on the names we keep throwing around.