Seeing the Other Side

Once again, we are hearing about a white cop shooting a black man. It’s awful. It really is. And our media feeds are filled with #blacklivesmatter and #alllivesmatter again. We’re seeing constant bickering between the sides, filled with facts, assumptions, and insults. We’re seeing Obama, Donald Trump, white people, black people, and the police blamed for the racism and hatred in society. But who’s fault is it?

Everyone’s. It’s everyone’s fault. People are blaming “society” as if it’s some entity other than themselves. You ARE society.

It’s really easy to say that it’s everyone else’s fault. It’s easy to say that we aren’t part of the problem. But it’s simply not true. WE are all part of the problem.

We should all know by now that the news media’s coverage of news is never full coverage. It’s partial coverage and it’s usually biased. News companies want people to watch their show, so they cater to what the people want. Right now, people want outrage. So they give outrage. A cop shot someone. Unfortunately, that’s part of their job sometimes. But is that how it’s reported? No. It’s usually more like “Aggressive white cop shoots innocent black man”, only to find out two months later that the man had a knife in his pocket and was in a fit of rage, running toward the cop, spewing hate.

The problem is that People choose a side before they know what happened, and then they refuse to see the other side. They refuse to see that maybe they were wrong. No one likes to be wrong, but it’s okay to be wrong about these things. There wasn’t much information to go from. It’s okay.

I’m not choosing sides here, I just want to remind people that it’s okay to listen to the other side without insulting them. Supporters of #blacklivesmatter are not evil, racist, whiny babies who want special treatment. They are trying to bring up the point that black people feel as though they are treated as not mattering. Listen to them, especially the black people who say it. They are trying to tell you something about their experience. They are trying to show you how they feel.

Just the same, adherents to #alllivesmatter, are trying to tell you something. They are trying to tell you that, yes, there is racism, and no, it’s not okay to mindlessly kill black people, just because they are black, but that doesn’t mean other people should be killed. Rioting, and hurting cops, is not the answer either.

Shooting cops at a protest will not bring back that man who was shot. Shooting cops at a protest will not fix the problem. Shooting cops at a protest will put cops on edge when responding to future protest, which will make them more likely to shoot.

#alllivesmatter is reminding people that EVERYONE matters. It is reminding people that, while black lives matter, so do the lives of the cops, even if they are bad cops, also matter.

It is important to see the other side. It is important to fully understand what both sides are saying. #blacklivesmatter is not saying that only black lives matter. #alllivesmatter is not trying to erase, or ignore the violence and racism against black people.

#blacklivesmatter was started in reaction to a black person being killed by cops. #alllivesmatter was started in reaction to cops being killed by civilians rioting because they believed the black man was innocent.

It’s important to see the other side. It’s important to understand the other side. It’s important to work with the other side. One thing that I know for sure is that 100 people working to combat violence is a lot stronger than 50 people fighting 50 other people, while both are trying to fight violence.

See them. Listen to them. Understand them. Work with them. We are stronger together.


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