How can we consider ourselves the home of the free? Does the United States deserve such a moniker? With the continuous systematic oppression of people of color, probably not. Over the past two decades we’ve seen heinous acts against people of color. They are killed for living, and worst of all, the perpetrator, if they’re white, will usually get away with it. The most recent injustices suffered have been to Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. Arbery was killed for jogging, and Taylor was killed in a police raid that had nothing to do with her. These cold-blooded murders are directly linked to white privilege.
White privilege is something that is often misunderstood which has turned it into a hot button topic. Mistakenly, white privilege is thought to mean that if you have white skin, your life is great and you seldom suffer misfortunes. This is just flat out wrong. What white privilege means is that as a white person, your life will never be made harder because of your skin tone. Systematic racism has ingrained many negative stereotypes about people of color that often sit just below the skin. Because of this, people are confusing “just the way things are” with racism.
Some people, when the subject is misunderstood, argue that their lives haven’t been any easier because they’re white and that they’ve been swimming upstream since birth. This same harmful systematic rhetoric can be found in the phrases “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter” as a response to “Black Lives Matter.” Of course, all lives matter. Death is ugly no matter the color of skin. Nobody had ever argued the opposite. The entire thesis of the Black Lives Matter movement is that Americans needed a reminder that black people deserve to live just as much as everybody else, and that other groups of people were not facing the same kinds of harsh treatment.
Saying “All Lives Matter” is a form of white indifference. You see the hashtags #AhmaudArbery and #BreonnaTaylor and scroll right past. You find yourself unhappy with their deaths, and maybe even sad, but ultimately think that the world is messed up and it deserves no second thought. You keep scrolling through Instagram and forget about it. You forget that black lives matter until another person dies, and even then you may not even see the whole picture. It’s time that we all check our privilege, and care for our national siblings.