Bloggers That Spoke Out for #BlackLivesMatter (Friday Favorites #11)
Over the last few days there has been a lot of coverage about Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the epidemic (yes, I used the word epidemic) of police brutality against black men in America. It’s disgusting and what is even more disgusting are the people who try so hard (SO HARD) to justify it. Almost immediately after Alton Sterling was shot and killed by police outside of a convenience store the excuses started rolling in…
- He shouldn’t have fought back!
- He had a gun!
- He had a record!
- He was a convicted felon!
But none of that matters. Yes, he struggled but he was on the ground when he was shot. Has it been confirmed he had a gun? Even if he did, he wasn’t reaching for it and there are enough videos from enough different angles to prove that. Yes, he had a record and was a felon but people aren’t shot and killed for having a record. In that moment, that moment outside of that store, he did not deserve to die.
I immediately clicked over to Twitter to speak out against the brutality, not because I felt like I had absolute knowledge on the event, not because I was certain that he did nothing wrong, not because I was positive the videos told the whole story, but because I believed, with all of my heart, that the police officers reacted too swiftly and took a man’s life without first exhausting every other possible option to manage the situation without the loss of life.
When I opened Twitter I noticed a really disturbing trend…almost NO ONE in my feed was discussing the event. I follow over nearly 1,000 people and yet almost no one was tweeting about Alton Sterling or Black Lives Matter. I saw a lot of recipes, fashion posts, Netflix binge-watching recommendations, book reviews, and blogging advice.
It broke my heart.
Where was the outrage? The anger? The hurt? I was so upset at my people for staying silent on such an important, and heartbreaking, event. I couldn’t believe that no one I followed was saying anything on the matter. Instead of scrolling endlessly through my feed looking for anyone that was speaking out I took advantage of a handy little Twitter trick…
Click the hashtag (or search for a hashtag or phrase)
Then, select More Options and click From People you Follow. Once you do that, you’ll see all of the tweets on that topic only from the people you follow rather than from everyone on Twitter.
I was so disheartened to see that only 14 of the 1,000 people I follow had anything to say about the issue. I even waited and checked again after Philando Castile and again after the suicide (rumored lynching) of the black man at Piedmont Park in Atlanta.
Where are your voices? Where is your outrage?! Where is your concern for the lives of black men? Social media is your platform to speak out and yet you choose to remain silent? You speak out about abortion, gun rights, sexism, equal pay, gay marriage, animal abuse, health care, etc. yet you stay silent on the issue of murder of black men by those who are sworn to protect our citizens?
It bothered me, a lot. It hurt. Yet, I wanted to acknowledge those people I follow who chose to speak out and address the issue. Some of their tweets are embedded below.
We should start calling out "so-called celebs" who remain silent after 3 days of police brutality & murder. You have a platform, use it.— Brandon Breaks (@BrandonBreaks) July 8, 2016
Taking a moment of silence today for #AltonSterling 🙏🏾— Chakayla J. Taylor (@chakaylajtaylor) July 7, 2016
To those of you who took the time to acknowledge these atrocities…THANK YOU.
To those of you that I follow and who tweeted on the issue but that I did not feature here, THANK YOU. I saw your tweets and I appreciate you taking a stand as well.
To those of you that decided to stay silent on the matter…why?
Also, before you remind me that #AllLivesMatter let me just tell you that I know all lives matter but police aren’t regularly shooting and killing them so quickly. Yes, white men are killed by the police but in most instances police have attempted to subdue them by other means first. Yes, police lives matter and I’ve never called for an assault on officers.
So now, let me leave you with this…