This is why we need to vote. Check out an important read from Elephant’s Editor-in-Chief, Waylon Lewis: Every American needs to see this Video.
*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and can not possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.
When I was about 23, traveling alone through the west coast of the United States of America, a man at a gas station noticed blue writing on the back of my SUV.
He asked if he could use my paint marker to draw a blue line across the back of his car window. I had no idea what it meant, so I asked him why.
I let him take my marker and draw that line, without any real knowledge of what it meant, and that day sticks out in my mind almost six years later.
As I grew older, and started actively participating and learning about the world around me, I started to understand the gravity of such a simple thing—it wasn’t just a thin blue line, it was much more than that.
What I see when I look at those blue lines is a mark of segregation—of otherness.
Yes, “all lives matter” and “blue lives matter,” if you want to see it that way, but what matters more at this point in our country is that Black lives are in danger.
Black lives are at a higher risk of death because of over-policing and the policies set up decades ago, after slavery was abolished. The “War on Crime” and the prison system in general target the Black population.
This is historical truth—it is not conjecture.
Our country’s fear of “the other” has set forth a self-fulfilling prophecy: a police force that is seething with hatred, bigotry, and racism. The KKK, the alt-right, and our political system are all intertwined with this.
But, we have a choice: to stand up and fight for what is right, what is just, what is wrong, and to tell the “powers that be” we will not stand for this any longer.
Yes, riots and looting may be dangerous and degrade our message, but think about our history; think about what brought us here.
It wasn’t peaceful protest or police policy changes—it was war.
War is what our country began on, to be here on this land involved killing and molesting Native Americans. We fought a war with ourselves, the Civil War, which caused more death and destruction than it garnered change; it still took almost 100 years for segregation to end. The 60s was a mix of protesting and death: Dr. Martin Luther King, and Dr. Malcom X.
Change comes with fight, death, and destruction.
If you want change, be the change.
What’s happening currently is a humanity story; it is death and destruction, pain and suffering, but it is in the hope that one day we will learn from our mistakes and become a better breed—a new and improved human race.
Try and understand what that thin blue line really means.
Either way, change is happening. Now.
Which side of history will you be on?