Rochester City Schools are Celebrating Black Lives Matter Day to the Ire of Many

by S.A. Prince

This week Rochester, New York schools will celebrate Black Lives Matter Day. February 17th has been deemed “a day of understanding and affirmation in city schools that while all lives matter, black lives deserve special affirmation, attention, and understanding right now.”

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you wouldn’t know this, but the idea that Black lives are getting special attention vexes many Americans. The response has been that Black people are being singled out and shown special attention whereas All Lives, or Blue Lives have not.

In other news, America is officially cancelling Black History Month. Why would we bother celebrating that anyways?

Listen, I get it. If you don’t want your children to be a part of that, then I’m sure Rochester parents can opt out of it. Call the teachers and tell them that your child will not be participating in any of the learning activities- to find an alternative for them, or just don’t send them to school. As a matter-of-fact, opt your child out of all learning that would involve any Black American history. I promise you, your child wouldn’t be missing much. It isn’t like the Black history section of textbooks is that extensive anyways.

I would be willing to put money on this: Go ask kids in high school, Black, White, or other, what they know about Black American history, and they’ll mention slavery, Dr. King, and Rosa Parks, and of course, Barack Obama. Other than that they would barely be able to go into detail about the struggle of Blacks in America, the ugliness of the post-slavery era that was full of picnics where Blacks would be lynched. Would any of those children be able to tell us about Black Wall Street, a self-sustaining and thriving black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was burned down by angry White Americans? Will they have been taught about Emmett Till’s accuser, the white woman who said he flirted with her (because that’s a just reason to be killed), RECENTLY CAME OUT AND SAID SHE LIED? What about Rodney King? Would they ever have been shown the video where cops beat Rodney King, and asked their opinion about what it is they saw? Then, in the aftermath told that all of those cops got off.

No, none of that needs to be taught to children. You know why? Because I AM SURE that White parents (and Black ones too) will take the time to teach their children about those things on their own. I don’t need to tell you that I’m being sarcastic, do I? Without a doubt, most parents aren’t going to teach their children any of the above, nor do they care to. So again, just opt your children out of Black Lives Matter Day this week.

I get that PC culture had with good reason turned many Americans off. When you’re being called a bigot, you end up shutting down. Nobody likes to be bad-mouthed. Thus, a portion of America has isolated themselves to understanding the plight of their neighbor. We’ve always been self-serving in America, but the rift between races is getting bigger. People just don’t care, and maybe they never did, but now people don’t mind vocalizing it.

So yes, Blue Lives Matter, and All Lives Matter, but only in response to Black Lives Matter. So, if Black Lives didn’t Matter, then conceivably Blue Lives and All Lives would never Matter either. Except, do Blue Lives and All Lives actually matter, or are those terms just a convenient trolling of the Black struggle? I wonder. I couldn’t imagine anybody who honestly feels that All Lives Matter would be closed off to a segment highlighting themselves. I would think that a person who is genuinely compassionate to All Lives mattering would support all groups that are struggling, even if those groups are focused on themselves, because well, All Lives Matter. So, a person who says that All Lives Matter should in theory support Black lives, White lives, refugee lives, immigrant lives, Islamic lives, imprisoned lives, welfare lives, rich lives; like literally All Lives. In theory, right? But, is that the case? Are the people who rock the hashtag #AllLivesMatter ever seen speaking up for any groups, or do they only come out the woodwork in response to anything regarding Black lives mattering? Hmm, I wonder.

You know who genuinely felt like All Lives Mattered? Dr. King:

“I have a dream that one day in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

Imagine this. Imagine All Lives Matter supporters saying, “I have a dream that one day in America, with its vicious separatists, with its president having lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right here in America little refugee boys and little refugee girls, and little white boys and little white girls, and little Islamic boys and little Islamic girls, and little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands as brothers and sisters.”

You probably can’t even imagine it, because it would NEVER happen. It’s unfathomable.

Dr. King’s dream is still a dream, or not even, it’s a damn mirage. King’s I Have a Dream speech has continually been passed down, because it’s the most recognized and notable piece of the black struggle. But, that dream has been in deferment. Will we, the children of the children of the children of the people who heard that speech ever make that dream tangible? Or, will we allow our conditioning to continue to separate us, arguing over whether Black Lives Matter should be taught in schools when the Black history part of history textbooks is a joke? Oh wait, I forgot. You’re going to objectively teach your children about Black history. My bad.



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