During the last part of September in the year of 2016, here in America, Black people who have been killed by police totaled 217. There are a few more months left in 2016. It’s likely that the number will increase. That is horrible, so wrong and it must stop. Most of the police killings is clearly based on racism. Why kill first while there are many alternatives to deal with the situations? And to make things worse, the consequences for the police are often minimal and the killers get away.
It’s happened too often. Many of us are disgusted. We have seen the evidence though the videos. And yet we see many people belittle or divert from the horror and make excuses. Unacceptable.
Yes, the others of us, including white Deaf people, are opposed to oppression. Our experiences have been painful and we may examine and fight them constantly. Yes, it’s worthy and important to stand up and fight oppression that we face.
However, right now, Black people are uniting in their fight to stop their oppression and deaths in others’ hands. What do the others of us do? Ignore them? Consider their fight unimportant? No! We must pay attention to their movement, stand up for them and support their fight. We must watch them, try to understand them more, learn from them, and finally, look inside ourselves and check our own racism. We must not forget that the Deaf community has many Black people amongst us. They experience both kinds of oppression. Do we say “oh we are all Deaf and let’s just hold off on the Black issues?” No! We love and cherish our Black Deaf people and do not want them to experience oppression of any kind.
“All Lives Matter” or “Deaf Lives Matter” must be set aside and not be used. The movement for Black Lives Matter is increasing in its visibility and mobilization and persistence in exposing the wrongful killings. When we react defensively and say “Us too! We experience oppression too!”, that is a big NO! It distracts. We need to stand up for their movement, ask what we can do to support and then do it with our best ability.
To disregard, ignore, look the other way, perpetuates the oppression. And that becomes infectious and increases all other oppressions and it ends up with everybody suffering.
Their lives REALLY matter!
We must respect them totally, support them and declare with them that YES, THEIR LIVES MATTER! Killing them based on the color of their skin, or because of our suspicions or fears must stop.
Deaf people all over, especially white Deaf people, let us pause, read more, learn as much, donate money, lend support, join their actions, and so forth. Please. Thank you.