First off, I’m not Black, nor am I trying to or am I trying to say I know the Black experience in America first-hand. I’m an outsider, a Mexican-German-American who has had my own problems fitting in to one community or another. (More on my Latino experience another time.)
This is not an excuse for anything, and I’m not trying to say “just because”. This comes from the heart. Since I was a child, 90% of my friends have been Black since coming to the US. As an adult, my only two friends I still have from high school (twin brothers by the way) as well as my wife (Jamaican) and my four kids (two step and two biological) are Black. As well I feel more comfortable around Black people.
I’ve lived in the U.S. south for more than half my life. I’ve experienced racism both first-hand and with my Black friends, but always worse with my Black friends, mostly when we were teens in Savannah, GA. My friends and I have been called every name in the book. We’ve been assaulted and kicked out of places. I’ve tried to stand up for my Black friends, but most of the time to no avail. They were always the n—-rs and I’m always the n—-r lover. But for me, my Black friends had it way worse. They deserved the sympathy, not me.
I have extreme empathy for the Black community. I’m a strong supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the LGBTQ community. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried over police shootings of unarmed Black people as well as other things the police have done to the Black community and others. Don’t get me wrong, I also have cried over other victims of crimes, but with the police, they are supposed to be the protection for the people, but they are just another tool of the state and the rich (read: whites). I fear for Black people, my friends and family. I just hope that one day they are not the next victims of trigger happy cops.
There are too many victims who had names. Philando Castile. Tamir Rice. Charleena Lyles. Michael Brown. Sandra Bland. And hundreds more, and will be hundreds more, not only killed by the police, but by racist trigger happy assholes who don’t care about Black lives. I didn’t know any of these people, but they are always in my heart. I’m tired of telling people that Black Lives Matter doesn’t mean just Black lives matter, of course all lives matter, but it means we’re focusing on Black lives right now because the system has failed Black people. I’m tired of all the pain, and I know the Black community is too. But right now is about Black lives, and Black Lives Matter, alway have and always will. One Love, One Heart.