Black Lives do Matter

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black lives matter

For many of us, when we hear “black lives matter,” we think ALL lives matter.

Of course all lives matter, but what we fail to understand is the reality of life for many Americans who live outside the mainstream. African-Americans are about 13.2% of the U.S. population (Wikipedia), and while many, thankfully, live in suburbs and in other attractive areas, many live in inner-city areas and experience poverty.

While in no way do I approve of rioting and other types of anarchy, I do want to encourage my fellow Americans to be aware of the inequality experienced by some of our compatriots: this is what they mean by “black lives matter.” If you’re not okay with your children dodging bullets to walk to school and being approached by drug dealers on the playground, then ask yourself how you can help other people change this reality for themselves and their children. If you’re appalled at the thought of your kids not being able to pay attention in school because you can’t afford breakfast food or falling asleep at their desks because they were up all night because of drunken parties in the neighborhood, ask yourself how you can help others change this reality.

No one should have to suffer these issues in our wealthy country, full of opportunities, so how can we ensure that our system works for everyone?

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

Becky Usry

Doctor of Sociology; Founder of one of the first programs in the U.S. to help women escape sex trafficking; expertise in interpersonal violence, human trafficking, sex trafficking; board member of numerous Boards of Directors, including the Alaska Coalition Against Trafficking, et al; author; screenwriter

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