We at Busboys and Poets are distressed at the senseless violence against Black men, women, children, and Black people of all genders that has become all too commonplace in this country. Not a day goes by that we don’t see a video, a Tweet or a Facebook post of a Black person facing assault or possibly being shot or killed by a police officer, the very people who are charged to protect them. These police officers are not aliens from another planet, they are Americans like you and me and they breathe the same toxic fumes of racism that permeate government, popular culture, economic structures and social institutions.
We believe that Black Lives Matter not because we don’t believe that other lives matter too. That would be ridiculous.
We believe that Black Lives Matter because today in America, Black lives are still deemed less important.
We believe that Black Lives Matter because in America, institutional white supremacy has created a “casual caste system” that has eroded our social fabric and infected our collective psyche.
We believe that Black Lives Matter because today in America the New Jim Crow of mass incarceration has destroyed families and has had an enormous cost that has bankrupted the essence of our American dream.
We believe that Black Lives Matter because today in America Black people are more likely to be stopped by police, more likely to be arrested and more likely to be systematically killed than whites.
We believe that Black Lives Matter because today in America Black families still have to have “the talk” with their kids who continue to face racism on the sidewalks, on a playground, at a store, while driving and in the classroom.
We are at a moment in history where we can make a difference to create a more perfect union where every life truly matters.
And we believe that Black Lives Matter because when Black Lives Matter, then and only then will all lives matter.