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Why #BlackLivesMatter

Andres Martinez
Citizens of El Paso hold up a Black Lives Matter banner at San Jacinto Plaza.

It’s hard to express the way I feel about the death of two black men and five Dallas police officers. I’m sad, scared and confused as to why this happened. Different opinions are being expressed, thousands of social media videos are being shared, but a solution has not been found to end the racial tension happening in this nation.

The killings and protests have brought about many discussions and hashtags. “Black lives matter,” “all lives matter” and “blue lives matter” have been visible On the many news outlets of the world.  People are calling the conflicts between cops and civilians a “civil war,” and other people are going extreme by expressing their need for a police purge. Then there is El Paso’s Police Chief Greg Allen, the first black police chief in El Paso, who has called the Black Lives Matter movement “a radical hate group.”

It’s important to know that the protests against police brutality have strived to stay peaceful and that BLM wants to create hope and bring awareness to society. I would like to tell Allen that the BLM movement is comprised of very different people who agree on one of the many problems of this nation. They are blacks, Mexicans, whites, Muslims, men, women and people with different sexual orientations, who all want to put an end to police brutality.

The protests in Dallas were against those cops who take advantage of their authority—not against cops who value their jobs and all the people they are responsible for.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in an interview with Fox News that the BLM movement protestors were “hypocrites.”  I find this statement astonishing and incorrect.

We can’t call them hypocrites for seeking protection when gunfire broke out in Dallas. They were peaceful and were using language as a tool to end brutality. What do you expect them to do if they are not doing anything wrong and then hear and see bullets flying around them?

Leaders of the BLM movement understand the need for security. They understand we need police officers, but Texas officials don’t seem to understand that what this movement is trying to do is end police brutality. BLM doesn’t want to get rid of officers, they want new generations of police officers to have a different mentality toward minorities—the BLM movement just wants a safe nation.

Let’s get something straight, the BLM movement is not telling society that the life of a cop does not matter. What they are trying to say is that black lives have not mattered throughout the history of this nation. They want to bring awareness about police brutality against the black community because it has not been stopped, despite the many incidents that have occurred.

Wouldn’t you say that it’s very common to hear about police brutality against blacks in the US? I do, and it has to stop.

We need to teach our younger generations about human right violations and about respect for law enforcement. What we need is communication and respect—the march led by the rapper Snoop Dogg in Los Angeles on Friday is an example of that communication and respect needed in this difficult situation.

The black community is tired of not feeling protected, they are tired of receiving longer jail sentences in comparison to white people—they want equality.

Saying that all lives matter is true, no one should be murdered by another person, everyone must be respected and race shouldn’t be a reason for any kind of violence.

The lives of all police officers also matter. They save and help all kinds of people. Without them many of you would be dead.

I respect the courage that each officer has. They leave their homes without knowing if they will ever come back—all to try to save your life. Officers have fears like any civilian in the United States, and that’s something that many people are forgetting. We keep thinking that police officers are racists and dangerous humans when it’s not true, the majority of cops are just trying to do their jobs, but unfortunately good people in this world don’t make it to history. We remember the names of criminals and shooters.

So what do we make out of all this? Well it’s hard to make a change from one day to another because white supremacy ideas and racism won’t end today or tomorrow.

Let’s respect cops without forgetting about our rights, and to police officers, I would like to tell them to please forget about race when it comes to doing your job.

My respect and condolences are for every victim of police brutality as well as toward all officers who risk and lose their lives while on duty.

Rene Delgadillo may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Rene Delgadillo, Multimedia Editor
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