In the interest of full disclosure, I am a white American male, son of a doctor and a college grad; I know what privilege is. However, I also spent a few years working the orchards of Eastern Washington including not just picking fruit, but pruning, planting and thinning too. One spring I worked on a planting crew of five that had one each African-American, Hispanic, Native American and me plus an older, white, female boss, and we all became the best of friends. So I’ve experienced life with people without privilege; I know both sides.
In high school (1970) a black kid stayed for a week in the house where I was living away from my home (I was a difficult teen….) and we became temporary, good friends. He said it was because I didn’t treat him like he was black, which I didn’t fully comprehend until he told me stories. I knew white teenagers who got caught with alcohol and the cops just made them pour it out. But Alvin said anytime a black kid got caught, they went to juvenile detention for six months. Almost half his friends had gone, while none of mine had. That was the first time I truly understood discrimination.
I totally get what Black Lives Matter is about. But what I don’t get is why this group thinks their over-the-top, in-your-face approach to getting the word out will garner support for their cause. Dr. King’s success was through defiance, not just irritation.