A Statement by the Rev. Lois E. Van Leer

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to say, “Black Lives Matter.”
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t even have to say “All lives matter.”
All lives would matter.

We don’t live in a perfect world.
All lives do not matter.
White lives do matter in our imperfect world.
Disproportionately so.

Blacks are disproportionately poorer than whites.
Blacks disproportionately face problems with safe and affordable housing.
Blacks disproportionately face issues of food insecurity.
Blacks are disproportionately targeted by police and arrested
Blacks disproportionately attend poor and failing schools

There are more African American men incarcerated in the U.S. than the total prison populations in India, Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Finland, Israel and England combined.

Blacks make up 12% of the population but 42% of death row.

USA Today found that at least 70 police departments across the country were 10 times more likely to arrest black Americans than anyone else.

According to ABC News, “disenfranchised black males account for 35 percent of all Americans now barred from voting because of felony convictions.” Nationwide, this means one out of every 13 black adults cannot vote.

“Black Lives Matter” is not an anti-white statement
It is not a statement of hatred for white life.
It is a statement of affirmation of Black lives in a society that systematically treats Black lives too often as less than and privileges white lives.
“To mischaracterize the affirmation of the value of black life as being anti-white is to suggest that in order for white lives to matter, black lives cannot…That is a foundational premise of white supremacy.” (Brittany Cooper)

You want all lives to matter?
Make it happen. Until then:
Black Lives Matter.

Resources to access:

“The House I Live In” film available on Netflix
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
The New Jim Crow by Michele Alexander
Waking Up White by Debby Irving
Seattle Times Under Our Skin project.

On December 4th, 2016 WUUC passed a resolution on the movements for Black Lives.

More resources for movements for Black lives.