Why I wear my Black Lives Matter t-shirt

There’s a pretty simple reason why I wear a BLM t-shirt and support the BLM movement.

It has everything to do with the God I believe in, that is, a God who is Creator of all humanity.

“La una que sufriendo mas.”

Many years ago, I was in Central America. I heard a story about a woman who had 13 children. Someone asked her, “Which do you love the most?” She paused. And she spoke, in Spanish: “La una que sufriendo más.”

The one who suffers more.

In the same way, I support the BLM movement because it states that black people – right now and for a lot of history – are suffering. More.

If a person doesn’t believe or acknowledge that black people in America are suffering in a unique way – and more than the rest of us – then I understand why BLM doesn’t make sense. If you don’t believe that black people bear a disproportionate amount of suffering from police brutality and terror, mass incarceration, generational poverty, environmental racism, and more, then I get why you might be tempted to discredit the BLM movement by stating it’s unnecessary to defend one group when other groups also face discrimination, poverty, hate, and the like. You might even be tempted to equalize suffering and say all people suffer and, ergo, all lives matter.

Please don’t be that person. Read the articles linked above and devote yourself to finding out all your can about the systematic oppression and exploitation of black life to create the United States.

We need to give special attention to the suffering of black Americans; los que más sufren… because that’s what God does.

"Is anyone crying for help? God is listening,
ready to rescue you.
If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, she’ll help you catch your breath."

Psalm 34, The Message Translation, pronoun my addition

My friend says, “You wouldn’t see me saying ‘all diseases matter’ when you wear a breast cancer ribbon. You are acknowledging the special way in which breast cancer patients are suffering, and wearing a ribbon to draw attention to that cause.”

It’s true. Wearing a BLM shirt, for me, means I’m drawing attention to the terror, murder, discrimination, and shortened life spans our black American brothers and sisters face every damn day. Just like wearing a breast cancer awareness ribbon doesn’t mean you have no concern for prostate cancer. Or ovarian cancer.

In the wake of so many generations of brutalization, terror and exploitation – and in the presence of my dark-skinned sisters and brothers still enduring treatment that makes them feel as though their lives do not have value, I must affirm – in word, deed, and t-shirt that, indeed, Black Lives Matter.

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