It's Time for Black People to Be Selfish

Op-ed
By Larry Williams

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When a Flight Attendant gives safety instructions before the plane takes flight, one of the instructions is “secure your oxygen mask before you attempt to help anyone else.”

And that’s exactly what Black People need to do; we need to breathe ourselves before attempting to help any other subset or race of people.

Change has been slow coming. It’s not just police brutality; it’s years of slavery, Jim Crow laws, a completely unfair justice system, lackluster education systems, racial discrimination, and unfair housing and business practices that have plagued black people for centuries.

In my lifetime, I have never seen a movement with such worldwide optimism. It’s encouraging seeing people of all races come together with mostly one common goal. I believe some positive changes are on the horizon, and that is why we must be selfish.

First thing, I agree that Brown Lives Matter, Red Lives, Black Trans Lives, White Lives, and as a matter in fact, All Lives Matter. But Black people endured unspeakable atrocities in this country like no other ethnic group. We haven’t received any forms of reparations at all. In fact the racist practices of yesteryear continue to this day.

The wealth of America was built on the backs of Slaves who worked without human rights or compensation for hundreds of years. Blacks are woefully behind in home ownership and the wealth gap continues to widen.

That’s why this movement is so important and we must get this right. I’ll admit, I don’t know who runs Black Lives Matter. However, to me and most of the people I’ve spoken with, BLM is nothing more of a slogan than an official organization. I’m not in Black Lives Matter, it's my Black Life Matters.

I welcome everyone to this movement. It’s the right thing to do, and no one should be subject to mistreatment based on race or any other external factor.

It’s our moment to change the human condition for Blacks, and unfortunately, we can’t afford to share this moment with anyone besides good hearted people who understand that these human atrocities can’t continue.

And with that being said, let Black People Breath. It’s been too long and we’ve paid the price.

Unfortunately, history has shown that when Black People share it usually gets taken away from us. The Black culture cannot afford another setback; we need to stay the course with the singular purpose of improving the lives of Black People.

We need to stand clear of other groups who have their own agenda; I don’t know one black person in Antifa. I don’t believe most Black People are even aware of Antifa. Suffice it to say, Black People are not working with Antifa.

If we aren’t careful our message will get hijacked by groups of people who don’t have an interest in improving Black Lives.

Some people would rather discuss the looting than the issues that caused the problem. Some are trying to label BLM a terrorist group; some are even trying to link BLM to Antifa. This is an attempt to water down the message and avoid change. We can’t let that happen.

Black People are loving and kind. We’re compassionate and we understand what it feels like to be mistreated. Black people will come to the aid of others. This is well documented; just last week a black peaceful protestor in London carried a Skinhead to safety that was using racial slurs and being violent towards the other peaceful protestors.

Sometimes I think we are too kind and forgiving, but that’s our nature. We all should want the world to be a better place, but it’s time to fix black issues.

Once we get black people whole, I believe that it will inherently fix issues with other minorities. But we can’t worry about that right now, It’s finally our turn and hopefully others will respect that we’ve waited long enough.

God Bless us all.