Reflecting on attending the Vancouver Black Lives Matter Protest in May 2020
I need to preface this blog post with the fact that I generally do not support protesting in the ways movements have started to protest issues in North America. I generally don’t believe that preventing the common person from getting to work to provide for their family is the best route. I have always advocated for raising the next generation to be more involved in government, and that those who preach a lot on social media should get more directly involved in creating policy rather than just talking about it. However, I do support the right to protest. I would never tell someone they don’t have a right to, nor have I ever gone to a protest to “protest against” the protest. That is bizarre to me.
However, I did make a last minute decision to go down to the Black Lives Matter protest in support of the movement’s work after George Floyd’s death. On May 31st 2020 I stood with the 10,000+ people standing in support of the need for change. I’ve stayed out of most debates on social media, and in person because my personal opinion is that the systematic cause of racism is due to the fact that racism starts at home. We aren’t born racist, we are quickly taught to be. Human beings are neutral to colour at birth. It literally means nothing to us, until we are influenced by those around us. So yes, I believe there are racist police officers, just as I believe there are racist judges, teachers, and gang members. Racism is a horrible part of the human condition. We are flawed in nature. My faith has taught me that and I can understand that’s the root of the problem is us.
Standing alongside the cities youth, and those who I generally probably wouldn’t be spending with (not culturally, or due to race) but because I simply don’t protest and I spend most of my time on my health, my family, my work and building an environment of safety around those I love, was quite the experience. I felt chills as we lifted our fists, and I looked over at a family member who was there with me. I felt chills writing about it in my journal that evening, and I appreciate that something in me pushed me to go.
Do I come from struggle? Yes.
Do I believe I have a ton of privilege? No.
Am I ok with you thinking I have white privilege? Yes. Because, I haven’t lived your life and don’t know what its like to be targeted like that.
Do I support looting? No. I will never support you looting. I just also do not believe that the issue of looting and damage is parrallel to the protests. Again, I know humans are flawed, no matter the movement, we are going to have people take advantage of opportunities to serve themselves. It’s unfortunate, but its just the truth.
The most amazing part of this entire process internally has been acknowledging that we live in a time where this is being spoken about. That our youth care, and that systems will change for the better.
The love we are witnessing is an incredible thing.
We can still be business gangsters, hustlers, motivated starters and make bread for our families while acknowledging our systems need to change.
I spoke more in detail about 2020 in my recent podcast: