The Reality Of Black Experiences
To the Editor:
In the letter “Secure The Blessings Of Liberty” [published in the print issue of July 31, 2020], Newtown elected official Cathy Reiss uses misleading statements to undermine the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement. A closer examination of some of the most offensive assumptions in her letter reveals unsubstantiated platitudes and exposes what could be called a bigoted point of view.
The assertion that she took an oath to uphold our nation’s and state’s Constitution to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” ignores that neither Constitution was written to include Black people.
The assertion that many people support the BLM movement because they believe that Black lives do matter; that “we must ensure all Americans enjoy our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” ignores that the classic “All Lives Matter” response to BLM negates the fact that in America, Black lives are too often treated as disposable, unimportant, and of less value than those of their white peers.
The assertion that there is an “intellectually dishonest” conflation between the “near universal” sentiment supporting Black lives and the organization named BLM ignores that it is not a “near universal sentiment” that Black lives matter or BLM wouldn’t exist. The sentiment “Black lives matter” is tied to the BLM organization that “began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism.” There is no “intellectual dishonesty” about it.
The assertion that when George Floyd was brutally killed, our nation was united in disgust ignores that our nation was not united in disgust. Herein lies the problem BLM is working to overcome.
The assertion that BLM’s call to defund the police would leave Black inner-city residents unprotected from the everyday violence in their streets ignores that, despite the use of the words “defund the police,” even a precursory look at its meaning reveals that it does not support complete removal of law enforcement.
The assertion that police officers would not be able to enforce laws, leading to anarchy ignores that the laws have not been enforced equally among our citizens (and, to be clear, Defund the Police does not mean removal of law enforcement).
The assertion that BLM advocates to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” as Marxism prescribes ignores that this is a truncation of the BLM statement. The full statement reads, “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” The disruption is of the “requirement” and emphasis is on inclusion.
Finally, Cathy Reiss asserts that “To ensure all Americans have the opportunity to realize the American Dream, we better not first tear down the American Dream.”
Sadly, she ignores that if all Americans in reality had the same opportunity to realize the “American Dream” we would not be in this situation. Luckily, BLM is working to achieve this very goal.
To learn more about Black Lives Matter, visit blacklivesmatter.com.
72 Forest Drive, Sandy Hook July 31, 2020