Somehow, somewhere a misconception was formed that the movement of “Black Lives Matter” meant no one else’s life mattered. The best response I’ve heard to date is, “there’s no need to remind the world that all lives matter because it’s clear that it’s specifically the Black lives that are feared the most.” However, there are groups of people that seem to think of Black Lives Matter as a hate group that denounces the livelihood to everything and everyone that isn’t Black, including police officers. Though hate crimes have occurred against officers while the culprits claimed Black Lives Matter, it is untrue. It is unfair to label an entire movement based on the ill action of a few people.

As a Black woman who often attends workshops in rural and suburban areas I often find myself in various situations where I am asked to speak on the behalf of the Black community. I refuse to do so because I will not compartmentalize my Blackness and everyone else’s into one opinion by one person. So, how could one base their entire opinion of Black Lives Matter to that of people who dislike officers? Why not see the importance to of fixing an unjust system? Why not encourage a group of people who have been forced by society to stay silent for so long?

After all the point of Black Lives Matter is not to combat the lives or integrity of police officers. It’s not to condemn the efforts of someone’s job that they have taken an oath to perform. It’s the EXACT opposite. Just because one wears a police uniform does not give them the right to stereotype, mistreat and kill Black people. Regardless of how you slice it, Black people are charged, and incarcerated at higher rates than any other ethnic or racial group in America. Black Lives ALSO matter regarding the disproportion of federal disinvestment in communities that led to water shutoffs, home foreclosures and low graduation rates amongst a bazillion other atrocities. Let us recognize that the treatment of Black people in America is systematic.

I urge you to note that just because a criminal is Black does not mean they are a supporter of Black Lives Matter and just because a white officer serves an urban community does mean they will mistreat and stereotype Black people.