Letter: Black Lives Matter is a force to unite, not divide

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Editor of the Reformer,

Graffiti, and other charges that the "Black Lives Matter" movement is racist, is illogical. BLM doesn't state other lives don't matter. White lives are not being targeted and marginalized. White parents don't need to have "The Talk" with their children about how to behave around police officers. White youth are not being shot down in the street with little provocation by militarized police. White young people are not dying in police custody. What is implied is that Black Lives Matter TOO. As do Red lives and Brown lives and Yellow lives. White lives are not under threat here, although these days, if you join the cause of equality, trumpentrooopers may whisk you away without notice, no matter what color you are. We need to find common ground, and not allow ourselves to be manipulated and weakened.

The BLM movement doesn't seek to divide. It is a force to unite. All people are equal. My skin is White. Most of my ancestry is White. I take responsibility for the existence of "White Privilege." I do the best I can to promote equality. Any human being who looks down on another as less of a human due to the color of their skin is, at the very least, ignorant and misinformed. Too long have people of color been oppressed. Yes, America did not invent slavery, nor did every murderer invent murder. That makes them no less responsible for their actions. I believe that Black people and Red people should get reparations. I believe that everyone deserves respect and equality.

It seems obvious that we need affirmative actions. There is no level playing field. The current administration is doing its best to worsen the divide. For example, there is no excuse for educational funds to be diverted from poorer predominantly black schools to rich predominantly white private schools. It is wrong to deprive citizens of their voting rights. We need to stop this attack on democracy, as is our duty as citizens. People standing together have strength. People standing together have power. The momentum is here. Peaceful protests are an American right, but the true power lies in the vote. Remember in November.

Devin J. Starlanyl

Brattleboro, July 23

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