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Essay

Black Lives Matter

by Grace Bonney

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I spend most of my days here talking about the concept of HOME and how to make it a more meaningful and welcoming one.

But I have never once had to worry about my loved ones getting back safely to that home for fear of police brutality. That is a privilege all people should know, but they do not.

I cannot sit idly by and watch black people be murdered and then receive absolutely no justice at the hands of a racist and unjust system.

This morning I saw Lisa Lucas say that she, “[Went] to sleep heartbroken over one murder, [woke] up heartbroken over another.” That feeling is overwhelming and I cannot talk about “lifestyle” here today when the first part of that word is being ripped away from black people on a daily basis for everyday acts like selling CDs in front of a store, having a missing license plate, wearing a hoodie or calling for help.

To all of my white friends: please speak up, stand up and show (through action AND words) your support for black people. Call your officials, call your police chief, speak to your neighbors, put out signs support that send a message, protest, be an ally, do EVERYTHING you can to make it clear that you will not passively stand by while black people are being murdered every day without consequence. My heart breaks for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile it must be said again and again and again: Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter.

Grace

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Comments

  • Thank you for this, Grace. I appreciate how you use your platform to show solidarity with my community. And not just with this post, either, but in the ways you continue to incorporate perspectives of POC on Design Sponge. Keep up the fabulous work.

  • Thank you for taking the time to write this. It can be frustrating to see blogs totally ignore what is happening in front of our eyes. Silence shows as consent.

  • You’re right. What the police ignore or brush off for one part of the population, they crack down hard for another part.
    Also, why the shooting? Can’t the cops hit somebody in the arm or leg? They get to be prosecutor, judge, and jury and sentence people to death on the spot for selling CDs?
    I was talking to a relative about a teen nephew, who was getting into pranks. The relative brushed it off as boys being boys. I pointed out that if this nephew were black, he could be shot by the police. That’s different, my relative argued. Really?

  • Good for you.
    It’s horrible what is happening in the US (we have issues here in Canada too, no doubt, but not to that level.) Encouraging to read this today.

  • THANK YOU for addressing this. I have been thinking more and more lately about all the blogs I follow, and how so many of them have such a strong platform to make their voices heard. But none of them address current issues. I realize that they are first and foremost style/lifestyle/food/whatever blogs, but I can’t help but think of how they are potentially alienating a huge chunk of their readers by not saying ANYTHING about all the crazy things going on in our world.
    I really appreciate you speaking up. More people need to. I have been seeing this quote popping up everywhere over the last day, and with good reason :

    “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

    I am not sure what I can do, as one person. But if everyone starts to use their voice and advocate for change, maybe one day it won’t have to be this way.

    • This, exactly this!!

      I felt so grateful that Grace had addressed this, just as I often feel so grateful that darker skinned people and also people with disabilities are not invisible here! It’s like walking the world like visiting a museum and then arriving at a place where I can conceivably participate!!

  • I admire you so much for writing this, Grace. My heart breaks for people all around the world who can never feel a sense of safety, being welcome or feeling like their home is actually their home.

    This message comes from a white girl in Ireland who is, time after time, bewildered and disappointed by what happens in the US in regards to racism and gun violence. You’re such a wonderful nation; please persevere to live up to your potential.

  • I’ve been feeling so helpless these past couple of years, as a white woman of privilege, trying to figure out how to act, how to BE, in solidarity without it being mere lip service.

    My husband’s and my recent move to the Hudson Valley has me wondering, too. We’re in Kingston, which has its own share of racist history and present, and I’m trying to wrap my head around what small city justice-seeking looks like after nearly a decade in Brooklyn, where the size of the city felt so overwhelming to me that I often felt paralyzed beyond the scope of our neighborhood.

    This is such an important reminder not to fall complacent. Thanks, Grace.

    • Sara

      We live in the same area. There is a lot to be done here. Feel free to email me or DM me on social media if you want any ideas/info. We are volunteering with some groups doing good work and we ordered a big shipment of BLM signs for our yard. If you want one, I’d be happy to pass along one of the extra we got for anyone else in the area.

      Grace

      • Grace, I know you guys aren’t far, and I’d love that, as well as to connect on a number of levels. I’m at sara.b.franklin@gmail.com if you want to shoot me an email– don’t want you to make you put your email address up publicly!
        Sara

  • Thank you, Grace. This is important – beyond important. We live in the Hudson Valley (Gardiner.) Whether in the city or in a bucolic landscape, this cry needs to be heard. Black Lives Matter.

  • Thank you for using your platform and amazing voice in this way.

    I’ve always known you were an incredible feminist voice in this corner of the world, but have been very moved to see how you are continuing to build and expand what it means to have privilege in this world of ours.

    Police brutality is an epidemic, and a directly connected to slavery, lynchings, white mobs, institutionalized poverty and the prison industry.

    Thank you for posting this as a way of marking the overwhelming feeling of this moment. Something must change.

    The Revolution Starts at Home. Our home, with us.

  • Yes, Grace. Thank you for your words. As a latina, I am out here waiting to hear the voices of white folks who do understand that black lives matter, and that action must be taken. Too many people are silent on this. Time to use privilege and power to challenge the violent and racist use of police force.

  • Thank you, Grace. The only design blogs I still read from back in the day are D*S and Design Mom. Thank god for your (and Gabrielle’s) insistence on equality and justice. I DO NOT understand how other professional bloggers can not remark on this. I know who I’ll be unfollowing today.

  • Thank you so much for using your site to bring awareness to this issue! I respect you even more for it. We need to come together and use our privilege to let those in charge know we are NOT OK with our brothers and sisters being murdered.

  • Silence is compliance.
    Grace, your use of this platform is inspiring. Thank you so much for being a loud voice in a blog-world that is often deafeningly quiet on these important issues.

  • Wow, Grace! What a powerful message you posted today. Thank you for having the courage to use your platform to stand up for and support African-Americans. As an African American woman, my heart aches for all the unjust hatred, cruelty and murders that are taking place in our society. We must all raise our voice so that those without a voice can be heard~

  • Grace I agree with your concerns and commend you on using your voice to raise this issue. Excessive use of force on the part of the police and racial profiling is indeed a big problem and needs to be addressed. But I would like to add that day after day I learn on the news about many black people -including children- being murdered by other numbers of the same community. Most of these crimes seem to go unsolved for either lack of witnesses or lack of resources. And it is constant , at least where I live, which is otherwise a pretty safe city. Unfortunately it feels like we are numb to this and nobody really talks about it. Is the black on black violence a politically incorrect issue, even for the BLM movement? I think we will all agree that ALL black lives matter.

    • If you look at the stats. Do your research, black on black crime is consistent with white on white crime. People do good and bad things to people they spend the most time with. To me using black on black violence as a way to say one doesn’t have to care about black people being disproportionately killed by law enforcement is among many things–disrespectful and lazy. I regularly visit few blogs, but I am time and time again grateful for the honesty and authenticity of Grace Bonney. We have to speak up, we can let this hatred and ignorance continue.

      • Robin, that is not what Margarita was saying at all. She was just asking a question about something she sees and wonders about. Please read her last sentence.

        • Jan

          I think Margarita was asking if “black on black crime” is an issue that BLM cares about. I’ve provided many links to the mission statement and facts behind BLM and I think she’ll find the answers she’s looking for there. I don’t think continuing to bring up “black on black crime” is anything but a distraction from the issue being discussed here: racial inequality when it comes to justice and treatment from the police and judicial system.

          If Margarita or anyone else want to start a discussion about inequality when it comes to sentencing for black people in America (whether it’s “black on black” crime or any other type), they’ll find yet another glaring example of how black people are routinely punished with stricter sentences than white people.

          Grace

  • Grace,

    Thank you for your words, Grace. Spot on.We must proceed with dialogue and use our voices to eradicate these injustices. My heart is broken.

    Fellow readers,please take the actions Grace has recommended to make your voices heard.

  • Grace,
    I’ve followed design blogs for years, and your post today is the first time I’ve seen anyone give real and meaningful context to the concept of home. Yes, it’s inspiring when home is thoughtfully designed, but even that concept is a privilege many of us take for granted. At a time when home design has gone mainstream, the very people that make up home are still not safe in their own house and community. Thank you for taking the step forward and using your platform to remind us that black lives matter. None of us are safe at home until we are all safe.

  • Thank you so much for this. It is wonderful to see you address this, we can’t simply go on with business as usual.

  • Thank you for this- it’s such a simple and heartfelt statement. People seem to insist on discussing the movement as if it’s complicated, but it really is a very simple problem at heart- no one should have to live in fear like this. I just married a black man, and even though we’re lucky enough to live somewhere where we’ve only had good encounters with our local police, I worry about him more every time I read another terrible story. Black Lives Matter- if only this didn’t have to be said.

  • Hear, hear! I was raised in the 60s and 70s by a father who challenged Archie Bunker in bigotry. I don’t know how it happened, but my two sisters and I escaped his prejudices. Thank God!

    People everywhere must learn to love and accept everybody regardless of skin color, race, creed, etc. Jesus and all othr prophets taught us to love each other no matter what. If we can’t do that now, it will be to late by the time we die.

    A little bit of me dies every time one of these shootings occurs. It has to stop.

  • GRACE,

    YES, DAY IN AND DAY OUT…DAY IN AND DAY OUT…
    DAY IN AND DAY OUT……

    BLACK LIVES MATTER!!!! ….ALL LIVES MATTER…

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR ELOQUENCE.

    BILLIE

  • Get out there and volunteer to help using whatever time and talents you possess! Use the platform that you have. Grace has this wonderful form of communicating in her blog. I found solace from despair after Newtown helping kids make art to grow and learn about themselves so they feel better. Maybe they will grow up to be the kind of people that see value because they have been valued. It’s only a little, I think, but we each have something unique to give. Life is too short and there is so much suffering. I know that with all our efforts we can make this horrible problem better. It is important to use our energy for positive activity rather than falling into despair.

  • It’s just so awful you even have this to write in 2016. Likewise, thank you for using your platform to kept the light shined on this slow holocaust.

  • I’m with you Grace and with all black people and minorities who are trying to live and raise families in the US.

  • Thank you so much for your using your voice to speak out. Too many times I see people denying this issue or trying to tear down the Black Lives Matter movement. They’re missing the point. This is about an disproportionate amount of black lives being taken. This is about looking at the world around us through the lens of critical thinking. I applaud this post heavily!

  • I, too, am grateful for your powerful comments!!! The violence in this world has got to stop. Racism and Guns in the wrong hands have no place in America. I pray the words of many become the actions needed to change this outrage.

  • Thank you Grace for standing up and using your platform when others have sat silent. It’s a hard thing to do. It’s been such a heavy day but seeing you and other people take a stand so daringly has been a great comfort. I’m damn proud of our creative community. Damn proud of the artists, bloggers, podcasters, designers, etc. standing up.

  • Thank you so much for addressing the systematic brutality that the black community has been facing. I’m so glad that you’re using your platform to support the Black Lives Matter movement, especially when I see so few in the lifestyle community willing to address it.

    These murders leave a lasting impact on families, friends, and communities. I’m particularly struck by Saint Paul Public Schools statement about Philando Castile:

    Colleagues describe him as a team player who maintained great relationships with staff and students alike. He had a cheerful disposition and his colleagues enjoyed working with him. He was quick to greet former coworkers with a smile and hug.

    One coworker said, “Kids loved him. He was smart, over-qualified. He was quiet, respectful, and kind. I knew him as warm and funny; he called me his ‘wing man.’ He wore a shirt and tie to his supervisor interview and said his goal was to one day ‘sit on the other side of this table.’”

  • Awesome, Grace. It’s so easy to ignore, justify silence because certain matters don’t affect you, use the excuse that your platform isn’t political or shouldn’t be used to talk about social or current issues. I’ve stopped following blogs that pretend the world is just instagrammable moments, pretty wallpaper, and outfits of the day. I was happy to see you weren’t one of them.

  • I a so appreciative of you using this forum to take a stand for what is right! Your example is how we Can Overcome, and make a difference for all black lives, and unify us into a universal respect for ALL LIVES . The Lord made us all!

  • Well, Grace, you certainly preach to the choir, don’t you? For your information, I was married to a police officer for over thirty years. Never once did he or any of his fellow officers kill anyone. Yet, four of them lost their lives saving the very same people you say they brutally murder. There will always be those among us who do the wrong things for the wrong reasons, but you have the audacity and utter bias to condemn an entire group, many of whom get up each day never knowing if they’ll be going home. I agree, this hatred and murder has to stop, but to condemn those who are trying to protect the innocent only feeds this type of hatred and does nothing to encourage dialogue and action.

    • Angela

      I’ve said nothing to condemn police officers. For you to equate the support of all black lives with the condemnation of all police officers is false and misleading.

      Grace

  • Have you actually read a newspaper? More whites and Hispanics have been shot by policemen than blacks. I agree, some may be unjustified, but we don’t KNOW ANYTHING YET! BLM just killed 5 cops. Seeing your blurb at the end of these messages means you will probably delete this.

    • Oleandergirl

      We know that two black men were killed unjustly in the past 24 hours, with clear video evidence. So yes, we do know that.

      We also know that 5 police officers were murdered by a sniper in Dallas during a peaceful protest. There are facts to be had, but your statistic about shootings of white and Hispanic people are not facts. They are inaccurate, here are the statistics currently.

      Using inaccurate statistics to make claims that attempt to minimize the importance of the BLM movement only breeds divisiveness.

      Grace

  • “I cannot talk about ‘lifestyle’ here today when the first part of that word is being ripped away from black people on a daily basis.”

    Thank you so much, Grace. Your voice is strong and it carries far. Thank you for using it for such important matters as these instead of falling silent.

  • Thank you so much for this. As a black blogger, I’m honestly side eyeing the fuck out of anyone who has jack shit to say about this. How are some people really more concerned about their “brand” than their own people being murdered by the police. Unbelievable. Honestly, I haven’t heard of your blog before but you’ve gained a new supporter.

  • Thanks for your sentiments and encouragement for others to engage in using their creative thoughts and actions to bring about unity and change.

    Pat M

  • Yes, Grace. Black lives matter, white lives matter, all lives matter and finally, police lives matter. I post this after the horrific shooting of 12 police officers in Dallas. They were also, sons, husbands, fathers, brothers. Who will speak out for them? Will you? LKS

    • Lin

      Did you read the post above this? I just discussed the murders in Dallas.

      The reality is the system has shown that it values some lives (white lives) above other lives (black lives). Until that system is corrected and black people are not targeted and killed at greater %s by police enforcement, ALM is a hollow cry.

      Grace

  • Thank you! I happen to be white. But my friends’ list looks like a United Nations roll call. I don’t care what race your are, every life is equal. And as a society, when we discriminate and hold hostage any group of people, we all lose. I do see one point being absent from all the discussions. Yes, there are bad cops out there. We have to do something about that. But when you resist arrest, you give them the excuse to shoot. Not warranted. But they use that against you. And a dead person can’t testify against them. What ever you do, should you find yourself in a place where the police want to question you, do what they say. Hopefully there will be someone nearby videoing it. But please don’t give them an excuse to get away with murder. Because that’s what both of these cases are. Pure and simple murder. And its time it stopped! My prayers go out to these men’s families and friends. I can’t imagine what its like to be in their shoes right now. But its time we all realize we need each other. And its time now for the white community to step up and join in the protests. We can’t bring about change until we all get behind this. Its way past time.

    • Kim

      There is no excuse to get away with murder, period. And none of the people who have died in the past 48 hours have given anyone a reason to kill them.

      To suggest that merely following police orders will solve the problem is woefully unrealistic. Black citizens are following police orders (as in the case of Philandro Castile, who was asked to retrieve his ID) and are STILL being killed for following orders and just “doing what they say.”

      Telling anyone, especially black people, who represent a greater % of people being targeted and killed by police, that benign everyday actions (which rarely result in death for white people) are the reason for their death, is like telling women to change the way they dress so they don’t get raped. The responsibility in these situations lies with the people holding the weapons, literally and metaphorically.

      Grace

  • Yes, black lives matter; all lives matter. Even those police officers in Dallas last night. They were mowed down by black people. I am certainly not a racist and I wish that all people could just get along. I’m not making excuses for the police, but look at what happened in Baltimore and Ferguson. My daughter is a cop and I worry for her just like any other mothers worry, whether black or white. Dallas has a lot of black cops as well as other cities, two mentioned above. What about our military guy who have given their lives for us, as well as the police protecting us. Not all black or white people are bad, just like all police aren’t bad.

    • Sandi

      No one is saying that all black people or all white people are bad. They’re saying all black lives matter because the system is proving time and time again to not value black lives. They are not respected, not defended in court and they are more and more often the primary target of over-zealous and racist law enforcement officers.

      Please read the top site on the post today. We share in the grief and mourning over the loss of five of Dallas’ police officers. I can only imagine how frightening it is to have your daughter go to work every day at a job where her life is at risk. But I also know that black people feel the same fear just sending their children to school or waiting for their spouses to come home from work. So yes, in theory, all lives matter, but in practice, some are being valued more than others. That said, we can of course mourn and remember and honor all of the innocent victims of the past 48 hours.

      Please note, your choice of phrasing when saying “mowed down by black people” feels incendiary. Five Dallas police officers were brutally murdered by (although we are still waiting to learn who the additional snipers were) someone who appears to be a military veteran, a young black man, who was in need of mental help. To simplify him and his identity as “black people mowed them down” seems as unfair and inaccurate. He no more represents all black people than these Dallas police officers represent all law enforcement. I think the one thing we can agree on here is that not all people are good or bad and no one should be reduced to the color of their skin.

      Grace

      • I want to thank you for this post and for your wonderful reply concerning the “All lives matter” controversy. It helps to no end to try and communicate these difficult problems rationally and without malice and you did that so well. To speak out and speak for so many is admirable and I say Bravo!!

        • Popping into the conversation to echo Nancy. I can only hope that the posters who continue to ignorantly cluck that ‘All Lives Matter’ someday learn the difference between exclusionary rhetoric and focused rhetoric. Until they stop lazily projecting the word ‘only’ before ‘Black Lives Matter’, there’s little hope that this cultural violence will end.

  • Thank you! I am a black women who reads this lifestyle blog every day. Everything posted here is to better our homes that we are to feel safe and comfortable in. I thank you for taking a stand with me on this very uncomfortable issue, in this forum. Your words fall on ears that have wanted to hear this from so many. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. #BlackLivesMatter

  • Thank you Grace for your Black Lives Matter post. From the bottom of my heart. Your call to action is necessary. I’d like to add this. It’s crucial for all of us to know that it’s in our (human) nature to consciously and unconsciously look for comfort. A big comfort zone is being around people who look like ourselves. We have to fully understand how much that part of our nature creates and strengthens the barriers that feed exclusion and racism, and push against it in our daily interactions. I believe the huge majority fervently desire to participate in a racially diverse & harmonious community, country, and world. But so many of us – of all races – just don’t have the stomach to fight, fight, fight. Everyday living is stressful and hard and we covet any snatch of comfort & happiness we can get for ourselves & our families. Making someone aware of an unintentionally ignorant or racist comment is uncomfortable. So we don’t say anything. Choosing to hire that qualified but “Different” person might not be comfortable for everyone in office. So we bypass them & hire the same. Interacting with a “Other” friend when there are situations that you see differently is uncomfortable. So, much as you like them, you don’t socialize with them outside of work. Not everybody has to fight the Big Fight. Recognizing and pushing through the small discomforts until the “otherness” is not a barrier, will do just as much. Maybe more.

  • Grace,

    I have followed your blog for quite some time. I work for a company who both our main company and sister company’s use your blog as a very resourceful tool for inspiration for us. I supported you and loved what you do before this post and love and support all that you are and what you do so much more.

    As a Black woman I appreciate you being vocal about the killings and war on Black people in this country. We’ve watched so many people lose large followings and be completely disrespected for their choice to support the Black and Brown communities during these tragic times. I applaud you for being brave and unafraid. I know a lot of people may look at you different or choose to no longer support you, but you’ve proven that it all doesn’t matter. Thank you for your voice.

  • I want to thank you Grace, for your courage and conviction in your initial post and for your continued professionalism and CLARITY as you respond to comments today. I’m so impressed with how you use your ‘voice’, and I deeply appreciate all that you have shared with your readers. I think it’s after 5:00 now on the East coast, it’s time for you to grab a glass of wine and unwind.

  • If all lives mattered, there would be no need for this post. If all lives mattered there would be no need to explain that the #Blacklivesmatter movement does NOT mean other lives don’t matter. If all lives mattered people would understand that pride in one’s race does NOT mean that one is racist. Too many lives OF ALL COLORS were lost this week and if it makes some uncomfortable to talk about it, imagine just for a minute how hard it is to navigate in a racist society. I spend many hours on the road for my job and on the few occasions I’ve been stopped by police, I’m filled with dread EVERYTIME. Thank you Grace for the courage to open up this dialogue In spite of the opposition you may receive. I truly commend you.

  • Grace,
    Thank you so much for your post!!
    Because YES Black Lives Matter!! Every time I see another death I am so ashamed! Ashamed that as a white in this country I am just in these last few years finding out how bad this is! Ashamed that we have not already known!! How can this be??? Why are we just now finding out how many black lives have been lost at the hands of the police?! Every time I hear of a ANOTHER Black life lost I think things will change, but the numbers of innocent deaths keeps on and on and on!
    Yes I am sad for the police, but my outrage at the death of innocent black lives has to be spoken because we must speak about this loss since the press does not!! We must speak out against it to let those who are supposed to protect us ALL that we are all watching now, and we EXPECT it to CHANGE!

  • This is my first time reading you. I am white, my family is bi-racial. I agree with most everything you said. I certainly understand the need for black lives matter, however I will never support the actual organization. I have seen too many member supporting violence against police, heard others deny it and shown the proof.

    • Wendy

      The proof that BLM is a primarily peaceful organization is everywhere. Please see the protests of this week. The murders in Dallas were not done by a BLM member, they were done by a mentally unstable former military veteran who was known to be a part of other more extreme groups.

      BLM peacefully organizes on a weekly basis in America and they, the protestors, are more likely to be attacked than the police. If you did not read or watch what happened after Ferguson, you’re missing the core of what that group is about: peaceful but meaningful demands for equality and freedom from racial injustice. And during and after those protests they were routinely attacked, tea-gassed and arrested by police.

      I feel strongly that most people who feel BLM is “violent against police” rarely fail to call Christians “violent against police” despite the fact that police offers are killed by religious gun-rights advocates as well.

      Here’s further reading if you’d like to actually understand BLM and their motives and what they’ve actually done, versus the misconceptions that have been spread: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-lives-matter-violence-cops_us_55e77d82e4b0c818f61a9de8

      Grace

  • Thank you Grace. I am an afro-german woman, living in Europe and and I`ve been following your blog for some years.The news from your part of the world fill me with bewilderment and sadness but also a small feeling of hope. People connecting and white allies supporting is empowering to see.

    • P

      Please make sure you’re aware of the context of those statistics you’re stating.

      I’ve sited that WP stat as well- it’s accurate, but you’re failing to put it in context. White people make up the majority of the US population, but black people make up 13%. Or, as the NY Times explained it: “31.8 percent of people shot by the police in 2015 were African-American, a proportion more than two and a half times the 13.2 percent of African-Americans in the general population.”

      Black people are more likely to be arrested and killed than any other minority racial group. To put that further into context of why and how that’s happening, this report from the Upshot at the NY Times is an important read: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/18/upshot/police-killings-of-blacks-what-the-data-says.html?_r=0

      Grace

  • BLM was based on a lie. I consider them a terrorist group, especially now that they have assassinated 6 police officers in Dallas. Stop perpetuating the lie and do your homework before you post these lies. As the wife of a retired NYPD Homicide detective who served 31 years PROTECTING THE PEOPLE OF NYC, PARTICULARLY HARLEM AND THE SOUTH BRONX, I am offended by your article. Police have saved more lives than can be counted. This president has done more damage to this country by his radical views, especially towards race since the day he took office. You are so blind you cannot see the forest from the trees. Open your eyes and stop perpetuating lies. The truth has a way of coming to the forefront but much damage has been done.

    • Vin

      I’m leaving your post to stand so people can understand the sort of misinformation that is out there right now, and how that misinformation does nothing to protect or unite anyone: law enforcement, black people, or Americans as a whole.

      BLM is not a terrorist group, nor are they a lie. To learn about what they actually are, please educate yourself with these two articles:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-lives-matter-violence-cops_us_55e77d82e4b0c818f61a9de8
      http://blacklivesmatter.com/11-major-misconceptions-about-the-black-lives-matter-movement/

      I respect and thank your spouse for their work in the NYPD. Working in law enforcement is a terrifyingly difficult job that comes with a lot of responsibilities and I agree that a lot of officers uphold those responsibilities with dignity and respect. Sadly that is not the case for all officers, as we have seen and as the BLM matter movement is attempting to bring to light. We’ve also seen that the justice system surrounding law enforcement officers does not hold officers accountable for murdering black citizens. No one is pointing a finger only at law enforcement officials (again, read the article above about what BLM actually believes and stands for), but rather a system that allows racism and brutality to exist and not have repercussions for those (civilian and law enforcement) who violate basic civilian rights.

      To blame President Obama for an entire country’s problem of racism and corrupt justice systems is scape-goating at best. I understand that it feels easier and less painful to look at one person or one group as the cause or blame for all of these murders, but that is impossible, inaccurate and fails to take into account all of the issues in play here: systematic racism, corruption of power, and- most recently-, mental health.

      Grace

  • Thank you for writing this, Grace, and for doing so here. So few non-political publications are prepared to get involved in anything that might be the least bit controversial, allowing people who wish to continue living in privileged bubbles to do so, while, in this case, the system which benefits them kills others. Thank you also for showing grace and patience in responding to the comments; my blood pressure rose just reading them. You were aptly named.

    Black Lives Matter.

  • This article, as well as your responses to comments, was one of the best and most thoughtfully and articulately laid out that I have read on this topic. I go back and forth between reading/watching the news and my design junkie hobby, each for relief of the other. To come across this, which marries the two so courageously and actually connects them in the deep idea of “home”, has moved me and inspired me to wonder what more I can do from my own position. Thank you! You have gained a new follower today.

  • Thank you Grace for your thoughtful post, and thoughtful responses. It’s been a heartbreaking week for too many. I love your blog, and am happy to see so many people I admire take on the difficult task of discussing race relations in America today. I’m sorry that so many seem to think it’s an “us against them” issue to support Black Lives Matter, and to support police. The support should not be mutually exclusive. Supporting Black Lives does not mean wishing ill will on police. It’s about justice and peace for the black community, who have seen far too many of their own die at the hands of police. I’m a white woman, who sat with black friends this weekend listening to how scared they are just to leave the house. They never know when they will be targeted for their skin color alone. I can’t understand, but I can empathize, and I too can say to everyone, every chance I can, Black Lives Matter.

  • Thank you for this sober,non biased approach on this sensitive matter.
    When the society decides to mute over social evils ,we need courageous people who will speak out..

  • Hi Grace,

    I just want to join the many people that are praising you for posting such an honest, vulnerable and very important piece on your blog. And I am even more impressed with the gentle and educated way you have interacted here in the comment section.

    Thank you.

  • Grace,

    I want to add my voice to the chorus of people commending you for this post. It is insane to me that it is controversial to state that the lives of entire race of people matter, but I know that as a lifestyle blogger, you risked losing readership to stand up for what is right.

    So many people want to maintain “safe spaces” on social media, among family, or in their circle of friends where no one ever discusses anything “controversial,” or political, but that is part of the problem. Those of us with privilege are unwilling to endure the moderate discomfort of talking about race in order to address the extensive discomfort the marginalized experience every day of their lives.

    It should not be taboo or risky to discuss the fact that for too long, black lives have not mattered and that we all need to come together to acknowledge and remedy it. Everyone with a voice and a public platform should be speaking out.

    As always – you rock.

    July

  • Thank you for speaking up and taking a stand. And for backing up your statements with facts and links and information.

    It’s far too easy to look the other way or to remain silent, especially if we are part of the majority who do not live the reality that many experience every day. And I include myself in that “remaining silent” because for all of the times that I have spoken up? There are times when I’ve chosen to remain silent or change the topic out of fear of offending/losing friends and family.

    • Sandra

      I identify with that feeling so strongly. I have, for far too long, not pushed hard enough when members of my extended family have said racist things. I always do the “Hey, you shouldn’t say that…” thing and then they roll their eyes and keep talking and I let it go because I don’t want to “make a scene”. But I’ve realized that moments of discomfort are important and can lead to real change and honestly, if the hardest moment I have to get through is an awkward or tense discussion with my family, I am beyond lucky. So many people have to do with that, face-to-face, on a daily basis because of who they are or what color their skin is and speaking up with my family is small potatoes compared to having to speak up for yourself every day…

      Grace

  • I’m sorry, but your entire outlook on these incidents is flawed. Just as the President condemned the police without ALL the facts, you are guilty of the same. Perhaps you forget about the violence and lawlessness of Ferguson, But BLM is also about bad behavior using racism as THE excuse. If whites formed a group “White Lives Matter”, how would that be perceived? Yup–RACIST! We ALL need to stop, think, find out the facts BEFORE we react. These incidents , on both sides, only weakens and hurts all of us.

  • Grace, thank you so much for posting this on Design*Sponge! As a woman of color, it is very difficult to navigate what is going on in this country regarding what the Black community and many other communities of color are going through when it comes to the police. I grew up in LA and at a very young age had to deal not only police brutality that we saw on a daily basis, but also the uprisings that occurred after Rodney King police officer acquittals. I grew up with a distrust of the police, those who are supposed to serve and protect us. As an adult, I see that not every cop is bad or a racist but we all definitely need to recognize that the system is letting down certain communities and that their training is insufficient. I come home and read Design* Sponge so I can tune out the world. It made me so happy that someone said something about BLM in a website that doesn’t seem related at all to what is happening in our country but your acknowledgement on how it is a privilege to get home is an important one. For years, I have used websites like this to build a home for myself, a place where I can create a sanctuary from what is happening. I truly appreciate you for checking our privilege and taking on the burden to explain the BLM to those who do not understand the complexity of the issue.

  • Grace, I have to commend you on the graceful, tactful and practical way you addressed dissenting commenters. I watch the issues around BLM and Trump rhetoric from afar in Australia. It is saddening and concerning especially because we have similar rhetoric here regarding immigration and rights and recognition of our indigenous people. It is upsetting but you have shown the best way to tackle this is with information and not to pander to the emotional reaction. Sadly through, none of it may penetrate if people are not willing to be open to understanding what it’s like to stand on the other side in the other shoes.

    • Vee

      Thank you. As I return from replacing our 7th BLM sign in our front yard (it’s been stolen or driven over 6x now), I find myself again trying to find compassion and understanding for people who feel differently than I do. I hope if nothing else, once this election is over, we can try harder to hear and understand each other.

      Grace

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