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Updated: Jan 19, 2022

I had a conversation with a bunch of C/O's (corrections officers) the other day about what's been happening in our country lately with all the protests, and marches, and the Black Lives Matter movement, and one of them expressed to me that he felt like the BLM movement was dividing our country because he felt like it was being made out to be about race and Black verses White, and I explained to them that, these type of movements don't "divide" our country, it brings people together... There's hasn't been a successful movement or push for social justice or equality in this country WITHOUT the support of white people. Every movement or push that has ever resulted in a step further in social justice and equality for Black folks has happened, not because folks remained divided, but because people came TOGETHER. White People came together with Black people, Democrats came together with Republicans, the House came together with the Senate, the left came together with the right...the measures that were accomplished happened because people who were on opposites side were willing to come TOGETHER. These marches and demonstrations were successful in bringing about legislative change, not because the demonstrations were dividing our country, but because these demonstrations were bringing our country TOGETHER. Just take a look at what you've seen: a movement (Black Lives Matter) that was started for Black people, by Black people, was not even dominated by Black people. Our white brothers and sisters, our Hispanic brothers and sisters, our Asian brothers and sisters, and our Native brothers and sisters all came and stood along side of us and said we're going to stand WITH YOU, and join our voices together with you, and cry out together with you, not only until your grievance is heard, but until changes are made. When you take everything that's happening and throw it into a pot, what it all boils down to is, one group of people expressing their grievances to another group of people and seeking to have a discussion to see if there's someway we can meet somewhere in the middle.

So the only people that's feeling like this movement and these demonstrations are dividing our country are the ones who are not willing to come from "their side" of the issue (we're on this side, they're on that side) and meet in the middle and have a discussion. No, they don't want to give up their position, they don't want to come from their side to meet in the middle and have a discussion because these are the ones who are either, flat out racist at heart, or are blind and callous to the outcry of the people and refuse to acknowledge the need for change--because they themselves have either perpetuated or are comfortable with the way things are and have resigned themselves to the status quo that benefits them at the expense of the oppression of others. THESE are the ones who feel like the demonstrations are "dividing" our country.

Charles Champion

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