How Do Black Lives Matter?

I can soon learn to do it,
If you let me see it done,
I can watch your hands in motion,
But your tongue too fast may run,
And the lectures you deliver,
May be very fine and true,
but I’d rather get my lesson,
By observing what you do,
For I may misunderstand you,
and the fine advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding,
How you act and how you live.

Live Your Creed
Langston Hughes

Today I am hosting a garage sale. This is actually a forced garage sale. No payments by cash or credit card will be accepted. Only payments accepted will be IOU payments. The terms of accepting IOUs is different than most garage sales, however you will see the importance of these valuable IOU transactions. IOU = Action.

All Black Lives Matter paraphernalia must go. We are requiring Black Lives Matter signs, t-shirts, buttons, masks, hats, chapstick, corporate displays, on field/court logos, license plate holders. blankets, water bottles, swim caps and Facebook/IG frames to be sold immediately! If there are paraphernalia that has not been listed above it still must be sold. This includes items labeled BLM, Say Their Names, No Justice No Peace, Economic Justice, Prosecute the Police, etc. EVERYTHING MUST GO!

Some of you have asked why the forced sale of all of these classic items? Well, I am glad you asked. Let me explain. It appears that Black Lives Matter items have lost their meaning. The market has been saturated and it seems everyone has something that says Black Lives Matter or BLM. While most products would be excited for a saturated market, BLM and Black Lives Matter products diminish in value as they become apparel adjectives and not apparel verbs. As they have become more viewable and less actionable, the value of these once valued products after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor is now gone. EVERYTHING MUST GO!

Although EVERYTHING MUST GO, the Black Lives Matter/BLM buy back program is in effective during the mandatory sale. The sale of BLM and Black Lives Matter items is required, however if you would like to keep your paraphernalia during this time you can request a buy back certificate. The buy back certificate is non-negotiable and non-transferable. The buy back certificate must be redeemed in person and the certificate requires ACTION. The certificate redeemer must answer the question, How do Black Lives Matter? The answer to the question must be accompanied by personal words and personal ACTIONS! The words to the answer the question are less important than the actions. Let me explain.

The Larsens

The Larsen family has been summoned to bring their Black Lives Matter and BLM materials to the auction for sale. They have lawn signs bumper stickers, masks, t-shirts and other items. Mr. Larsen is a senior VP at a large international company. Mrs. Larsen is a board member of a well funded private school where their children attend high school. In order to keep their cherished BLM/Black Lives Matters items, the Larsen family have asked to use their buy back certificate and answer the question How do Black Lives Matter? Some of the questions posed to the family to use their certificate include the following:

Mr. Larsen

How do Black Lives Matter when your company has no Black people on their board of directors or on their CEO’s senior leadership team and you have not spoken up about this issue to your company?

How do Black Lives Matter when your company has never recruited students from an HBCU (Historically Black College and University) and has never had a Black intern in the last 25 years and you have not spoken up about it?

How do Black Lives Matter when you have no Black neighbors within a 10 mile radius of your home and no Black friends? Have you have done anything to change this?

Ms. Larsen

How do Black Lives Matter when for the last 10 years your volunteer political and non-profit fundraisers have never included a Black person in the audience and none have been invited except for the former President of the United States?

How do Black Lives Matter when some of your best friends have called the police on Black people driving through your neighborhood, using your public parks and shopping in your local stores and you have never had a conversation with them about their racist behavior and they are still your friends?

How do Black Lives Matter when you and your family have never spent any money with a Black owned business or hired a Black owned contractor for any work or services for any of the numerous organizations where you serve on the board of directors?

The Larsen Kids

How Do Black Lives Matter when the only time you see Black kids is when you go and march at a protest?

How do Black Lives Matter when your friends have consistently made derogatory comments about Black and African kids and you have never said anything to them and yet they remain your friends?

How do Black Lives Matter when you have never asked your Black friends how they want to matter, how they want you to show up for them and what you can do to end systemic racism, including reading and learning on your own.

Are You a Member of the Larsen Family?

What are you going to do? The Larsen family could be your family. The Larsen family could be your philanthropic organization. The Larsen family could be your corporation. The Larsen family could be your church. The Larsen Family could be your anti-racist book club. The Larsen family could be your CEO statement about George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The Larsen Family could be your multi-billion dollar sports organization with Black Lives Matter on the court or end zone, but with no, or very few, Black people in ownership, executive leadership, head coach positions or general manager positions. The Larsen family could be you. The Larsen family is you.

Are you merely wearing BLM and Black Lives Matter paraphernalia or are you demonstrating through YOUR ACTIONS, HOW BLACK LIVES MATTER. Are you merely calling yourself an ally or social justice supporter, or can someone look at your actions and see that you really mean it. Where are your receipts that show the results of your actions?

Are you abandoning anti-racist, racial trauma, inclusion and diversity training because of a Presidential executive order that calls such trainings unpatriotic and anti-American, or are you standing up for equity, inclusion and justice and doing these trainings anyway because they are needed to address and dismantle systemic racism.

Are you admiring the problem of small Black businesses going out of business because of Covid19 and damages from civil unrest, or are you intentionally investing in those businesses.

Are you watching CEOs make statements about not being able to find Black talent to hire and therefore implying that causes the lack of diversity in hiring at his organization? Are you letting these type of statements go, or are you making a statement against those ill informed comments and also showing through your actions that Black talent is not only available, but being hired by and working at your company.

Are you living your best Black Lives Matter Life? Black Lives Matter/BLM is an Action Apparel Line. If you wear it, you will be asked How Black Lives Matter and what are you doing to make sure they matter. You may be asked for your receipts to show not only your purchase of paraphernalia, but also receipts that show your actions to end white supremacy, invest in anti-racism actions, invest in hiring and retaining Black people and investing in Black owned businesses. If no receipts are available for your anti racist actions, you may want to ask yourself, what does Black Lives Matter mean to you and how do others know it and see it in your actions.

JB

#FadetoBlack

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