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Nicole Kaufmann T’15

An essay by the Master of Divinity alumna.

Black Lives Matter = Black Lives Should Matter (but the unjust systems upon which our country was founded, and through which oppression is perpetuated, make it so they matter less than their White counterparts).

I hate math—I was never good at it. I am dyslexic, which means the numbers and formulas always get jumbled in my head.

I hate math—but even I can see that White and Black are not equal. When life is not valued or afforded to Black people, all are not equal. If a specific race of people are oppressed and remain that way through the energies of legislators, the justice system, education system, economic, healthcare and housing structures, all are not equal. When a person of color is arrested, detained, or killed for a crime that only merits a warning or community service for their White counterpart, all are not equal. When fingers are pointed at the Black community for violence among themselves, while taking the attention off of police brutality and the systemic racism that causes such heightened rates of violence to begin with, all are not equal. When communities of color are deliberately targeted for toxic waste facilities, and given little to no opportunity to remove themselves from those situations, all are not equal. When jails are overcrowded and underfunded with a disproportionate amount of Black individuals, all are not equal. When a White child is raised to respect the police while a Black child is raised to fear them, all are not equal. All lives are not equal.

I hate math—but when the problems are so clearly laid out, even I can see that things don’t add up. Black and White are not equal. My soul, our communities, and this country will remain in unrest until the day that they are—until the day that Black Lives Truly Matter.

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