If the Black Lives Matter movement would just be convenient and not disruptive, we wouldn't be in this turmoil. I believe it was Frederick Douglass who said that "without a struggle, there can be no progress." I'm seeing so many people ask for convenience in the struggle.
Let's apply that to the history of the United States. You know, if we were nice and convenient and not disruptive.
If Black folks would have just asked not to be shipped during the Middle Passage, we could have sat down and talked through this whole slavery thing and made some different plans.
If Black lives mattered, then the War on Drugs, Redlining, and the Tulsa Riots would have been solved by a little get together sit-down meeting that was convenient for the folks putting them in jail for crimes which are, currently, taxable and profitable (ie marijuana). If only it were convenient to talk about how redlining as a practice of denying services to people of color and how awfully inconvenient it was to selectively raise prices in racist housing areas, then we wouldn't have forced people into ghettos and substandard neighborhoods.
If it weren't too disruptive, then Jim Crow and Black Codes and sundown towns wouldn't have existed because we could have just WAITED to talk about these things conveniently. When the time is right.
If only it were convenient for Black people to ask to be considered more than 3/5 a person. If it weren't too disruptive of them, maybe they would have gotten the rest of that 2/5.
If only the enslaved Africans would have asked for a meeting, nicely and with patience, with those in charge of slave patrols, then we could have figured this out.
If only the Southern Strategists were willing to sit down and listen to patient Black folks about how they would gain support for the party because Black lives mattered, we wouldn't have had all these racial tensions and our history of segregation would be obsolete.
If it weren't so damn disruptive of Black folks to seek a meeting with the governor of Alabama as he shouted "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" as he fought back against the Civil Rights Movement, and if Black people had just asked, nicely, to be heard about unequal schools, then maybe we wouldn't be here.
If Black people would just ask nicely, then we could stop the gentrification of neighborhoods that breaks up families. You love your family, so why didn't you just ask, conveniently, to stay together?
Power doesn't work like that. Disrupting power, after centuries of all kinds of unfair practices and policies in a nation built on apartheid, is exactly how this works.
I don't have to ask nicely for anything that is guaranteed to other Americans.
Stop expecting Black people to do that.
This post originally appeared on the blog, Mocha Momma.