Black Lives Matter to Me, and the Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy

Black Lives Matter to Me, and the Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy

I came across a thoughtful and well written editorial about the issue of trying to redirect the conversation about Black Lives Matter vs All lives Matter discussion. The author does a great job of making some distinctions that I think we would be well served to bear in mind.

When a police officer gets killed in the line of duty, although tragic, it is not an injustice. It is not and should never be that being murdered as a black person during a routine traffic stop is just a tragedy.

A police officer does his or her job knowing there is danger, and they take on this profession knowing that they may die. This is not the same as a civilian who hasn’t chosen to face danger to protect society. This civilian should not have to worry about death as a daily reality – while an officer very well may due do the choice of occupation. These are not comparable deaths.

True empathy is the ability to feel the pain of another as if it were your own. It is not using your own pain and suffering to understand someone else’s.

I think this understanding will allow us to separate these issues, and fight the systemic issues on the one hand and support the law abiding and law upholding officer on the other.

http://prayingfortime.tumblr.com/post/147597428694/black-lives-matter-to-me

 

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