“I can’t say the word white.
I can’t see it in a black person’s eyes.
But I can see that it’s the same.
I know that the same thing is happening to other races.”
That’s a sentiment shared by a handful of people in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
A white, middle-aged woman named Livia, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid her parents’ disapproval, said she’s seen white privilege become a constant in her neighborhood.
She says her mother is white, her father is white and her brother is white.
They’re the only white people she knows.
Livia said her grandparents were both black.
“They would tell me they never heard any good news.
That they would never see me, because they never knew me,” she said.
“It just goes on and on.
I was told that the only thing that I had to fear was being white.”
For Livia and other people of color, the idea of whiteness has become a badge of honor.
“I think it’s become a cultural marker, something that’s seen as a positive thing,” Livia told The Verge.
Livia and others like her have been speaking out against the #BlackLivesMatter movement. “
The whole thing has become so normalized.”
Livia and others like her have been speaking out against the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
In late January, a group of Black Lives Matter activists were arrested after blocking the intersection of North Milwaukee and South Milwaukee.
They were charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.
The group was protesting the shooting of a 17-year-old black boy by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in August, a case that sparked a national conversation about race and police brutality.
The protests were also met with harsh police response.
On Tuesday, the day after the arrests, a Black Lives Matters protest was held in the same neighborhood.
Loved ones were present, and Livia was among the hundreds who stood outside the intersection.
But while the #BLM movement has gained support from activists in Milwaukee and beyond, it is largely a white-centric movement.
The hashtag has been used to promote a narrative of Black people being unfairly targeted by the police, while ignoring the fact that white people commit more violent crimes.
The Milwaukee protesters had different goals.
“We want to make sure that Black Lives don’t suffer, that we don’t see Black lives as a disposable asset,” Liza said.
She said she understands why some Black people might be upset with the hashtag.
“We are all suffering, and we’re all trying to make this world better for everyone, for us and for our children,” she added.
Lia and her friends plan to attend the Black Lives Day march in Milwaukee this weekend.
“If you’re like me and you’re from this area, if you see this coming, then you’ll know that it doesn’t belong to you,” Lalia said.