Hello Rebels, and welcome back to my life.
Vidcon was a fountain of ideas for videos for me and I’m going to get to them soon, but I need to take at least today and tomorrow talking about something a little more serious.
You might have heard that on the 1st of July, a lion named Cecil was shot and killed in Zimbabwe.
The hunter was an American dentist who first wounded Cecil with a bow and arrow, then tracked him for 40 hours and killed him with a gun.
This sparked online outrage, including anger from many celebrities who spoke out about the crime. Understand, this wasn’t just a normal lion. Cecil was a member of an endangered species and was living on a wildlife sanctuary. He was lured away from the sanctuary so he could be killed.
Now. Here’s the thing.
I fully understand the anger about this. I really do get it. I think hunting for sport, especially animals like lions and elephants who we’ve almost wiped out already, is vile and disgusting.
Learning to hunt for survival can be a useful skill for some people in some parts of the world and I don’t condemn that, but that’s clearly not what happened here. This is some rich American douchebag who paid more than twice my yearly income for the privilege of killing a majestic creature.
I want all of us to take a look at why we Americans feel so free to speak out against this and express our rage online while we are willing to overlook what’s going on in our own country, where police have killed more than three people a day every single day this year.
And race plays an undeniable factor in these killings. Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people—AT LEAST.
We’re not 100% sure on this because the police still aren’t keeping track of the people they kill despite a direct order from the Justice Department to do so. But all data gathered has pointed to African-americans being AT LEAST three times more likely to be victimized by police.
I’m not saying you can’t be mad about both. You can care about both issues, and you can care about more than the other.
You can even care exclusively about animal rights and NOT care about civil rights in America, and while I think that’s a really warped and extremely privileged viewpoint, I guess you’re allowed to have it.
But if you do care about both these issues, but you’re afraid to speak out against police violence yet feel totally free to rant about killing Cecil the Lion, I want you to examine why that is.
You might be hesitant to speak about police killings because you think, “Well, who really knows what happened in these situations? In many cases we don’t know what went on. We only have secondhand reports.”
First of all, there’s tons of video evidence of police killings that yet somehow still doesn’t result in any arrests or indictments because of the prejudices in our criminal justice system.
And second of all, I want to point out the fact that you know LESS about what happened to Cecil the Lion than you know about what happened to Eric Garner, to Tamir Rice, to Sandra Bland, and to Michael Brown.
The only people who can tell us what happened on that hunt are the people who KILLED Cecil and you’re STILL more willing to jump in on that topic than you are to speak about a situation with pages and pages and hours and hours of video evidence showing us that there’s a problem.
I’m not saying you need to blame yourself for that. I’m saying you need to take a real close look at the factors in our society that MAKE you so hesitant to speak up about injustice, realize that those reasons are manufactured to keep you silent, and speak up about it anyway.
Also, please take the time to seek out and LISTEN to other viewpoints than your own on this topic. And other viewpoints than mine, for the love of God, because I am not an expert.
In the description I have listed several Twitter accounts from members of the #BlackLivesMatter movement who I think you should be paying attention to. Please follow them and actually LISTEN to what they have to say. Sometimes as a privileged person, listening is the most valuable thing you can do.
Thank you for watching, Rebels, and an extra special shoutout to my supporters on Patreon who make my YouTube channel possible.
I know this isn’t one of my normal vlogs, but I’m sure you understand why I felt I had to make this video. And I will see you tomorrow. Byyye.