Since the beginning of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, we’ve consistently heard the dismissive counter-argument #AllLivesMatter. My question is: what is the agenda?
Yes, this is a rhetorical question.
The only time I’ve seen this moronic statement used is in response to various #BlackLivesMatter posts, usually used by those inherently blind to the systemic racism that drives this country.
Those who use “All Lives Matter” this way do so in order to continue to ignore the injustices against non-whites that have consistently occurred in America since the Mayflower hit Plymouth Rock. Whether it is meant to be malicious or said with good intentions is irrelevant: to use #AllLivesMatter is to support the continuation of systemic racism and white supremacy.
I dare anyone fight me on this statement.
— Son of Baldwin (@SonofBaldwin) August 13, 2015
It’s clearer now more than ever that there is a stark difference in how whites and minorities are treated in this country. As we mourn the anniversary of Michael Brown’s murder, dozens of peaceful protestors (mostly African-American) have been assaulted and arrested in Ferguson. Meanwhile, dozens of armed white men calling themselves the Oath Keepers freely walk the same streets.
One group embodying peace, the other violence. In a colorless society, law enforcement would have done the exact opposite of what they did.
To heal the gaping wound that has infected race relations in America, white people would need to take responsibility for their role in the ongoing attacks against black and brown people.
Instead, America is blind to its own racism and in denial of its own ignorance.
It is impossible to show a blind person what you see. It’s also impossible for a deaf person to hear what you’re saying. In the United States, privileged white people consciously and subconsciously avoid accountability for their actions as a people – while attributing the faults of America to a skewed public perception of the black experience.
The main reason I call bullcrap on #AllLivesMatter is for their lack of agenda other than to ignore the cries of the oppressed. Despite their loudness when presented with injustices against black and brown bodies, they were silent when Zachary Hammond (a white teen) was fatally shot in South Carolina by a police officer whose report on the shooting differs from the autopsy.
Meanwhile, I found out about Hammond through various #BlackLivesMatter-adjacent channels.
I could understand if “All Lives Matter” was used to highlight injustices across the board and worked to bring all races together to coexist in spite of our differences. In reality, all it does is drive us further apart.
The best explanation of the moronic “All Lives Matter” propaganda I’ve seen can be found on Reddit:
Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.”
Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!
“I should get my fair share” had an implicit “too” at the end: “I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else.” But your dad’s response treated your statement as though you meant “only I should get my fair share”, which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that “everyone should get their fair share,” while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.
That’s the situation of the “black lives matter” movement.
Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase “black lives matter” also has an implicit “too” at the end: it’s saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying “all lives matter” is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It’s a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means “only black lives matter,” when that is obviously not the case.
And so saying “all lives matter” as a direct response to “black lives matter” is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.
When you think about it, the statement “All Lives Matter” is an oxymoron: as it has been used in the last year or so, it emphatically says that they don’t.
So the next time someone tries to use the excuse “All Lives Matter”, let’s all agree to give them the hardest side-eye of death in the history of the land. It’s time for this bogus movement to cease to exist.