“Educate yourself.” That’s one of the many ways you can help play your part during the social unrest currently taking place. So this is dedicated to all the folks plastering “All Lives Matter,” on social media, and defending the term in person. I have seen this hashtag and phrase on my feed posted by people I know personally. Some of these people, I know they truly mean no harm, and others, I know what side their beliefs are shifting towards and cover it behind this phrase. The fact of the matter is, when your response to black people losing their lives to the very people sworn in to protect society is to say “All Lives Matter,” it’s a slap in the face. It’s insulting, frustrating, and triggering.
Why? Because obviously we all know in the greater scheme of things that “All Lives Matter.” But obviously, the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” is very specific to bring awareness to an issue that has been going on for decades. “All Lives Matter,” as an independent statement is something mostly everyone can agree on. But the second the term is used in conjunction to “Black Lives Matter,” it’s offensive.
Clearly the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is specific. Its point is to make the public see that Black lives are in danger in this society. Some police officers who are sworn in to protect and serve the people are using deadly force and hiding behind their uniforms to kill Black and Brown people. This is the community’s way to say “we are here, we know you hear us, we know you see this injustice, I matter, my life matters, my life shouldn’t be any less important than yours because the color of my skin.”
I have seen so many memes and cartoons explaining why many are frustrated when they see and read “All Lives Matter.” The meme I saw used the concept of a burning house. If someone’s house is burning down, you’re going to call 9-1-1 and the fire department is going to come to your aid to put out that fire. They’re not going to spray down every single house because “everyone’s house matters.” They’re going to help the house that is in danger and on fucking fire. Nobody is going to be upset at the firefighters for not hosing down their houses, because obviously their house isn’t on fire. That’s the same concept for “All Lives Matter.” Yes, all lives matter, but Black lives are the ones in danger right now. It’s not okay for people to try to make it about everybody and anybody. Just because you aren’t included, doesn’t mean you make the cause about yourself and everybody else. What is this, oppression FOMO? This takes away from the main point.
That’s like if a group of people were to come to my grandmother’s funeral and demand that we all acknowledge every single one of their relatives and loved ones that passed on, and my family comforts them for their loss. Even though the funeral is for a specific person whose casket is right infront of your eyes. It would be equivalent to going to a fundraiser to raise money to find a cure for a specific disease / cancer, and then having people come in protesting and chanting that other cancers and diseases are worse and need your attention more.
It’s frustrating to see people cling onto “All Lives Matter” because it takes away from the main point. It derails the focus, whether that be intentional or not, and it makes a group of people feel ignored. It’s even more messed up because “Black Lives Matter” is the Black community’s way of feeling heard and being seen. “All Lives Matter” is basically down playing the Black community’s suffering. That’s why it’s a slap in the face. You’re going to take a phrase that they created to bring awareness, and then use that same phrase to dismiss their feelings. And what about “Black Lives Matter” bothers you? The word “black?” If you can sit here and say “All Lives Matter” but feel uncomfortable saying “Black Lives Matter,” that means black people were never included in your “all.”
And I hate a “I see no color” type of bitch. If you don’t see that the color of people’s skin dictates the opportunities they get in life, the treatment they recieve from law enforcement, and can essentially put them at a disadvantage since birth, it just means that you have the privilege to not face those realities. And it’s OKAY to realize that you are privileged in some aspects. But it’s not okay to think that your experience is a blanket experience for every single person out there, because a lot of people do not have the luxury to ignore these issues.Why can’t some people ever let the Black community have their moment? Why does another opposing hashtag have to be trending as well? Why does “Black Lives Matter” rub some people the wrong way?
Like I said before, if “Black Lives Matter” bothers you, it’s probably because Black Lives were never a part of your “All Lives Matter.” But let’s break it down. You can’t chant “All Lives Matter” but exclude certain people from that saying. You can’t say “All Lives Matter,” if the LGBTQ community, all cultures, and those that aren’t U.S. citizens don’t fall under that umbrella. If all lives matter, you can’t be biased.
I still know a lot of people using “All Lives Matter,” and they genuinely don’t see why it’s so offensive to others. We all know everyone’s life matters. No matter what race, religion, economic background, and sexuality you come from or identify as. You matter. But for some reason it’s so hard for society to see that BLACK LIVES MATTER. And they need to spell it out in plain English for some of y’all to get it. Don’t hit them with the, “why does everything have to be about race?” It has always been about race in America.
The phrase “All Lives Matter” tries to silence “Black Lives Matter.” It tries to deny a group of people’s suffering and downplay their pain. It tries to make people think that they shouldn’t single out just 1 race, because ‘everyone’ should be included. And that’s definitely not the case when Black lives are threatened everyday by the system.