Why ‘All Lives Matter’ Is Insulting

“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.

Shelter in Place Diaries – Serge : Positive High System

California is just a little over 4 weeks into Shelter in Place. Originally, the plan was to shutdown for 3 weeks and hopefully arrive back to work with our usual routines at the end of March / early April. As the days went on, America soon realized that things were definitely not going to be back to normal in 3 weeks time. Even after things open up again, we as a society will slowly ease back into life before COVID-19, but with plenty of restrictions. Its safe to say that COVID-19 will have permanent effects to how we maneuver on a daily basis.

The 3 week mandatory shutdown was tough on business owners, but especially small business owners. It was hard enough to close for 3 weeks, but the extended Shelter in Place Order is forcing a lot of business owners to change up how they do business. This is especially true for Serge and his fitness business.

Serge is the creator and owner of “Positive High System.” He’s a Fitness Coach, eager to help those who want to improve their way of life through food and movement. He believes his Positive High program could benefit anyone who wants more knowledge and guidance in the fitness world. Before COVID-19, Serge was doing in-person training / group training. That, of course, is not possible anymore with the social distancing and Shelter in Place Orders. His clientele dropped by over 50% since COVID-19. As a small business owner, Serge knew that he would have to switch it up if he wants Positive High System to ride this pandemic wave and make it out in the end.

It is understandable that many business owners are frazzled and anxious about their business and their means of making a living. The unknown is what gets the best of people. Surprisingly, Serge, with his upbeat yet chill attitude, has decided to look at the bright side of this pandemic. It was already in his plans to open up the virtual / online component of training for Positive High. Online sessions were going to be Serge’s next business move later on in the year. Even though the timing is different, Serge took this as a message from the universe to act on the idea now. He has no choice but to. Serge has converted all of his in-person training sessions to live personal training classes on Zoom.

“Life is good,” he said on his vlog as he ended a workday early.

Serge is looking on the bright side of this Shelter in Place Order. He loves the fact that he gets to spend more time with his girlfriend and son. He shares that before COVID-19, he would get home around 8 or 9 PM. But now, he ends his day around 7-7:30 PM, and gets to take breaks during the day to do activities with his son, Elijah. Serge is a very active father, and the Shelter in Place is bringing him and his family closer. He’s finding time to reconnect with family through gaming apps, still running his business, spending more time with family, and doing more hobbies and activities with no time crunch.

As if he wasn’t already making the most of his time, Serge puts his phone on “airplane mode” by 7:30 PM to be more present with his family. Instead of looking at what could go wrong, Serge is deciding to take the less traveled route – taking it day by day, adjusting if need be, and not worrying about the unknown.

Serge launched his new Positive High System app that helps it’s users log their food and beverage intake, exercise, goals, accomplishments, etc. What is unique about this app is Serge is just a message away if you need encouragement or help. There is also a video section of workouts you could do at home. Serge stresses that the point of logging food is not be obsessive, to calorie count, or make drastic changes – but to be aware of what you’re doing – eating wise and exercise wise. By being aware, you’re in a better position to see what it is that you can tweak to benefit your health if that is your goal. Saying Serge has gracefully transitioned during this pandemic is an understatement!

Check out “Shelter in Place Diaries – Serge : Positive High System” by clicking:

Shelter in Place Diaries – $wift JiGGy

March was just days away from coming to an end, and all of America was stuck wondering if the Shelter in Place Order was going to be lifted on April 7th. We were at the cusp of March and April and were anxious to know the verdict. Would we go back to our regular schedules soon?

No. The Shelter in Place Order was extended until the first Monday of May. May 4, 2020 is the new date to start countdowning to. Another month indoors. However, not everyone sees this as a bad thing. In fact, many have found themselves practicing self care by getting back into hobbies, reconnecting with friends and family, sleeping at a reasonable hour, cleaning the house, and tending to things that they just never had the time to do. Indeed, the time to act is now.

Bay Area artist, $wift JiGGy finds this to be especially true. Since the Shelter in Place Order, $wift JiGGy sees staying at home to be a blessing in disguise. Before COVID-19, $wift JiGGy was always busy with his day to day routine, promoting club events, while doing his music concurrently. Now, he finds himself with a lot of free time to chill out and work on his music.

$wift JiGGy is using this time as an opportunity to work on his craft as a rapper and artist. He takes us through his process of making beats with friends, how he promotes himself on social media, and how he decides if a beat is a mood or not.

You will see on the vlogs that $wift JiGGy doesn’t mind taking “break days” where Netflix, Hulu, snacks, and his phone are the highlights of his day. I think this is important to artists during this Shelter in Place. You can be an artist and not be creating everyday. It’s okay to not be creating. $wift JiGGy doesn’t put pressure on himself to create. He let’s the inspiration come to him and doesn’t force anything.

Watch “Shelter in Place Diaries – $wift JiGGy” by clicking:

This Is America

With all that’s currently going on in America, I think back on the 2 worst Uber rides I’ve ever had.

I’m from the Bay Area. In San Francisco, you don’t need a car. Our public transportation is so convenient. (I said convenient, not clean. Mind ya business haha). With that said, my commute always starts with me at the Bart Station. Catch me riding Muni, Bart, SamTrans, all the above.

If I’m not getting somewhere with public transportation, best believe I’m taking an Uber. I recently complained to Uber about something and they replied saying, “…we appreciate your loyalty with your 980-something rides with Uber.” That was probably more than 20 Ubers ago, so I basically have taken more than 1 thousand Uber rides, just on my account alone. Never mind the fact that I could’ve probably bought my own car with that Uber money…

From those 1 thousand Uber rides, 2 stand out the most.

It was in the beginning of 2019 and I was in an Uber ride on the way to get my eyelash extensions done. I had my earphones on and was blasting my music. My Uber driver was a middle aged Latino man, he couldn’t really speak English but was very polite. I called an UberPool, which matches me with other passengers going my way. He pulled over and we picked up an elderly Caucasian lady, maybe in her 60’s, with dyed red hair. She got in the passengers seat.

I was listening to my music, so I have no idea what was being said before hand. We were in the car maybe 5-ish minutes before I finally looked up from my phone and realized that they were trying to get my attention. For how long, I have no idea. I took my earphones out.

“Do you speak English?” She asked me.

“Yeah.”

“Can you explain to him that he’s going the wrong way?! I’m going to a place called Tennessee Grill, but instead he’s taking me to Tennessee Street! He doesn’t speak English.”

The Uber driver told me in Spanish that he’s just following the directions that it told him on the app. I relayed the message that the app is telling him to go to Tennessee Street. The driver said that he would take her to her right destination anyway, and opened up another app to take her to the correct address. She was pleased. But that also meant that we’d be going the complete opposite way and that I’d probably be late for my appointment.

Her mood completely changed after he kindly offered to take her to her “correct” destination. Her bitch mode went down a few octaves, and she tried to make small talk.

“So where are you headed?” She asked me trying to change the subject.

“To an eyelash appointment, I think I might be late.” I laughed a little, even though I was rolling my eyes internally.

“Haha, first world problems right.”

“Ha…. yeah.” As I Arthur fisted.

“I just can’t believe they let people do Uber and not speak English! It should be a requirement!” She looked at the driver, “Oh, but atleast you’re working right? That’s all that matters!”

I think I gave another, “….ha….yeeeeaah…” just so she could stop talking. Even though I could feel my blood boiling.

“You know, my day has been crazy! I’ve called TWO Ubers already that tried to bring me to the wrong address!” When she said this it clicked in my head that she’s most likely the problem, entering in the wrong address / clicking the wrong address that comes up.

“Wait, can I see your phone,” I asked. She gave me her phone and what I suspected was true. She had entered her destination as “Tennessee Street.”

“On the app you are the one that clicked Tennessee Street as your destination. His GPS is just going where you requested.”

“Shit,” she said moded. “Well, what do I do now?”

The Uber driver shrugged, unsure of what his next suggestion would be.

So I cut in, “You have to cancel this Uber and call another one, he’s not going to take you to another destination.”

She started mumbling, angry at the fact that she, for the 2nd time that day, entered in the wrong address and expected to be dropped off somewhere other than the destination point she approved of. The Uber driver pulled to the corner for her to exit.

“I’m not getting off here in this shitty neighborhood,” at this point me and the driver are just like …..welllllll….. hinting that we don’t care and she should really just get out of the car.

“Fine, whatever. Annnnnnd you don’t even speak fuckin’ English!” She said as she swung the door open and motioned to take off her seat belt.

At this point I had enough of her. “Oh shut the fuck up with that shit!” I yelled.

I could tell she low key regretted the remarks, but made no apology as she slammed the door. My driver started talking to me in Spanish, and miraculously, I understood everything. Thank you Spanish 1-2 and Spanish 3-4 classes!

He explained how he wanted to help but theres really nothing he could do if the GPS is telling him to go somewhere else.

In my broken ass Spanish I told him, “Don’t listen to that stupid woman. No English, no problem. You’re good.” He thanked me and we went about our ride.

Me, being my father’s child, took out a $20 bill and insisted he take it at the end of my ride. He refused, but I kept insisting. He thanked me over and over and I repeated the same message in broken Spanish. He smiled ear to ear.

I’m sure people that don’t speak much English get treated like this more times than not, like second class, less than worthy of respect.

But the Uber ride that takes the cake as the worst Uber I’ve ever taken is this one right here….

At the end of 2018, I was leaving my boyfriend’s apartment around 1 am, the wee hours on a Sunday morning. Of course, I called an UberPool to get back home. From the outside of the car I could tell that 2 people were already seated in the back, so I opened the front door of the passengers seat and said hello to my driver.

He was an Asian old man, probably in his 60’s, maybe 65. My dad, when I later told him the story of what happened, believed that my driver was Malaysian based off of his name and profile picture, because the head shot showed the top half of his cultural attire. Anyways, he was very friendly and greeted me.

The 2 guys in the back seat were 2 Caucasian men. One about early to mid 30’s, and the other, late 30’s to early 40’s. As soon as I entered the car I smelled alcohol on their breath.

Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” played on the radio, and the younger guy started laughing and singing along to the song, trying to coax the other to sing along with him. I later discovered that they were brothers.

“Just beeeeaaaatttt itttttt, beaaaattttt ittttt,” he sang leaning towards his older brother, begging for a duet.

“Shut the fuck up, dude. I’m fuckin’ pissed. I’m so fuckin’ pissed right now,” that sentence traveled to my nostrils, because he reeked of alcohol.

The younger brother laughed it off and tried to lighten the mood. But it just aggravated him more.

“Oh my fucking God I can’t believe this shit. This fucking guy really just picked up his wife or sister or whatever she is,” he had me so dead. What? This guy’s wife though….

His younger brother said nothing to put him in his place. I don’t know if he felt awkward or didn’t care to say anything. This ride usually is a 10 minute ride, but it felt like the longest ride of my life. The older brother kept grunting under his breath how angry he was that my Uber driver fucked them over by using the Uber service to pick up his family. Obviously, of course, it was because the Uber driver and I are both Asian.

I gritted my teeth and wanted to tell him off so bad. I took out my pepper spray, ready to use it if I had to, my finger already on the button. He kept talking his shit, continuing with the racist thought that we HAD to be related some how. I wanted to tell him off so bad, I felt my blood boiling. What made me angrier was the fact that I knew that it could take a turn for the worse if I were to verbally defend myself. I didn’t know what they had on them. And I didn’t know how far they would take things. So I kept my mouth shut as he went on and on.

“Dude, no one is playing us. This is a pool,” the younger brother said, seeing that his brother was fuming.

“No! They’re fuckin’ playin’ you! I just wish that this guy could be fuckin’ honest and say ‘yeah, I picked up my wife – or daughter – or niece’ or whatever, but no, he’s acting like he doesn’t understand English!”

His brother tried to calm him down, but really, what can you tell a belligerent drunk? The older brother grabbed the Uber driver’s seat and pulled himself closer to him.

“I know you fucking speak English!!! Stop acting like you don’t understand!” He yelled in his ear. That’s where I drew the line. Passive aggressive comments, okay, but disrespecting an elderly person who is just doing their job, I couldn’t bite my tongue any longer.

“You’re being so racist.” I said, my voice shaking from anger and frustration.

“How?! How am I being racist?! Obviously you know each other. You’re really gonna call me racist?!”

“Yes! You’re racist! This is an UberPool, he picks up other people on the way! I don’t know him!”

“Yes, this is pool,” the driver said finally breaking his silence. “I pick up other people!”

“Duuude, ok stop. This is a pool. Now you’re just harassing these people,” his brother cut in.

“STOP LYING! Like just admit to it, you know him. Its okay! Just admit you’re wrong and we’ll accept it and just give you a poor rating.” He continued.

Finally, after what seemed like an hour of hostility, we were at their destination. It was less than 4 blocks from my house. I was relieved, I couldn’t wait for it to be over. But of course, he refused to get out of the car, demanding that our driver reveal that we really do know each other and that we royally fucked over him and his brother. We ignored him, in hopes he would just exit the car. But of course, he had the time and energy.

At this point, his younger brother is cussing him out, telling him to get out of the car so he could beat his ass for disrespecting us. With my finger flicking the pepper spray latch back and forth, I debated whether I should just spray him right then and there. But again, I thought of what he had on him, and what he would do, how he could turn this on me to authorities. So instead, I started secretly recording.

“Can you just get out…” I said exhausted.

“JUST ADMIT YOU KNOW HIM! AND ON TOP OF THAT YOU CALLED ME RACIST! I’M NOT RACIST!”

“Dude! You are fuckin’ being racist! These are good people that you are blatantly disrespecting! Get the fuck out!!!” His younger brother yelled, “You guys I’m so sorry– Get the fuck out so I can beat your ass myself!”

They fought back and forth for a while. Later looking on my video, I recorded over 5 minutes.

Like a broken record, he demanded we admit to being related, give HIM an apology, all the while trying to fight his brother in the back seat.

“Should I just call the police?” I said, knowing it would either escalate or diffuse the situation.

“Why would you call the police?! I’m not doing anything wrong!”

“Dude! This is San Francisco!!!” His brother yelled desperately, “These are good people! You’re being so racist towards innocent people! I called a pool! I’m never bringing you back here again! Now get the fuck out of the car so I can beat your ass myself, you Oklahoma piece of shit!”

Finally he motioned to get out of the car. Again he grabbed my Uber driver’s seat and leaned in, “Look, I just wanted an apology for you guys disrespecting us and using this service to pick up your family. That’s all I wanted,” and finally opened the door. At this point his brother is physically trying to pull him out. He slams the door and his brother throws him against the car. My driver let out a huge sigh, irritated that not only did they delay this whole ride, but that they were close to damaging his property as well.

They finally took it to the street and we drove off. Through the side mirrors could see them getting physical.

“I’m sorry,” the Uber driver told me. And that made me so sad. The fact that he basically was a victim and still kept his professional hat on.

“You don’t need to be sorry!” I told him. He really could’ve been someone’s grandpa. And that made me even more sad! I started crying, “That was so racist…. like he thought we were related just because we’re Asian.”

“Yes… It’s a pool. I pick up other people,” he probably felt really awkward that I was crying but I couldn’t contain it.

We were finally at my house. Before I got out of the car I let him know that I had my pepper spray and was ready to use it if he put his hands on him or threatened him in any way. I also begged and urged him to get pepper spray for protection.

I got to my room and just cried. Out of frustration, fear, and the reality of it. This happened in my hood?! In the Bay Area this racist shit happened?! The reality set in that even in the diverse bubble of San Francisco / Daly City, stuff like this really does happen.

I cried over the fact that I held in all my come backs because I was afraid of what they would do to me as a woman. I cried because even in the situation of possible self-defense I believed it would be turned on me. I cried because even if I were to call police, and I was the victim, I’m still a person of color going against a Caucasian male who truly believed he was right. I cried because this is probably very minor in the spectrum of racist situations other people go through.

I of course contacted Uber. They just refunded my money and apologized. I was debating on posting the video, or making a blog post on it. But at the time just rewatching it made me upset. So after a lot of thought, I deleted it.

It’s a hard pill to swallow to realize that some people in this society really don’t care if you’re from here or not, born in America or elsewhere, if you can speak English fluently or not, as long as you are a minority/ person of color you are seen and treated as “less than.” Sad truth.

This is America.