Why All Lives Don't Matter
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Why All Lives Don't Matter

"Okay, they do, but..."

Why All Lives Don't Matter

...#AllLivesMatter is not an alternative to #BlackLivesMatter.

The title is a little out there, yes I know. And I do not actually mean that all lives do not matter. They do—every life matters. No life matters more than the other. But, more importantly, no life matters less than the other.

Yet in this context, when someone counteracts the #BlackLivesMatter movement by claiming “No, all lives matter," then this title holds truth.

The #BlackLivesMatter movement began in 2013, after George Zimmerman, the murderer of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was not indicted. The movement emerged to allow the black community to speak up about their constant de-humanization in American society and government. The organization's website clearly states their intention: "#BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society."

If you have a problem with this, then you are the problem.

Those who refute this movement often naively claim, "Black lives matter, as do white ones. All lives matter." I know it sounds commonsensical, and I'm sure those who claim this think they are on the right side of morality. But there is an ignorance behind how de-humanizing they sound.

So what exactly is the issue with saying "All Lives Matter"?

#AllLivesMatter is a way to disguise racism. This counterargument is denying all the struggles and brutalities against the black community. It erases an actual crisis under the guise of being fair. And by continuing to use “All Lives Matter” to drown out the cry of “Black Lives Matter,” the real problems the movement is trying to address are being ignored. Erasure is not progressive. “All Lives Matter” is useless.

It's like showing up at a breast cancer fundraiser screaming "All Diseases Matter."

American society knows all lives matter. It knows white lives matter. It knows police officer lives matter. But the justice system seems to leave black lives powerless under the eyes of the law, and that is where the problem resides. The only lives we have to work at humanizing in death are black lives.

"But what about Hispanic/Latino lives? Muslim lives? They're oppressed too!"
The phrase "Black Lives Matter" is used to acknowledge the racist experiences rooted in black history--the centuries of slavery, lynching, segregation, civil rights movements, mass incarceration, and police brutality. This type of oppression applies solely and uniquely to African-American lives. Other minorities will not face this oppression to such a degree as black lives.

To be clear, the empowerment of black people is not a supremacy of black people. So to the people who are anti-#BlackLivesMatter: if it's racial supremacy that bothers you, then you should take your hostility against the Ku Klux Klan. You know, an openly anti-black, white supremacist group that has existed for a century and a half and is responsible for the lynching of 4,000 black men and women. Use your energy and 140 characters on Twitter to speak out about them, not a group that wants equality and justice.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Freshly popped buttered popcorn in your lap and a glass full of crisp Coca-Cola is at your side. All the lights are turned off and you are tucked into a cozy blanket. You have the whole day off and no responsibilities besides refilling your popcorn bucket. Now all you have to do is decide on what movie to watch, but you know one movie will not fulfill your need of relaxing all day. A movie marathon is the only answer to your problem. In case you did not know what movie series to start with, try a few of these.

Keep Reading... Show less
A Touch Of Teal

It's the oldest story in the world: one day a new tv show comes on and you fall in love with each character and their story. In 2003, the show "One Tree Hill" was born and stole the hearts of fans of many ages. Torn between the sweet, underdog Lucas and tough, popular boy Nathan, people became hooked through the family and relationship drama the characters went through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

12 Starbucks Iced Drinks You NEED In Your Life

Must-try beverages brought to you by your local barista.


Be kind to your baristas, they can make you some pretty great drinks. With the temperature rising and the days getting longer, it's approaching the time to find your summer staple to keep you cool (and caffeinated) over the next few months.

Keep Reading... Show less

"Keeping Up With The Kardashians" is coming to an end after 20 seasons of intense drama, family bonding, and Scott Disick. It's sad for some and a relief for others who find the show way overhyped.

Keep Reading... Show less

Starbucks is known for its infamous coffee and espresso drinks, but they're definitely isn't enough love shown for the non-coffee drinks. Being a barista myself, I've come to try all of the following drinks. And let me tell you…they're amazing. So if you aren't a huge fan of coffee or if you're just sick of the same old same old, here are some new drinks to keep your inner white girl alive and thriving.

SEE MORE: Starbucks Has Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cold Brew And OMG It Has Pink Foam

Keep Reading... Show less

What was usually buried at the bottom of my purse has now become a pocket essential — and I know I'm not alone in that.

It used to be something I'd use if I happened to be at a restaurant that ran out of soap in their bathroom, but now it's almost more essential to have on-hand at all times than my cell phone.

Keep Reading... Show less

The decision-makers of Yale's law students have invested in therapy dog sessions in order to reduce stress. In 2011, Yale Law Library had a sign-out sheet for their certified library dog. The 30-minute sessions were equipped with unconditional, stress-busting puppy love.

Law Librarian Blair Kauffman stated that the free, three-day pilot pet therapy program at Yale Law Library launched as "a positive addition to current services offered by the library."

Keep Reading... Show less

I have been working at Dunkin' Donuts for over two years, and during this time, I have progressed from regular crew member to crew coach, and finally, to shift leader. Among my great skills involving the job is my ability to deal with stressful situations, including awful customers. My boss has continuously pointed out the fact that I am able to handle these people with grace and kindness. She herself often finds that she gets snippy with rude customers, but somehow I am able to keep a straight face through these tough times.

Keep Reading... Show less

Let's be real here — sometimes essential oils and acknowledging all five senses (touch, see, hear, smell, taste) just don't cut it when you need to cope. It's those days when you have so much rage that you don't even know what to do with yourself, or those days when you physically cannot stop crying because of the most suffocating sadness, or all those other days when you are craving healthy coping mechanisms that actually work.

But before I let you in, we need to continue being real. I hope you are comforted with the knowledge that before I uncovered (or, even wanted to uncover) healthy mechanisms, I also went through my drought of horrible coping mechanisms. I have, and sometimes continue, to fall short of genuinely trying to help myself. It takes a lot of courage, and energy, to genuinely try and help yourself.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Win 'Clue' Every Time

The strategy that (kinda) never fails.


Who doesn't love a fun, classic game of "Clue"? Whether you're a seasoned professional or just think that Professor Plum is the philosophy prof in the building across campus, you may learn something from the following trial-and-error strategy that has taken years (read: a couple of games) to perfect. Instead of partaking in an argument about how Colonel Mustard's name is pronounced, start strategizing and don't let the die determine your fate!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments