I’m just going to come out and say it: #AllLivesMatter does absolutely nothing to help the movement. #BlackLivesMatter, however, gives power and visibility to the black community. It calls society out for its injustices and puts emphasis on the real problem. I don’t care if it makes people uncomfortable. #BlackLivesMatter is necessary for change to occur at any level. And whether you like it or not, the controversial hashtag isn’t disappearing anytime soon. Thus, get comfortable and keep reading. Because here are three reasons why #AllLivesMatter should be the hashtag that people stop saying.
1. #AllLivesMatter ignores the issue.
Many argue that #BlackLivesMatter is unfair because it excludes all other races, specifically whites. However, the primary concern of the entire movement is black people. Thus, suggesting #AllLivesMatter instead of #BlackLivesMatter ignores the very people for which the movement was created. Yes, I said "ignore." #AllLivesMatter shifts focus from black people to all people. And while this may seem like the right thing to do, it sweeps the problems facing black people under the rug. Saying #BlackLivesMatter does not equate to saying, "Black people are more important than everyone else." It just puts the necessary focus on the problems at hand. Because when you hear #AllLivesMatter, who are you going to think about first?
2. #AllLivesMatter maintains our current society.
Again, the entire #BlackLivesMatter movement works for the validity of the Black community. It was created in 2012 after George Zimmerman was acquitted to combat anti-black racism beyond the context of our judicial system and police force. Naturally, the name for such a movement is going to center around its target population: black people. It's not racist, selfish or hypocritical to name the movement #BlackLivesMatter. It calls society out for its faults as they pertain to the black community. If the movement was named #AllLivesMatter, nothing would change. The movement would lose its focus and suggest that society is fine, that all lives do matter. While the thought is true, society isn't acting with that proverb in mind. Thus, a movement must be started. One that addresses the issue, and not hiding it under the guise of "being fair."
3. #AllLivesMatter kills conversation.
#AllLivesMatter is what many people consider to be politically correct. It's the safe thing to say. But that's dangerous. If someone were to tell you, "All lives matter." What would you talk about? Would you take about police brutality toward black people? Would you talk about how 2.8 million black people are locked up? Would you talk about the constant struggle of being black and queer? Or would you not really think about the movement? Perhaps you would nod your head, exclaiming "Yea! All lives do matter." #AllLivesMatter doesn't work to spark conversation about the movement's mission: to work for the validity of Black life. #AllLivesMatter is a crowd-pleaser. #BlackLivesMatter is a conversation starter. Which do you think will get the job done?
A movement has been created and it focuses entirely on black people. Get over it.
#BlackLivesMatter is appropriately named because it addresses the issue.
#BlackLivesMatter is appropriately named because it argues change in society.
The hashtag is appropriately named because it starts a conversation, one that many of us are too scared to join. But fear and discomfort do not excuse the maintenance of the status quo. Get scared. Get uncomfortable. And get used to saying #BlackLivesMatter.