Scrolling through my timeline on Facebook or turning on the news anymore makes my heart ache. I hardly see anything other than hate and violence. I also see people denying that the hate and violence that is ravaging our country even exists. And it amazes me. There have been multiple terrorist attacks in the past week claimed by ISIS, police brutality is at a record high in the United States, xenophobia, racism and homophobia are reaching epidemic levels, and there is an all-out war on reproductive rights in America. I’m stunned to see and hear my peers talk about how all lives matter. Well, of course all lives matter. But, from my point of view, not all lives are being targeted and taken day in and day out. The "All Lives Matter" movement is filled with hate and ignorance, and people who support the movement are just too uncomfortable to admit that there are issues rooted deep in our society.
On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen entered a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and opened fire. He killed 50 people and wounded 53 more. Immediately, #AllLivesMatter began to flood my timelines on social media. I immediately began to read statuses about how all Muslims were terrorists and if we had tighter immigration laws, tragedies like this would never happen. I saw friends of mine that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community cry and withdraw, and I sat and cried with my younger sister who felt targeted and alienated by the attack because of her sexuality. I kept reading about how all lives matter for a few more days, and then realized that the people who use the line don’t actually believe that all lives matter. These are people who are using the line to take away the significance of other movements like "Black Lives Matter," and "LGBTQ+ Lives Matter." These are people who are generally homophobic, racist, xenophobic, white individuals who feel attacked because individuals in society, particularly young people, are absolutely sick and tired of the way things work here in America.
In the past week, ISIS has taken responsibility for huge terrorist attacks in predominantly Islamic countries. Where are the #PrayForIraq and #PrayForTurkey posts? Why can’t I change my Facebook profile picture to the Iraqi flag? Are we saying that Western lives are more important than Middle-Eastern lives? Muslim lives? Of course, we say all lives matter when attacks happen here in the United States. People act shook and shaken because we blame ISIS for Omar Mateen, and thus blame Muslims for ISIS. I’m here to tell you, ISIS is not even remotely Islamic. In the slightest. The terrorist attacks in the past week killed hundreds of Muslims during Ramadan -- the Holiest month of the year for them. ISIS is full of ignorant individuals who, for the most part, know nothing about Islam. From what I understand, most of the individuals recruited (who are almost always male) do not come from religious backgrounds. They are easily targeted, told they can be remembered, find glory and are promised women if they come join the group. ISIS is a death cult. They kill anyone and everyone. But it seems that we Westerners only pay attention if it is Westerners that are slaughtered. But all lives matter, right?
Just in the past few days, two more African-American men were wrongfully murdered by police officers. Again, my social media floods with hashtags like #NotAllPolice and #AllLivesMatter. We know. We know that not all officers are bad, we know that all lives matter. But if I, a young white woman, had been selling CDs and cigarettes and been confronted by the police, would they brutally murder me? Perhaps not. These young men and women are being slaughtered because of the color of their skin, not because of their actions or their records. A criminal record does not justify five bullets in the chest at point blank range. But of course, the way our justice system works, that police officer will be found innocent of any wrong-doing and sent back out into the field. It’s funny how that works. Not too long ago, we were all aware of a young man named Brock Turner. We all are all aware that he is a rapist and a predator, yet he was given a light sentence because prison would have a severe impact on him. Correction: He was given a light sentence because he is a white, privileged, man. That’s it. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were both shot and killed for the color of their skin. Castile was killed in front of his four-year-old daughter. But then again, all lives matter. Right?
The war on reproductive rights here in the U.S. is also growing out of control. Male law makers think they know what is best for women, and push their bigotry and religious views into laws everywhere. Law makers are trying hard to make contraception unobtainable. Abortions are becoming harder and harder to get, there are several hoops a woman has to jump through and, once she can get through them, she’s stuck with threats and heckling from men and women who think it is necessary to police other people’s bodies. A woman can’t get an abortion because all lives matter. But once that baby is brought into the world, do law makers care about them? They most likely don’t. Especially if that baby isn’t born into privilege. Basically, if the baby isn’t brought home to an upper-middle class, white family, politicians and law-makers won’t have anything to say until 20+ years later when that baby has grown up and is brutally murdered for not being privileged. Then all they’ll have to say, along with other individuals who grew up privileged, is #AllLivesMatter.
All lives matter. I’m so sick of seeing that phrase. All it does is demean any other movements that shed light on our twisted justice system and the lies that are fed to us by politicians and the media. It’s just another form of oppression that gets shoved down our throats. I personally am through with listening to anyone who tries to preach all lives matter to me. I’m finished with people who avoid the news because it makes them uncomfortable. I’m never one to apologize about being an angry, political, feminist. And I’m not going to apologize any time soon. It’s common sense to recognize that every human life matters. Maybe use some of that common sense before posting about how #AllLivesMatter.
BLACK LIVES MATTER. LGTBQ+ LIVES MATTER.
MUSLIM LIVES MATTER. WOMEN’S LIVES MATTER.