This is a topic that has been written about again and again, in all kinds of angles and from different perspectives. So here's another perspective on the hashtag Black Lives Matter versus All Lives Matter. In 2015, black men were nine times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a white man. The Guardian found that 1,134 black men were killed in 2015 by law enforcement, but this is more than just about police brutality against black men and women. Since the hashtag began circulating in 2012, after the death of Treyvon Martin, people have been arguing over what the hashtag is insinuating. Very soon after the hashtag All Lives Matter began circulating and a war began between the two.
I'm not saying that one hashtag is more important than the other or that black lives matter more than other lives, but this is what I believe: the hashtag All Lives Matter was created to undermine Black Lives Matter. The original hashtag was created to start a movement for people to realize that black lives are not trash and can be so easily thrown away. It was created so that the black community can stand up and say enough is enough. The hashtag that followed was created to undermine the black community and say "you are not special". All lives do matter, in some way shape or form, every life that is put into existence matters, but one community of lives should not be undermined for wanting the killing of their people to stop.
America has been proclaimed to be a "free and fair" country and that all people are welcome, but many forget this as soon as race is thrown into the mixture. When something happens, many people will say it was a racial thing and the situation will get blown out of proportion but other times they're not wrong for doing so. They're not wrong for pointing out that if this thing had happened to someone else, it would've either never happened or the situation would've been handled better. They're not wrong in pointing out that their people have been killed for centuries and when it happens no one so much as blinks an eye. But it's not with just the black community, it's with all other races that are not white. It is with the Hispanics, Asians, Indians, Native Americans, anyone who does not look white.
The hashtag Black Lives Matter began a wave where others felt empowered enough to say that they were being undermined as well. It began a movement of people from other racial background to admit that they have been undermined all their lives and that it needs to stop. The hashtag All Lives Matter began another war. It began a war between colored people and white people. My first initial thought when I heard of Black Lives Matter wasn't that they mattered more, it was a cry for help that they wanted their lives to matter enough that their children and families wouldn't be killed senselessly just because they were walking down the street with their hoodie up. My first initial thought when I heard of All Lives Matter was that people were trying to suppress others. My first thought was, "if all lives matter, then why does it feel like my life and the lives of the black community and other communities don't matter?"
I had never worried about racial problems that were going on in the society I lived in, I had never thought too much about what it meant to be a Hispanic girl or having a black friend until I was forced to become aware. I was forced to become aware of the difference between Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter after I moved to Pennsylvania. I became aware that All Lives Matter wasn't a movement to encourage others to support each other and stop senseless killings of people, it was another form of oppression for people to use. I became aware that Black Lives Matter was a movement and it moved me. It moved me to understand and realize that 1,134 black men were killed and will never see their families again. I realized that 1,134 black men was far too many lives to be lost just because of the color of their skin. It moved me to realize that it wasn't just black men and women, that it was my own Hispanic people, Asians, Indians, Native Americans, and so many others. That their lives should matter enough that we shouldn't need the hashtag for people to understand that we don't need to "make America great again", we need to make America accept everyone and anyone no matter the color of their skin.