Why “All Lives Matter” is Controversial
“Black Lives Matter” first entered the public lexicon in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin. It’s been around for SEVEN YEARS and still people post and say, “ALL lives matter” as if they were the first person to think of that.
But why would “All lives matter” even BE a controversial position? I’m glad you asked.
The truth is that, of course, all lives matter. No one is seriously suggesting that ONLY black lives matter. The problem is that “Black Lives Matter” is addressing a specific injustice in American life: namely, that the legal and justice system often treats persons of color, specifically black Americans, AS IF their lives don’t matter. That’s a real issue that America has needed to reckon with for a long time. Hopefully, we’re doing it now.
When someone responds to “Black Lives Matter” with ���ALL Lives Matter”, it’s dismissive. It’s like saying, “What are you complaining about? You don’t have it any worse than the rest of us.”
Stop to think for a moment: what does it say about YOU if someone is hurting and crying out for help and understanding and your FIRST response is “Yeah, but what about ME? Don’t I matter?”
Even worse, the sentiment has now been co-opted by the worst people in our society: the dyed-in-the-wool white supremacists, the alt-right dregs and their apologists.
Look, I’m not scolding anyone. I’m not the language police. You can say whatever you want. I’m just bringing the information to my fellow Caucasians: everybody knows that all lives matter. But when you throw that up in a discussion about how black lives ALSO matter, you come off as clueless. Or worse.