Unless you’ve been purposefully living under a rock these past couple of months, I’m going to assume you know what’s going on in the United States as well as around the world. The Black Lives Matter movement is becoming stronger by each passing day, fighting for equality for Black people in the U.S. Many reactionaries have been using the term “all lives matter” in opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement which greatly undermines the movement.
The All Lives Matter (ALM) “movement” is nothing more than a counterattack on the BLM movement. From my experience, all of those who have been saying ALM are white people who don’t actually mean that and — with or without intention — really mean white lives matter.
Let me put this into simple terms. The Black Lives Matter movement is. Not. Saying. That. Only. Black. Lives. Matter. What it really means is that Black lives matter too. Most people who support BLM would probably also agree that yes, all lives do in fact matter. Here’s the thing though, all lives cannot matter until Black ones do. I get it, you may say ALM without seeing what’s wrong with it, and you may just genuinely be confused and that’s okay. It’s important for people to learn and grow, that’s what this is all about. But it’s also very important to distinguish between those who truly don’t understand and want to learn, and those who know exactly what they’re doing while saying ALM. It’s also extremely important for everyone to self reflect and check their personal biases and privileges.
For those who still purposefully say ALM though, let me ask you this— in your list of all lives, do you include:
Everyone in the LGBTQ+ community
Transgender people whose healthcare rights are being taken away
Uighur Muslims being tortured in China
Jewish people and other groups affected by the Holocaust who still have to deal with Neo-Nazis today
The Indigenous women who are going missing and being murdered every day
The Indigenous people whose holy grounds are being taken and destroyed in order to gain access to oil
Those killed by gun violence, particularly children in school shootings
Families and children at the Southern border who are being held in concentration camps
Women whose reproductive rights are constantly a hot topic for debate and in the hands of male politicians
Every single person killed by police officers, especially Black people
If your list does not include all those people, then you do not actually believe all lives matter, you are just a homophobic, misogynistic, racist white supremacist. If you truly believed that all lives matter, you would be fighting alongside the BLM movement.
If you are against the BLM movement because you believe that police officers have acted fairly towards ‘criminals’, may I just remind you also that it is not a police officer’s job to decide if someone is guilty or not. It is not in their job description to be the jury, the judge, or the executioner to a suspected criminal. Everyone should be outraged by the killings at the hands of police and if you are silent, you are complicit in systemic racism and police brutality. If at this point you still don’t support Black Lives Matter, then I really don’t know how to explain to you that you should care about other people.
The All Lives Matter movement doesn’t exist because people who truly believe those words in their entirety are part of the Black Lives Matter movement. Let me just reiterate – ALL LIVES CANNOT MATTER UNTIL BLACK LIVES DO.
Black Lives Matter Website – https://blacklivesmatter.com/
Justice for Breonna Taylor – https://justiceforbreonna.org/
Justice for Elijah McClain – https://www.change.org/p/adams-county-district-attorney-justice-for-elijah-mcclain-2
National Association for Advancement of Colored People – https://www.naacp.org/
The Bail Project – https://bailproject.org/
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