The Loud Silence that is All Lives Matter

Ever since the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, there has been a group of people who are thoroughly offended. Such is life in America where people can get uptight about how you sneeze. However, this group is particularly interesting. In the scheme of being offended, they take the cake. Why? They really aren’t saying anything.

This is all lives matter.

All Lives Matter is the opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement. It suggests every life is precious, and one specific group should not be held in high esteem. In theory, that is correct. Everyone’s life does matter. Our time on this Earth is short. As such, we should value the people we encounter no matter the circumstances. While I agree with the surface thought process of All Lives Matter, conversations with them lead me to conclude they do not understand the struggle.

In fact, they don’t get it at all.

All lives matter patently misses the point of the Black Lives Matter movement. Several high-profile police/vigilante killings of African-American males graced our airways, it remained clear the American justice system is not in favor of justice. One should understand this is not a new phenomenon for black people in America. The justice system has never been in favor of justice for black people. Police relations with the African American community have been greatly strained for many years.

We are now seeing frustrations with this relationship come to the surface.

The Black Lives Matter movement started after Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was subsequently acquitted of murder charges based on Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. Several names can follow Trayvon’s in the pattern of young black male killed by police/vigilante. Black Lives Matter takes to the street to voice their frustration. During the uproar of why another life was lost, the All Lives Matter group poses the following questions/arguments.

  1. Black people are 13 percent of the population. Yet, they commit 50 percent of the gross crime. Why is this particular situation an issue?
  2. What are you going to do about black on black crime?
  3. Black people don’t care when they kill each other, but they get mad if it’s a white police officer.
  4. (Insert Here) shouldn’t have ran. If they would have complied, then they would still be alive.
  5. You’re more likely to be killed by a black person than a white person.
  6. Pants up! Don’t loot!
  7. These kids are thugs, and their parents should have raised them better.
  8. White people are killed by the police at a higher percentage than black people.

I can personally attest to reading these exact statements time and time again by people who profess all lives being valuable to them. Yet, in those very statements black people are grouped, categorized, and blanketed under a bevy of stereotypes. It is also implied (insert here) should have died because “they didn’t listen.”

But all lives matter, right?

No. No, they don’t. These lives only matter when they fit your idea of injustice.

The ones who say “all lives matter” are insulted, and they have no reason to be. How dare a black person state their lives matter more! But that’s not what black people are saying. They are saying “our lives matter just as much as yours.” So, if all lives matter, then you’d be on board with Black Lives Matter. You wouldn’t buck at the notion that there are racial issues with some police. You wouldn’t be so quick to defend one side versus the other. You would actually be remorseful that a child/teenager died instead of justifying why it happened.

If all lives truly mattered to you.

Let’s take it a step further. If all lives matter, then why are there so many homeless and hungry people? Step outside of the racial aspect and realize life is hard for everyone. Yet, we are judged harshly for our struggles. I hear “all lives matter” and someone getting clowned for being on welfare in the same breath. You say “all lives matter” but some refuse to give to the poor (time, attention, clothes, food). Some of these communities are run down and hopeless. I don’t see All Lives Matter running to help. That’s why I can’t take some of these folks seriously.

All talk and minimal action.

If the people around you were truly precious, then we all would stop hating our brother. We would stop discounting each other’s problems and start searching for solutions. We would be a loving people. We should be a loving people, but we aren’t.

Our love is waxing colder by the day.

This is the loud silence that is all lives matter.

[Image Credit Flickr via Tim Pierce]

 

 

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Kristen says:

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!

    Liked by 1 person

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