The Black Lives Matter movement is now stronger than ever after recent events involving the deaths of Black lives at the hands of police officers who pledge to serve and protect the integrity of all lives.
Countless acts of solidarity and support for the Black Lives Matter movement continue as a result of the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others.
People from various races and ethnicities are posting about injustice on social media, coordinating protests, creating petitions in favor of convicting the culpable persons for their crimes against the Black community and taking down racist monuments.
Though these are strong ways to spread awareness, there are still people who do not see the bigger societal picture. They respond with chants of, “All lives matter,” which is counter-productive to the Black Lives Matter movement.
While all lives should matter, it is the acts of injustice against the Black community and other people of color that suggest that all lives do not matter.
Only people of color in America seem to be victims of oppressive danger.
And because all people are not treated equally, saying all lives matter is not true.
Instead of making the broad statement that “All lives matter,” we should work to address the injustice that results in the regular oppression of many minority groups and frequent deaths of Black citizens at the hands of police that are disproportionately taken compared to other races.
It is one thing to say, “All lives matter.” It is another to act like they do.
Think of it this way: Given Sharp explained that you would not shout “all houses matter,” when there is only one house on fire. Instead, you would try to help put the fire out and make changes to prevent the fire from happening again. The same should apply to Black lives.
It is also important to know that saying “Black lives matter” is not insinuating that the lives of other races do not. Instead, it acts as a way to bring attention to the horrible treatment of people in the Black community.
Afterall, the Black Lives Matter movement came together after the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man who fatally shot Trayvon Martin.
Proving that all lives matter until the color of your skin is seen as a threat and white privilege is deemed as more important.
All lives should matter; however, they will not until the oppressed are heard and treated with the same care and respect as those who are not oppressed.
All lives will not matter until:
- Justice is served in cases where Black lives were wrongfully lost
- The 13th Amendment is not used as a way to normalize modern day slavery against the Black community and other persons of color
- The gentrification and redlining within communities to appeal to those with higher income and harm minorities ceases
- Job candidates are judged by their merit and character rather than the color of their skin
- Racist cops stop entering Black communities to go above the law and target innocent Black people
These are mere starting points on what it takes to affirm that all lives matter.
If you still insist that all lives matter, take the time to educate yourself of the injustices and take action. Show your support by donating to Black Lives Matter causes, signing petitions or by using your voice to talk about the issue.
Black lives are not just important when it is trending. It is an everyday matter and should be highlighted until my community is treated exactly the same as our white counterparts.
We cannot institute change and reach equality if we do not accept that all lives will not matter until Black lives matter.