Why Not #AllLivesMatter? You Tell Me
Far too often the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag & movement is met with a silly, ignorant question who's only apparent goal is to devalue it. This question; "Why not #AllLivesMatter?"
Before you ask this question I have a question for you; Do you understand what the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag & movement actually mean? Well if not here's the gist of it. The lives of Black people & other People of Color are shown in virtually every measurable statistic to be valued less than the lives of Whites. Society acts as if these lives do not matter, as if they're not worth enough to matter and many people, of all races, are tired of it. They're tired of the over-policing, the police brutality, the disparate sentencing in the justice system, the vast economic inequity, the under-representation in places of power & news media. Tired. So before you fix your mouth or your keyboard to ask "Why not #AllLivesMatter?" understand that. Understand that you're asking a bunch of people tired of living in the richest country known to man, seeing the lives of Black people & other People of Color being discarded like animals. Understand the anger that nearly a millennium of mistreatment can cause.
So why not #AllLivesMatter? You tell me random Twitter concern troll or confused commenter. Why is it that Black people are disproportionately suffering in this country? Why is it that in my homeland, a homeland I love, a homeland I served to defend, that Black lives don't matter as much as White ones? Why is it that as a Black male I have to walk around with the understanding that people see my skin color as more threatening so that I don't get killed or accused of something I didn't do? Why is it that the unemployment rate for Black people is twice national average? Why is it that Black people suffer disproportionately from poverty? Why is it that Whites are more likely to support the death penalty the more they see photos of Black criminals? Why if #AllLivesMatter do these problems exist? Are Black people just more inherently violent, stupid & evil? What does holding that belief say about you?
Why not the #AllLivesMatter hashtag? Good question? Have you started an #AllLiveMatter movement advocating for the equal treatment and valuing of all human life? If so we'd surely be allies. We could march together on issues of police brutality or economic justice with seperate banners but in solidarity with each other. Have YOU shown that #AllLivesMatter? Probably not because in even asking the question you're attempting to minimize the fact that Black lives, although they matter, are not treated as such. Can you accurately say that about all lives? Doubtful, very doubtful.
Is #BlackLivesMatter hashtag not the best marketing technique to accomplish the goal of ending racial discrimination via the practice of White Supremacy? Debatable, I've certainly argued that to some degree it isn't but I also refuse to Monday morning quarterback a name. The name symbolizes much more than any name could possibly do. Would #AllLivesMatter be more palatable to those who's help is needed to combat White Supremacy? Probably so but think about what that admission says about Black lives. That Black lives don't matter, they're not worth fighting for unless someone else is included too. That only underscores just why the hashtag is so necessary.
Put simply, the fact that you have to ask that question is why it's not #AllLivesMatter.