This post is for everyone who has trouble understanding why #AllLivesMatter is an undermining and dismissive statement that completely ignores the problem we have at hand.
Imagine you’re sitting at dinner with your family; everyone is getting a share of their food except for you, so you say, “I should get my fair share,” and in response your dad says “everyone should get their fair share.” That’s a wonderful sentiment that works in theory, and is essentially the point you were originally trying to make saying you should be a part of everyone. However Dad’s statement completely undermined your point, and didn’t solve the problem of you not getting any food.
The statement ‘I should get my fair share,’ has an implicit ‘too’ at the end. I should get my fair share too, like everyone else. But your dad’s statement treated your response as only you should get your fair share, which is obviously not your intention.
That is the situation we are in with the Black Lives Matter movement and people responding with ‘All Lives Matter,’ that message already abounds in our society. Clearly.
All Lives Matter is true, but unfortunately the world doesn’t work that way. A black kid being killed is not necessarily news (with the exception of at the hands of police), but a white woman being killed is. That’s, in large part, due to the disproportionate rate at which black kids are killed, so we don’t treat it as new. But the result is that, societally, we don’t pay as much attention to certain people’s deaths as we do to others. So, currently, we don’t treat all lives as though they matter equally.
So just like asking your dad for your fair share of food, blacks are asking for their fair share of justice. And so saying “all lives matter” as a direct response to “black lives matter” is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.
I hope this rings understanding that blacks are not saying we matter any more than anybody else, we are simply saying we want our fair share of justice too. #BlackLivesMatter #RIPAltonSterling #RIPPhilandoCastile