If you live in the United States, you know our nation is really hurting right now. While so many worry about COVID-19 and the resulting financial problems and health problems that crisis may bring to our lives, there is a sizeable portion of our population that struggles daily with a problem from which they can never escape. It is woven into the fabric of their being. It is a virus that infects every small town, every large city, every school, every work place, every place of business in America.
Police Brutality. Racial profiling. Inequality. It is everywhere.
And just like the COVID deniers who, cloaked in ignorance and/or misinformation, insist the virus is a hoax, a conspiracy theory, or “not that bad,” we have the same problem with racism.
We have people who, though they would never outwardly identify as “racist,” insist racism doesn’t happen.
Well, folks. It’s time for some real talk. If you have done or said any of the following things, you are a racist:
- If any of the words coming out of your mouth are preceded by “I’m not a racist, but…,” you are a racist. (Even if you had a black friend in high school.)
- If you have called the police on a black person because you didn’t feel “comfortable,” you are a racist.
- If you have blamed the victim of police brutality, you are a racist
- If you minimize racism by saying someone is playing the “race card,” you are a racist.
- If you belive the possibile theft of cigarettes is an acceptable reason for a black youth to be shot and killed by a police officer, you are definitely a racist (and probably heartless).
- And (I’m probably going to ruffle more than a few feathers here) if you counter the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement with a weak-ass declaration of “All Lives Matter,” you are, sadly, a racist.
Let’s talk about why All Lives Matter is so, so wrong.
On its surface, we all know everyone matters. It’s obvious. Unless you’re a complete sociopath, we all understand the concept that every single one of us matters. We understand that on a very basic level, I suppose. (Though I do wonder about some of the “All Lives Matter” folks who vote in favor of politicians who cut food stamps, social security, medicare, are in favor of going to war, and are totally cool with kids in cages. But that’s a post for another day.)
When you say “all lives matter,” it isn’t a lie. We all matter, sure. But it silences the people who are hurting the most in our society. It’s an attempt to silence and minimize a movement that is so very important. When someone says, “Black lives matter,” and your response is “all lives matter,” it’s dismissive. You’re basically telling them you’re uncomfortable talking about race. Or, maybe, you’re uncomforable WITH their race. You don’t want to acknowledge race because you don’t want to acknowledge racism exists. Because you don’t care enough to change things. Because it doesn’t affect you. Because, to you, black lives don’t really matter at all. (Racist)
Black people are literally in danger of being shot while jogging or even sleeping. And there are no repurcusions. It almost like – (gasp) – their lives don’t matter in the eyes of the law. Or in the eyes of the gullible people who justify police violence because someone posted the victim’s questionable 20-year-old rap sheet on Faceboook. Or in the eyes of the uptight, self-righteous, fake-religous All-Lives-Matter folks who only really care about the lives of those in their inner circle.
That’s why we need a specific movement specifically for black people whose lives are specifically in danger.
That’s why we need BLACK LIVES MATTER.
7 thoughts on “Racism and All Lives Matter”
Good post Tricia. It’s not enough having laws, the laws have to be implemented, so logically, the implementers have to implement and not cherry pick which laws they like and which they don’t. Their opinion isn’t required, just that they do their job.
Maybe one solution would be to make all policemen reapply for their jobs using a national not a federal or local panel and weed out the rotten elements.
Then the only problem to sort out would be the half of the population who voted for, and will vote again for the rotten orange in chief…
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Good point. Our police officers should not be treated as if they are above the law. If anything, they should be held to a higher standard. If they are accused of brutality, it should be taken very seriously instead of brushed under the rug. The orange in chief is another part of the problem. His racist and inflammatory language has emboldended others to be more upfront with their own nasty views. I cannot fathom how anyone could support him. I really can’t.
I’m not a political theorist, but it seems to me that American society is built on the premise (or fallacy) that anyone can get rich if they work for it, so there have to be no obstacles to doing whatever it takes to get rich. If wealth is elevated to equate with hard work, success, uprightness, and conversely to be poor is equated with idleness, shiftlessness, sponging, criminality, you end up with a really bloody awful society. I don’t envy you.
That the people who believe it’s fine to trample on other human beings for their own comfort vote for Trump doesn’t surprise me at all. They trample on the rest of the world too, destroying economies, laying down the law, interfering in elections. Not very glorious. But it’s unbridled human nature.
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I think the reason “all lives matter” is such a negative trigger for some people is because they do not think all lives are equal. Children’s lives don’t matter, especially the ones who are selected for “abortion” read “murder’ after birth. Some politicians want to tell us which lives we should think matter at any given time. Saying all lives matter is insulting to folks who believe that only certain lives matter.
As long as we select one group to matter over another, we will continue to see horrors like we are presently experiencing.
My children are Creole. I’m very familiar with prejudice.
I have little hope that anything will improve as long as people spout hate and demand how Group A MUST meet the needs of Group B.
That is not a situation where problems are likely to be resolved. It reeks of elementary school playground tactics.
We seem determined to use this method. We’ll see how it works. That it has not worked for several years now doesn’t mean we need to give up. Never back down.
This is more an attitude of battle than one of growth and resolution.
I could be wrong. We’ll see.
Racism exists and we should deal with it in a fact based way.
It is an issue that affects us all, but frequently gets lip service or emotional knee-jerk reactions that end up polarizing those who don’t see the full picture.
If we don’t get to the root of the issues with facts, we will never have sustainable solutions.
Took a stab recently at understanding the state of the challenge. This is what I wrote:
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