The Next Time Someone Responds to "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter" Send Them This
The Next Time Someone Responds to "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter" Send Them This
By GeekAesthete / reddit.com
Jul 22, 2015

Imagine that you're sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don't get any. So you say "I should get my fair share." And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, "everyone should get their fair share." Now, that's a wonderful sentiment -- indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad's smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn't solve the problem that you still haven't gotten any!

The problem is that the statement "I should get my fair share" had an implicit "too" at the end: "I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else." But your dad's response treated your statement as though you meant "only I should get my fair share", which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that "everyone should get their fair share," while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.

That's the situation of the "black lives matter" movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society.

The problem is that, in practice, the world doesn't work the way. You see the film Nightcrawler? You know the part where Renee Russo tells Jake Gyllenhal that she doesn't want footage of a black or latino person dying, she wants news stories about affluent white people being killed? That's not made up out of whole cloth -- there is a news bias toward stories that the majority of the audience (who are white) can identify with. So when a young black man gets killed (prior to the recent police shootings), it's generally not considered "news", while a middle-aged white woman being killed is treated as news. And to a large degree, that is accurate -- young black men are killed in significantly disproportionate numbers, which is why we don't treat it as anything 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.

Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase "black lives matter" also has an implicit "too" at the end: it's saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying "all lives matter" is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It's a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means "only black lives matter," when that is obviously not the case. 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.

4.6 ·
18

Support Films For Action

Films For Action empowers citizens with the information they need to help create a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.

We receive no government or corporate funding and rely on our supporters to keep us going. Donate today.

Trending Today
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga36,680 views today ·
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine10,909 views today ·
10 Female Revolutionaries That You Probably Didn't Learn About In History class
Kathleen Harris6,985 views today ·
When We Judge a Person Harshly With a Label or Dismissal, We Kill the Human Being Inside of Them
Tim Hjersted3,145 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min2,255 views today ·
We All Suffer in This Love-Desert Society That We've Created - Is There an Alternative?
Tim Hjersted1,906 views today ·
Why Natural Disasters Aren’t All That Natural
Ksenia Chmutina, Jason Von Meding, JC Gaillard & Lee Bosher1,080 views today ·
Gabor Mate: Toxic Culture - How Materialistic Society Makes Us Ill
30 min963 views today ·
This Facebook Comment About the UK Election Is Going Viral
Chris Renwick800 views today ·
Load More
Join us on Facebook
The Next Time Someone Responds to "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter" Send Them This