All Lives Matter - One Step Away from Racism | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

All Lives Matter – One Step Away from Racism

Joe Goodsall reacts against those who object to the Black Lives Matter movement

You know, when the organisers of Black Lives Matter named their organisation, they had enough confidence in the intelligence of the general population to see that the agenda which their organisation was pushing was that all lives matter. I had a similar confidence which has recently been shattered. Not by the numerous, senseless, soulless shootings which have taken place in America recently. We’re now so used to the news that police have shot an unarmed black person in America that the news somehow fails to register with the same impact. That is precisely the reason that Black Lives Matter was set up. To raise awareness of an issue to which we are by now, tragically desensitised to. No, my faith in the intelligence of general population was lost when I saw that the reaction of some people to the Black Lives Matter campaign was to feign outrage. All Lives Matter became the cry and it is a cry which belies a basic lack of either intelligence or empathy.

...it is a cry which belies a basic lack of either intelligence or empathy.
The slogan All Lives Matter, when stated in opposition to Black Lives Matter is meaningless. The notion that all lives matter is the very point which Black Lives Matter is trying to drive home. However, they’ve noted the somehow overlooked fact that, to the average American citizen, the life of a black person does seem to matter less than that of a white person. I don’t know how they made such an uncanny observation! Maybe it was the staggering number of deaths of black citizens at the hands of police officers in the past year[1], or maybe it was the fact that 27.4% of the black population is living in poverty compared to 9.9% of the white population[2]. But, sarcasm aside, this is a vital point. No one can possibly overlook the staggering discrimination that the black American population is clearly suffering. Which is why All Lives Matter is such a non-statement.

If you’re crying all lives matter then you’re either an idiot or a racist (although I suppose that the latter does presuppose the former). An idiot because A. you have somehow overlooked the above statistics and the fact that no less than 100 innocent and unarmed black people were murdered by police in the past year and only 15 officers were charged1; and B. you have conflated the statement ‘black lives matter’ with the statement ‘black lives matter more than white lives’, a conclusion which even a super-powered kangaroo with no sense of direction would have trouble leaping to. Or you’re a racist because, having seen the various murders and abuses of power in America, you’ve decided that the best course of action is not to protest these murders, but to protest a protest group which is protesting these murders. This implies that you have more of a problem with protesting against the murder of black citizens than with the actual murders.

This is the struggle of the black population to be heard and understood as citizens with equal rights to everyone else.
Having heard the black population speak up for its right not to be murdered, those who cry All Lives Matter decided that Black Lives Matter is not a worthy cause and that instead, it should be forcibly reminded, again and again, that this is everyone’s struggle. Well it isn’t. American white people are not being murdered by the American police. American white kids do not have to worry that they won’t come home when they see a police car round the corner. This is the struggle of the black population to be heard and understood as citizens with equal rights to everyone else. As citizens (or Lives if you will!) who matter. That doesn’t mean, if you’re a white person, you shouldn’t try to help! Please do. Get involved. It’ll do the world of good to see that white people understand this problem. But do it on the terms of the afflicted. They know what problems they are facing and they are choosing to speak out. Like it or not, if you are white then you do not have the right to be outraged when the black population of America demand that policemen stop murdering their people in cold blood.

[1] http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed/

[2]http://stateofworkingamerica.org/fact-sheets/poverty/



Published

26th September 2016 at 10:00 am

Last Updated

26th September 2016 at 2:13 pm



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