Saying ALL LIVES MATTER Is Tone Deaf As Fuck
Dear Fellow White People:
When you see the words “Black Lives Matter” and your immediate reaction is to shout “ALL LIVES MATTER!” you reveal yourself as a member of an un-persecuted, ignorant majority, tone deaf to the suffering that has plagued black folks since their forced arrival here.
It is akin to walking into a cancer ward and shouting “HEART DISEASE MATTERS!” or seeing people starving and shouting “FAT LIVES MATTER!” or upon hearing about a woman being beaten or raped then shouting “MALE LIVES MATTER!” In fact I have yet to see anyone of Asian, Latin or other ethnicity barking those words (though I’m sure they are out there) precisely because they get it. They’ve been told, shown or forced to believe that their lives at some point don’t matter.
To the young officer who wrote “My Life Matters” on her hand: of course it does! No one is saying otherwise nor are they saying all cops are bad which is stupid if they are. We’re all just wondering why the good cops are staying silent when others commit atrocities and get away with it. Decades of racism and corruption have erupted in Baltimore and with good reason: people have had enough of not being protected as fully as the white, wealthier residents of the city. They’ve seen decades of the silent policy that their lives don’t matter due to the color of their skin.
Saying ALL LIVES MATTER demonstrates that neither you nor anyone you know has experienced the terror of being seen as not only a disposable human life but a nuisance as well, and one that must be eradicated and forgotten. As a 6’6″ white male I have never and will never experience racism nor the dread of wondering if my child will come home at night simply because of the color of their skin (I worry for another reason: because she is a young woman). But I see what’s happening in this country, I see the fear in my friends with their adopted black sons wondering what kind of world they’ll face and I know I’ve got it easy because of my coloring.
You help no one and only further the divide between all people, between police and the communities they are sworn to protect when you use the words ALL LIVES MATTER. Because of course they do. But what you don’t seem to realize is that not everyone believes that.
And a good portion of this country believes that the color of your skin determines if your life matters or not. And this must end now or no one will be free.
God help us all. Namasté!