Some of our readers may think to themselves why is all this focus being put on Black lives…don’t all lives matter?
Saying Black Lives Matter does not mean other lives don’t matter. Not at all. In fact, saying All Lives Matter (though coming from a good place for most who embrace that term) misses the crux of the Black Lives Matter movement. Saying “All Lives Matter” pulls the attention away from Black Lives, who are the ones that are and have been heavily discriminated against for generations.
Black Lives Matter is a rallying slogan/anthem that speakes out about police brutality and systemic racism. It calls for a shift in statistics where Black people are twice – three times more likely to be killed by a police officer while unarmed, compared to a white individual. As a nation we need to pay attention to all of our races and cultures equally and stop acting like Black Lives are devalued in some way. Saying “All Lives Matter” diminishes and dsicounts the focus on the violence and discrimination Black individuals face every day. Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by not only police violence, but systemic racism. By saying Black Lives Matter, we are saying that Black Lives Matter as much as White Lives.
We support racial justice and we support equality.
Examples below of the difference between saying Black Lives Matter vs saying All Lives Matter:
If you see someone’s house on fire getting destroyed, you don’t stand there and yell at the fire department to put water on your house that’s not burning because you have a house too. No, you focus on the emergency in front of you at that moment and give everything you got to save that house and protect the people in that house that is burning.
Giving attention to the burning house is not saying your house doesn’t matter. It’s not saying your life or all the other houses and lives in the neighborhood don’t matter. It’s saying we need to focus on what is burning right now and not ignore this fire because their lives matter too.
~compiled based on a comic strip by Kris Straub
If you see a person on the ground who fell and cut their knees open and they are bleeding profusely and people are trying to help put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding until help comes….
You don’t stand there and yell at them saying “Hey I have knees too, in fact I have two of them – what about my help…what about my knees?”
No….you focus on the person that’s bleeding and needs that lifesaving help in that moment. You triage and prioritize.
That doesn’t mean that if you may injure your knees in the future or have injured your knees in the past that your knees don’t matter. What it means is that the knees that are bleeding now need the most immediate attention because those bleeding knees matter too – and are more emergent to take care of now in this moment….not just yours.
Black Lives Matter!