All Lives Matter... or do they?
by Rosemarie on October 20, 2016 - 10:30pm
“Not only Black lives matter, ALL lives matter!” This sentence is, I believe, the most racist sentence of modern history and one should never say it if they do not know the background behind the saying “Black lives matter”. Yes, all lives matter, all living things on earth matter, everybody knows that, but it seems that not everyone knows that Black lives matter, and this why people need be reminded of that.
In the article “All Lives Matter: A racist response to a race problem in America”, the author Gabriel Goodwin explains the problem with saying that all lives matter as a counterargument to the saying “Black lives matter”. Goodwin makes an interesting point at explaining why it is important to understand that Black lives matter, because unlike White people, Black people have to live with injustices and stereotypes that often defines them as murderers, thieves and criminals. These stereotypes often lead to unfair jail sentences or even leading to them being killed off by police officers.
The slogan “Black lives matter” started after 17 years old Trayvon Martin was killed and his killer was immediately released from custody. After this, Black people started to speak up about this problem of always being targeted and living in the fear of being killed or accused for no legitimate reason. White people have no idea what it feels like to feel this way. White people don’t face the injustices that minorities live, and this is called “white privilege”, which basically means that White people have rights they can enjoy beyond the common advantage of all others and are often exempt from certain burdens. In other words, this means that White people have no reason to be scared of being killed off because of their skin color or to receive a sentence disproportional to the crime they committed. That’s white privilege; the privilege of not having to live in fear because of our skin color. Black people don’t have this privilege; this is why it is important to say out loud that their lives matter.
The topic of this article made me think about a story my mom told me when she was a nurse in a hospital in Montreal. They received many traumas that night and for some reason there was not enough staff to cover everyone. As my mom went to help a patient in a critical state, a doctor went to see her and told her to focus her time on another patient because since this patient was Black, he would probably heal pretty fast, or worst case scenario, he would die so they could take his organs for more important people. I wish someone that night would have been there with a big sign saying “Black Lives Matter” right to his face.
That’s why we need to scream out loud that Black lives matter, to put an end to the injustices that minorities face. If White people are offended by this slogan, it is because they live in the ignorance of their privileges and denial of the suffering of Black people.
Goodwin, G. (2016, October 10). All Lives Matter: A racist response to a race problem in America. Detroit Metro Times. Retrieved from http://www.metrotimes.com/Blogs/archives/2016/10/10/all-lives-matter-a-r...