July 12, 2016

  • "Black Lives Matter" and "All Lives Matter"

    I changed "vs." to "and" in the title because I didn't want the misunderstanding that "conflict" is any part of my thinking.

    What this essay is about is the fact that when some people say "All Lives Matter" in reply to any conversation about "Black Lives Matter," they mean no harm.  They simply mean that all lives matter and black lives are not the only lives that matter.  We "Black Lives Matter" people simply reply, "Of course, all lives matter."  The name "Black Lives Matter" was chosen to emphasize that a few (very few) cops are killing black citizens AS IF black lives don't matter as much as other lives.  And that, obviously, is wrong-headed thinking on the part of those very few bad apples that every police force (or any other group of people) has.  A few bad apples in every barrel..  Of course.

    And there are also some people who say "All Lives Matter" and they DO mean harm.  I'm talking about the racists who defiled the sign in front of our Unitarian Universalist Church.  They scrawled "All Lives Matter" over our "Black Lives Matter" wording not innocently but meanly.  We have a lot of rednecks here in Indian River County in Florida.  I met them while campaigning for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.  And we have a lot of vehicles driving around displaying confederate flags and those drivers are delivering a message and it isn't a pretty message.

    I hope I said all that clearly enough.  I intend, in my next post, to address the need for "Black Lives Matter" folks to stand side by side, publicly and loudly, with supporters of law enforcement personnel.  I'm in both groups.  Sadly, some people are not.  And that's not to criticize. It's simply to state a fact.

Comments (6)

  • It is sad that, 50 years later, we are still so divided. It's good, though, that we are now once again having this conversation on a national level.

  • Violence seems to begat violence and hate - hate. An open dialog is a good first step toward understanding and in turn tolerance. We don't have to all agree but we DO need to respect everyone and maintain civil discourse. Perhaps when all voices are given the opportunity to be heard we will grow closer rather than farther away.

  • It's way past my bedtime, but I do want to point folks to:


    His greatest speech. Ever. My favorite line? something like "We are not asking enough of ourselves."

  • @twoberry: Thanks for the link! I heard the speech, and agree that it was one of the strongest he has delivered. Night before last in Inglewood, CA (a very ethnic suburb of Los Angeles) there was a protest -- but the police held back except to prevent the people from spilling onto a nearby freeway. It was a deliberate strategy which allowed the group to take over a major intersection and "be heard," while the cops dealt with traffic leaving a major forum event. The protest was peaceable, and disbanded as the prime-time news coverage came to an end. I don't know it would work everywhere, but it was an interesting demonstration of "getting along."

  • All lives matter, but this really isn't the point at the moment.

    it is black people who get stopped, interrogated and shot to death .

    and it is not because they comply different. Its because the Tarzan movies had white men split in half by trees.

    Being scared is not a reason to pump bullets through another person body.

    The white man makes it into a "all lives matter" scenario instead of accepting responsibility for the murders.

  • The tragedies just keep on coming! I am so tired!

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