July 12, 2016
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.