This is a good explanation of why saying black lives matter is not an exclusionary statement some make it out to be.
Here’s another explanation:
It’s like being in a relationship and one person saying, “I am important.” The other person doesn’t respond with, “Well, so is the lady down the street, my sister, my mother and so forth.” In much the same way, responding with “I am important, too,” takes the attention away from the person who apparently feels they are not being made a priority. If the one person truly cared about the other, they would respond with, “Yes, you are correct.”
That’s what is meant by black lives matter. The movement is about getting people to understand that blacks in America find themselves facing a set of situations and circumstances that are detrimental to their health and livelihood.
As a society that cares about a part of our whole, our response should be, “Yes, black lives matter.” It’s all about acknowledging a problem exists within our society. It’s not to say one is more important than the other.
My hope is that the Black Lives Matter movement will continue to build momentum in becoming the modern day civil rights movement that is so desperately needed to change the outlook and outcomes for blacks in America.
I also liked what Marc Lamont Hill said on CNN when he said, “If there are two houses on a hill, one is on fire, I’m not going to scream out, ‘All houses matter!’ I’m going to put out the fire in the one that’s on fire. Right now, there’s a fire in the black community.”
Earlier this week, Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley got booed when, speaking at the Netroots Nation conference, he responded to a group of #BlackLivesMatter activists by telling them that “all lives matter.” He was later forced to apologize.
O’Malley isn’t the first person to fail to understand why “all lives matter” is a tone-deaf rallying cry for a national politician in 2015. Hillary Clinton did the same thing earlier this year, though she has since corrected herself. And lots of white people have expressed confusion about why it’s controversial to broaden the #BlackLivesMatter movement to include people of all races.
The best explanation we’ve seen so far comes from Reddit, of all places. Earlier this week, in an “Explain Like I’m 5” thread, user GeekAesthete explained, clearly and succinctly, why changing #BlackLivesMatter to #AllLivesMatter is an act of erasure that makes lots of people cringe.
Imagine that you’re sitting down to…
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