4 thoughts on “Black Lives Matter Vs. All Lives Matter

  1. Someone on twitter had a good explanation for what people mean when they say “black lives matter” (or at least what she means–and I happen to have the same understanding):

    …The point of “Black Lives Matter” (imho) is to say “All lives should matter, but Black Lives have not been treated that way” because that is true. To respond with “All Lives Matter” is to deny that Black Lives are treated differently /1

    It denies the oppression. It denies there is a different standard. It gives the person who speaks it the air of someone without prejudice, when the people who respond with it tend to be the very people upset that Black people are pointing out their oppression. /2

    All lives do matter, of course. But to respond to “Black Lives Matter” with it is saying, “Shut up. We refuse to acknowledge you have a different experience.”…

    People who object to the BLM phrase seem to be interpreting it as only black lives matter or black lives matter more than other lives; whereas I believe they mean black lives matter, too.

    Off the top of my head, I’d say the real difference boils down the question, are African-Americans treated as if they have less value and viewed with more suspicion than other racial groups? If so believe this is the case, then chanting black lives matter seems wholly appropriate, while if you don’t believe this, it seems inappropriate.

  2. There’s an implied (true) complicity as well, when we say black lives matter. People who insist on replying with “all lives matter” are avoiding complicity. It’s an understandable if despicable avoidance.

  3. There’s an implied (true) complicity as well, when we say black lives matter.

    You mean, when non-blacks say black lives matter they’re acknowledging and owning up to their role in black lives not mattering as much as other lives?

    Great cartoon, by the way.

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