Why Saying “All Lives Matter” Misses The Point


Being black in America, a crime in itself, has become excruciatingly painful in recent years for myself and many others. We live in a world where people have become desensitized to the effects of scrolling their timeline on social media to see a black man unequivocally, undeservingly lose his life to the hands of those who are meant to serve and protect. It doesn’t just stop there; black women are not exempt from the obvious perception from certain individuals that black lives don’t matter. When people feel the need to justify the threat they feel from the black lives matter movement, all lives matter is the first resort. 

Of course all lives matter. Who doesn’t want justice for all as stated in our pledge? However, to say that justice for all is what actually takes place would be a lie. I don’t expect everyone to understand what we mean when we say black lives matter. Not everyone has to explain to their children that they have to avoid being perceived a certain way in order to not become a stereotype. Not everyone will understand that even when you explain to your children to be a certain way/avoid certain situations (those careless things teenagers and young adults do with their friends can often lead young black people caught up in the justice system for life), you still worry about them being at the wrong place at the wrong time or caught up in a stereotypical situation with the law. Black men suffer mass incarceration with longer sentences for pettier crimes while other races often plead insanity or receive lesser sentences for more serious crimes. 

To know that we are viewed as a threat because we act or carry ourselves in a way that is often misunderstood truly scares me. Not only does it scare me but it makes me mad. I feel like an underdog in the worl but until we can come together, support each other, and build a lasting economy together it is impossible to make a change. So yes all lives do matter, but right now I’m only seeing black families mourn the loss of their loved ones at the hand of police officers these days. All lives matter, but unfortunately those same black families are usually seen mourning again months later as the police officer goes home to his family to watch that exact family on the news. Sometimes even he goes to back to his job. 

I don’t get mad when people don’t understand what black lives matter means; they simply don’t understand what it means to be black in America. In a perfect world for many, simply stating they are not racist and never discriminating against black people coupled with the extinction of slavery, would be enough; but in this world it’s not. Just because slavery is no longer a factor, it does not mean black people are treated any more justly today. It’s ok if not everyone believes in the magic, but we won’t let it be denied. #blacklivesmatter 

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