Black Lives Matter was spawned as a result of the blatant tendency for Black people to lose their lives at the hands of overzealous white police officers—or wannabes like Trayvon Martin‘s murderer George Zimmerman.
One of the movement’s founders is Alicia Garza (here’s a primer) who along with fellow community organizers Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi popularized the hashtag after Martin’s death. One of its prominent faces is Deray McKesson whose fame rose while covering the Ferguson protests after the death of Michael Brown. Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, there are now BLM chapters throughout the nation. [Look, there’s even a website: BlackLivesMatter.com]
However, people rallying behind the concept aren’t necessarily formal members—while certain media outlets (read: FOX News) routinely attach rogue elements to the movement despite it being clear that any sort of retaliatory violence is not condoned.
This leads us to the term or concept of “All Lives Matter,” which itself is inherent (Duh!). The same goes for that #BlueLivesMatter struggle.
However, the aforementioned plight of Black people (not to mention racial profiling, institutional racism, a corrupt justice system, et. al) makes it clear that their lives, as well as those of other people of color, are not being regarded with the same level of respect, dignity or validity anyone deserves. Thus exists the necessity to shout “Black lives matter!”
Nowhere in Black Lives Matter is there a secretly hidden “only” or “just” before those three words. Neither is there a “most” or “only” that arrive afterwards. If you believe that those said words are somehow implied, you’ve only revealed your (willful) ignorance because…Google is free.
In fact, if you’re an adamant All Lives Matter devotee looking for something inherently racist, look in the mirror.
Photo: AP Photo