In 2013, the Black Lives Matter movement began in an attempt to fight against violence and systemic racism against the black community in countries around the world, a campaign that currently is much more predominant in the US. However, once the campaign rose to popularity, it was met by backlash and led to the creation of the slogan, “All lives Matter.” Today, there is an ongoing debate on whether or not the campaign for “All lives Matter” is a true movement for equality or it is yet another example of the discriminatory culture that suppresses many.
It is important to primarily understand that the goal of the “Black Lives Matter” movement is not to portray the African-american community as superior to all other ethnicities. Rather, as former President Barack Obama said. “what they [are] suggesting [is that] there is a specific problem that is happening in the African American community that’s not happening in other communities.” Unfortunately, this message is misinterpreted constantly by the media and other groups as well.
Initially, when looking at the slogan ‘All Lives Matter”, it appears inclusive and understanding, a much needed call for unity. However, this campaign is more sinister then it first seems.
The campaign “All Lives Matter” is an issue as it draws attention away from the systemic racism and discrimination the african-american community is trying to highlight through the “Black Lives Matter” campaign. It dismisses the idea that more should be done to help the african american community and ignores the statistical proof of the presence of racism and xenophobia. Not only does the slogan blatantly disregard and discriminate, the slogan also works to victimize those responsible for the oppression.
The way in which it is enforced further justifies its misuse. The “All Lives Matter” was formed as a response to the “Black Lives Matter” campaign, a form of opposition against a group of individuals campaigning for equality and an end to racism. The “All Lives Matter” campaign does not fight for equality, rather it dismisses those who do.
Experts often use the cancer analogy to better explain the hypocrisy of the “All Lives Matter” movement. Let’s say a group of individuals were holding a fundraiser for breast cancer research. A man approached them and said they couldn’t raise money for just breast cancer because “all cancers matter”. It can be assumed that the people behind the fundraiser understand that “all cancers matter”, however they have decided to shed light to a particular cancer, whether for personal reasons or logistical reasons, but it is completely acceptable. For many of you, this scenario might seem unrealistic and even a bit crazy and humorous. However, this is exactly what is occurring today, just replace breast cancer with the “Black Lives Matter” movement and all cancers with the “All lives matter movement.”
In this world, racism and xenophobia surround us in our daily lives, whether they be invisible or disguised as in this scenario, it is important that we recognize this discrimination, whether or not it affects us, and fight to eliminate it. The Black Lives Matter movement is just one step on the long road towards equality, a road which needs to be led by people of all races and all genders.