This is a touchy subject, but I wanted to voice an opinion and hear from you to help me understand and gain more perspective.
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For the longest time, I was one to think or say (quietly in my mind or sometimes out loud) how I want equality for all and how everyone matters and no human being is really entitled to determine who gets to live in the midst of chaos.

It’s like this whole kumbaya spiel of how I wish people would give other people a chance. A chance at peace. A chance at life. A chance to understand one another. A chance to respect each other. Or how everything would be better if people weren’t so quick to judge, point fingers, accuse people of being or thinking a certain way or hating a race or an ethnicity because a few bad ones behaved one way and ruined it for everyone else. I wanted to somehow push people to try. At least try. But hey, people are people, and it will always happen – the judging, the bias, the bigotry, and the shootings.

Now, the whole thing with “Black Lives Matter” and people dismissing that phrase with an “all lives matter” or “all colors matter” statement is problematic. The problem with saying those two phrases is that they undermine that black lives do, in fact, matter. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” in no way claims that other lives do not matter.

There’s bias with news pertaining to stories about black lives. They’re not really considered “news” because young, black men are killed in significantly disproportionate numbers (federal data for 1,217 fatal police shootings between 2010 and 2012 showed that young black men were 21 times more likely to be shot and killed by cops), which may be why we don’t treat it as anything really new.

According to mappingpoliceviolence.org, police killed at least 102 unarmed black people in 2015, which is nearly twice each week. Almost one in three killed were identified as unarmed (actual number might be higher due to underreporting). Get this…apparently, only 10 of the 102 cases in 2015 where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime.

How do we solve this? Can we have better training for all of us to acknowledge our subconscious prejudices and increase accountability to help impede the excessive use of brutality and force? To clarify that there are indeed consequences in misusing and/or abusing our rights and powers?

In the recent case of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, two white officers were arresting Alton Sterling, a black man, after responding to a call about an armed man around a convenience store. The officers had Sterling pinned to the ground and with Sterling unable to move, one of the police officers yelled, “he’s got a gun!” and within seconds from that, Sterling was shot by at least one of the officers.

This is raising all sorts of questions and outrage pertaining to law enforcement and racial disparities.  Autopsy reports show Sterling having died of multiple gunshot wounds. According to the convenience shop owner, the officers were “aggressive” from the start, and though Sterling was armed, he was not holding a gun, nor did he have his hand near his pocket at the time of the shooting. So what really happened?

My main point is, we don’t pay attention to certain people’s deaths as we do to others. We do not treat all lives as though they matter equally. Saying “Black Lives Matter” isn’t at all saying “ONLY Black Lives Matter” in any size, shape or form. It’s not an anti-white proposition, either. The statement “Black Lives Matter” actually carries an unspoken but implied “too,” as in “black lives matter, too,” which encourages inclusion rather than exclusion. By saying “all lives matter” or any other variations of that phrase, is a slap in the face, not to mention, a dismissal to the very problems that the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is trying to convey or draw attention to. So please, next time you are about to say and/or argue “all lives matter”, be conscious that there is a silent added “too,” to the end of the phrase “Black Lives Matter”.  Black lives matter, too.

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justviasyl
Aspiring to be a woman comfortable and happy mentally, physically and professionally, JustviaSyl highlights Sylvia's personal and professional development journey through tips, thoughts, and stories in hopes of bringing more positive energy into the world and encouraging us to keep learning, laughing, growing, relaxing and reflecting to become the best versions of ourselves and live a life we're remarkably proud of. To get in touch or work together, send a note to justviasyl@gmail.com

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dawhoda
3 years ago

no lives matter Im not racist I hate everyone!

Jenn
Jenn
3 years ago

I completely agree with this, it’s sad that the world has come to this point.

Lucas
Lucas
3 years ago

Completely agree! People often say “you can’t say ‘black lives matter’ what about the other lives?” But even tho they matter too, RIGHT NOW the black lives are been threatened more than any other ethnic

Alex Lindroth
Alex Lindroth
3 years ago

This is, in fact, a touchy subject. I’ve heard both sides far too many times, and both make compelling arguments. There’s evidence of extremism ending in DEATHS because of this movement, Micah Xavier Johnson, I believe because they were dissatisfied by the lack of voice in the movement lately. I understand you’ll always have a couple bad eggs, though. However, being in a household with the people the Black Lives Matter movement are trying to get to, it’s done nothing. It’s only caused extra bitterness about race because it seems people will only hear what they’re willing. I personally am… Read more »

Alex T
Alex T
3 years ago

Completely agreed, and I’ve never thought to dismiss the phrase “Black lives matter” with “all lives matter.” It’s unnecessary and rude. Thank you for writing this.

Jules M.
Jules M.
3 years ago

It’s absolutely true that society in general needs to understand that “black lives matter” simply means “black lives matter, too”. As obvious as it should seem people tend to over look this.

Elinor
Elinor
3 years ago

Of course, all lives matter. But black lives are constantly at risk from brutality by police. White lives aren’t. That was the whole reason the movement was created, because the law enforcement and judicial systems decided that black lives mattered less than those of the cops who shot them. Thank god for cell phones, or there would be no chance for real justice.

E Hunsicker
E Hunsicker
3 years ago

That last phrase, I think, encapsulated the intent of and need for the message and movement “black lives matter” in the simplest way I have seen. Black lives matter too. That is what the default mindset should be – it is the goal: the deconstruction of the stereotypes that clump an entire race into one terrible, incorrect mold. White lives don’t need the focus like that – the mindset is already a reality. Keep saying #blackLivesMatter and keeping pushing for actual change. Don’t let these tragedies be forgotten.

Brian Dexton PhD.
Brian Dexton PhD.
3 years ago

I retired from a global company. We have greater diversity than any company. Most employees are not Americans. We have I suspect 40% muslims. There is no problem. We have a common culture and we share it. Our policy is NO discrimination of any kind. To answer your question. Always examine the motive of the person with the grievance. The person has only three things driving them. Is is affiliation – we want to get along. Achievement – We want to get better skills and jobs. Power – We want to be in charge. If you assume the wrong motive… Read more »

Enma mejia
Enma mejia
3 years ago

From a Latina perspective, the black lives matter movement is an extremely important part of history in how it’s one of the first majorly recognized movements in the rights for people of color since the civil rights movement. It brings attention to the fact that there is still inequality in a system that has “already given attention to racism” when it’s just changed forms. While people of color don’t have to drink from seperate water fountains, the fact that middle aged white women often still clutch their bags a little more when we are around is proof that we are… Read more »

izzy
izzy
3 years ago

I am really glad you brought up this issue, considering recent events. I, too, think it’s highly problematic to rework the intent of BLM to serve the ends of those with white privilege, especially considering the over representation of blacks in shooting statistics. Thanks for reminding readers of this strange effect of creating a meaningful movement. May we never forget those lives lost, no matter how adamant some whites are in representing themselves at the moment of black tragedy. Would it be appropriate to mourn the loss of someone else’s loved one at the funeral or vigil for someone who… Read more »

Kai
Kai
3 years ago

It’s very sad that white people feel undervalued and offended when POC try to stick up for themselves and protest the desensitization to the brutality and blatant racism that they face

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