by: Alysha Payne, Columnist
Before even reading this article, you probably already know about the debate between the infamous “#BlackLivesMatter” and the secondary response to this hashtag “#AllLivesMatter.” You may even have an opinion and probably have even chosen a side to represent. In this article, I’m going to explain how #BlackLivesMatter ultimately holds more meaning to our society as a whole and why #AllLivesMatter is just a call for attention.
Let us start from the beginning: what exactly is the Black Lives Matter movement? This movement was started in July 2013 in response to the violent (and unnecessary) death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. This movement started picking up heat on social media in the summer on 2014, due to the deaths of 18-year-old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, and 43-year-old Eric Gardner of New York City.
Once this movement began to speed up as the hashtag “#BlackLivesMatter” it started to, naturally, rub people the wrong way. Many were outraged by the use of the hashtag and the supposed implications behind the phrase and began to try and discourage the use of the hashtag across many social media outlets and in various kinds of merchandise and protests held by the people involved in the movement.
I think the ultimate reason for anyone of any race, gender, creed and sexual orientation to bash and lessen the value of this movement or any other movement/popularity of such, which questions the ethics deemed important or “normal” by society, is intimidation.
They are afraid of the possibly that this movement is going to impact the way that the rest of the nation thinks and they want to stop that. In order to maintain their power and get everyone to agree with their side and continue to live by their rate of “normalcy,” they would use something to challenge and purposely misinterpret what the original group is trying to get across. That way, their original message is completely misconstrued and seen as something that it isn’t.
It is a form of control of your audience and it keeps a dominant group dominant.
The reason I mention this form of control is because this is ultimately the exercise being used to run #AllLivesMatter. Even if this wasn’t the actual goal of this movement (which I believe it is), the movement of All Lives Matter is a sham.
Members of All Lives Matter have completely misinterpreted its meaning and are creating a mockery of race issues and police brutality in the United States. Making up phrases like “Pants Up, Don’t Loot” (mocking “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” in honor of Mike Brown, mentioned above) and “I CAN Breathe” (disrespecting and completely mocking the tragic death of Eric Gardner, also mentioned above) target the chants of protesting Black Lives Matter participants.
In addition to this, they remove the focus off of blackness and police brutality as a whole.
According to the Daily Dot, “With ‘All Lives Matter,’ there’s no room allowed to examine white privilege, as race gets removed from the discussion,” which is the entire reason that the Black Lives Matter debate to is being pushed as hard as it can be. It is a major issue in the United States in particular.
At the end of the day, anybody that believes or follows the All Lives Matter movement, please know that the Black Lives Matter movement has never stated that other races lives didn’t matter.
We’re simply trying to say that we have just as much right as other, more dominant races, to live without being worried if our family members, our friends, or our loved ones are going to make it back home at night.
There are black males that have completely eliminated the hoodie from their wardrobe. Some tape their car registration to the dashboard of their car to avoid reaching over to the glove compartment. Some choose to avoid walking around late at night, or have completely foregone walking trips to the convenience store.
We have to constantly monitor ourselves, alter the clothes that we wear, change the way we speak and generally just be able to completely sacrifice our personalities and give in to the police upon request. And that still doesn’t guarantee that we are going to walk out of the situation scott-free. We are being targeted, and we have been for a very long time. And All Lives Matter is making a joke of our situation, and ultimately I believe that no one should continue to support them. There is no need to challenge a movement that is speaking truth to the masses.