Do “Black Lives ” Really Matter?
“Black Lives Matter” vs. “All lives Matter”
Controversy or Sensitivity?
Imagine a group of black people standing in a room. They’re shouting, “Black Lives Matter!” Then suddenly, a larger group of white people come in and they stand in front of them and begin screaming, “All Lives Matter!” They drown out the black people because they simply outnumber them and no one can hear black people any longer.
What do you hear, what do you see? Of course and without dispute, all lives matter. Everyone matters but that’s not the message that people of color are getting in this country. It’s true that whites too are killed by the police, but I can’t clearly recall the chants of “All Lives Matter” on social media, the radio, or flashing across the television screen? Reason being, nobody needs to support the concept that “White lives matter”, because they’ve been the most privileged group for centuries. On the other hand, black people have been strung up, burned, enslaved and oppressed for centuries. Nobody needs to say that white lives matter because our institutions support that fact consciously or unconsciously. We must also remember that the media reports what they think will lead. The media report the stories that they think will garner more views. If that means reporting a story about an unarmed black man being shot and killed by the police and ignoring an unarmed white man being shot and killed by the police, then that’s what they will do. So why not blame the media instead the supporters of the “Black Life Matters” movement, besides no one is saying white lives don’t matter, or any other groups as a whole don’t matter. It’s the media that has Americans going after each other instead of demanding coverage of any injustice. With media ratings sky rocketing, black men are more likely to be shot and killed by the police because that’s what’s selling. Furthermore, the “All Lives Matter” movement is really not a movement; it’s merely a response to deflect from the real issue, and the media is using it as a pawn to take advantage of popular media.
Do pay attention, don’t just see, also hear. It appears that when a black man is killed, the media and other outlets scramble to find out if the victim had any past criminal blemishes. Some outlets even take it to the extreme, checking to see if the victim was suspended from school, had a speeding ticket, or any juvenile delinquencies. But on the other hand, this is rarely broadcasted when whites commit similar crimes. It sends an indirect message that the black man that was killed was a criminal anyway, therefore his life didn’t matter. Blacks are human like any other race; let’s not act like they aren’t allowed to make mistakes. When it comes right down to it, the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement was born out of a double standard. Not ignoring “All Lives Matter”, but blacks have and still suffer disproportionately which makes their experience quite different than other groups. The whole point of the phrase is to let people know that they are tired of being sexual abused, taken advantage of, not given equal protection under the law, marginalized, ridiculed, given bad loans, passed over for jobs and promotions, followed around in stores, not given the presumption of innocence, labeled by derogatory names and murdered unjustly.
So you tell me do “Black Lives Matter”?
Thanks for reading,
Historian Derrick Caples