Are all lives equal?
Truth be told, I had a hard time understanding the whole #BlackLivesMatter movement. Well, maybe even saying “a hard time” is a bit much. But I just couldn’t relate. I mean, #AllLivesMatter, right?
Well, then it took Jesse Williams’ speech at the 2016 BET Awards to really make me understand. Yes, as a human race, all lives must matter. But when all lives are not treated equally…then, let’s focus on that first.
Was it racist?
He didn’t spew out hate. He didn’t call anyone murderers or drug dealers. He didn’t hide behind masks or sheets. He stated facts, spoke from his experiences, and he took a stand. How different is that from when Patricia Arquette spoke about equal pay for women at the Golden Globes?
And what really got me was that his speech prompted a petition for him to get fired because his words were “racist.” Because “all lives should matter.” Because “if this was a white person making the same speech about an African American…”
Let’s stop right there.
The whole reason why #BlackLivesMatter is because a white person can’t make that same speech. Because the experiences that Jesse spoke of, the names that he mentioned, the stand that he takes…can’t be said by a “white person.” And that’s the point.
All lives may be created equal, but they certainly aren’t treated the same.