It really sucks to have to dig into this once again, but apparently the statement “Black Lives Matter” is somehow controversial. Why is it so hard for people to hear that phrase and just say “Yup!”? What makes them so resistant to it? Do they hear that and mentally add the word “only” at the beginning, as if the claim is that somehow only black people deserve life?
For those who have trouble with this, or who have friends/family/co-workers with this issue, here’s a simple way of understanding it: imagine that you are at a dinner party. Everyone is seated around the table, and the food starts being served. Plates of food are placed all around, but you notice that they forgot to serve your friend Peter. So you state “Peter needs food”. But instead of the hosts apologizing and getting Peter a plate, they respond with “Everyone needs food!!”.
That’s certainly a completely true statement, but what is the point? Of course everyone needs food; nobody claimed otherwise. You are simply pointing out that at the moment, Peter isn’t getting any food.
Yes, all lives matter. But at the moment, black people are being treated by many police as though their lives don’t. They are getting killed for the most minor of reasons, when there is a reason at all. And when justice is demanded for the police officers who commit these murders, it almost never happens. Time after time, those murderers are let go, simply because they are police, and different rules apply to them.
When we say “Black Lives Matter”, we are saying that we need to address this systemic issue, and address it urgently before any more black people are murdered by the police. Those officers who have been part of these murders shouldn’t be held to a lower standard than that of an average citizen who kills someone; instead, they should be held to a much higher standard.
Let me leave you today with a clip from someone making a very similar case about this topic: