This write-up is in response to A post on the Huff Post called “The Real Reason White People Say ‘All Lives Matter’”. There are so many things wrong with it, the only way I could address them all is point-by-point.
Let me start out by saying this article makes a lot (and I do mean a lot) of collectivist statements. That makes sense that a person that would promote a statement such as “Black Lives Matter” would be a collectivist. In fact, if I had to summarize what’s wrong with this article (and the Black/Blue Lives Matter movements) succinctly, that would be the word I’d use: collectivism. The article starts:
Dear fellow white people, let’s have an honest talk about why we say “All Lives Matter.” First of all, notice that no one was saying “All Lives Matter” before people started saying “Black Lives Matter.” So “All Lives Matter” is a response to “Black Lives Matter.” Apparently, something about the statement “Black Lives Matter” makes us uncomfortable. Why is that?
Now some white people might say that singling out Black people’s lives as mattering somehow means that white lives don’t matter. Of course, that’s silly. If you went to a Breast Cancer Awareness event, you wouldn’t think that they were saying that other types of cancer don’t matter. And you’d be shocked if someone showed up with a sign saying “Colon Cancer Matters” or chanting “All Cancer Patients Matter.” So clearly, something else is prompting people to say “All Lives Matter” in response to “Black Lives Matter.”
Many of the people saying “All Lives Matter” also are fond of saying “Blue Lives Matter.” If you find that the statement “Black Lives Matter” bothers you, but not “Blue Lives Matter,” then the operative word is “Black”. That should tell us something. There’s something deeply discomfiting about the word “Black.” I think it’s because it reminds us of our whiteness and challenges our notion that race doesn’t matter.