Imagine tweeting #JewishLivesMatter in the middle of the holocaust in WWII, only to see people responding with #AllLivesMatter.
The #AllLivesMatter hashtag is tone deaf and completely misses the point of #BlackLivesMatter: To draw attention to the plight of a group currently enduring suffering and institutionalized injustice.
Of course “all lives matter” – that’s never been up for debate, nor has it ever been a question in the mind of any reasonable person. But in the context of the racial tensions and issues that the USA is currently grappling with, it’s a distraction, an unhelpful statement of the obvious that steals attention from the real issues and as such its use deserves to be condemned.
Yes, #AllLivesMatter – but not all lives have been the victims of institutionalized slavery and discrimination. Not all lives are either targeted or overlooked simply because of their heritage or the color of their skin. But the African American community in the USA has experienced and continues to experience all of the above and worse, and the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag is one means of drawing attention to these issues and (hopefully) affecting some change.
If all lives really do matter, how about we start with the black lives and work toward correcting the many injustices that they face on a daily basis. And instead of distracting or dissembling with an alternative hashtag, why not do for our neighbors what we would want done for us: Stand up, lock arms with these fellow human beings who have been treated so wrongly for so long, and state clearly for all the world to hear,
And we’re going to build a future where that is true.