Black Lives Matter
Such has become the rallying cry for those protesting police violence against unarmed civilians, very often young black men. And the slogan and the movement represent the demand—not that black lives are to matter more than other lives—but that black lives be recognized as mattering at all. During the greatest part of the history of first the colonies and then the United States, it is obvious black lives didn’t matter one iota.
But some folks completely miss the point of Black Lives Matter. And often this is deliberate. The racist whites counter that BLM is racist itself. People who refuse to acknowledge that there are real bad cops out there who may not be racist but who operate from the standpoint that more force is always better and think so poorly of the people they are supposed to be serving that they disgrace the badge in interactions with the public on a regular basis.
Then there are the deadheads who allege BLM is anti-cop and simply masks the call to wantonly kill cops, as was done in Dallas last week with five policemen dying.
And finally, there is a widespread, though utterly mistaken, belief that Black Lives Matter is short for Black Lives Matter More Than Other Lives. So to counter that ridiculous reading of the cause they came up with the All Lives Matter slogan.
And an amazing variety of people have bought into that slogan, ranging from blacks themselves to white liberals who allow that yes, we must consider and support all life, to mainly white people who don’t give a shit about black lives and, while using this slogan as cover for a pretext of caring for everyone, really only believe that certain lives matter. And those lives that matter are the ones they deem worthy.
Receiving Welfare or Food Stamps? Your life doesn’t matter. Proof? Cuts to Welfare and Food Stamps that hurt people who need the help.
Children with inadequate diets who get at least some valuable nourishment in their schools? Their lives do not matter. Proof? Cutting meal programs in schools or changing the rules so that fewer needy children will have access to food assistance.
People with health insurance due to passage of the Affordable Care Act? Their lives do not matter. Proof? Over sixty efforts in Congress to repeal the ACA and the pledge of every major Republican Presidential candidate to replace the law with something nebulous but which will almost certainly result in fewer people wth health care insurance.
Victims of terroristic violence? Their lives do not matter. I’ll modify the “their lives do not matter” statement to “only some lives matter of people who are victims of terroristic violence”. Proof? The only outrage against terroristic violence from many in the United States comes when it is domestic—as in San Bernadino or Orlando and can be tied, however tenuously, to Islamic radicals. Or if it is terroristic violence against a European nation such as France or Belgium where one would presume the victims are white Christians or at least the majority are.
Remember when the Brussels attacks occurred? President Obama was in Cuba for an historic visit for a ball game as relations between the two nations are being normalized and followed that with a visit to Argentina where he and Mrs. Obama danced the tango at a state dinner. Right wing media was outraged.
But the following link wil provide a list of terror incidents to date in 2016 around the world, just about every day, and many many with multiple victims numbering at least double figures and many that far exceed the death toll in Brussels, but there was nobody keeping track of where Obama was because those victims had darker skin and were murdered in foreign countries that most Americans couldn’t even find on a map or globe (not that they’d do much better locating Belgium). Why? Because those lives did NOT matter so who gave a damn?
Or even back in the good old USA if its some white dude shoots up a store or church or theater or school, the right cares more about any calls to institute some controls on assault weapons than is does for the lives lost.
No, the slogan All Lives Matter is a subterfuge so that the lives that matter are only the ones deemed worthy, mostly by the right wing. I bid you beware if you are not one of their favorites. Depending upon your own personal peculiarties, at a critical point you might find that, contrary to the slogan, your life don’t mean shit.