It is 2017 I should not be explaining this right now, but here we go: I am really sick and tired of your shit. I am fed up. I have decided to sit down and finally write this letter which I hope can be used as a point of reference each time you utter the words “All Lives Matter,” in response to “Black Lives Matter“. The basic premise behind your “All Lives Matter,” is that we shouldn’t highlight the fact that Black lives matter because all lives matter. As it turns out, you are not wrong, all lives do matter, but the problem is what goes unaddressed in your line of thinking.
At this point I’m going to have to tell you that you’re racist—maybe an accidental racist–but racist nonetheless.
If you feel uncomfortable when you hear or see “Black Lives Matter,” it’s probably because deep down, you know the reason we are saying this. Somewhere deep down, you know that in America, All Lives Don’t Matter, because if they did, we wouldn’t be in the middle of another civil rights movement. Yet, here we are.
See, “Black Lives Matter” is trying to highlight that there is significant proof that black lives matter less than those of white people especially when it comes to the judicial system. There is clear and concrete evidence of police brutality, racial profiling, racial injustice, and systematic racism everyday in America.
Now, let me address what “Black Lives Matter” is for us, within the Black community. The movement was created after George Zimmerman was acquitted for his crime against Trayvon Martin–a 17 year old who was fatally shot whilst walking outside with a bag of skittles in Sanford, Florida. Since the acquittal, the Black Likes Movement receives most of its attention when we see the murders of black men and women at the hands of police. Black Lives Matter is also about affirming those within the community. It’s about supporting each other and sharing love. But most of all, it’s about affirming Black people’s resilience.
Now, let me address what “Black Lives Matter” is not. Saying, “Black Lives Matter” is not racist. It is not anti-white. It is not separatist. It is not anti-police. Black Lives Matter does not promote hatred against any group.
It is 2017. Sandra Bland would have been 30 this year, and Trayvon Martin would have turned 22 this past February. US police officers have already killed more than 100 people this year. The Washington Post’s database says that in 2016 alone, 963 people had been shot and killed by police. We have seen more and more Black and Brown men & women murdered at the hands of police, some of which, were unarmed. Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and Korryn Gaines are just 3 names out of a list of names that goes on and on. What’s worse than that is seeing that justice is hardly ever served in these cases. These series of events have become routine, and they are not justice. That’s taking the life of someone, and getting away with it. That’s privilege.
If all lives matter. Prove it. Show us that our bodies hold the same value. Prove it.