Stop hash tagging All Lives Matter in Response to Black Lives Matter

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Ashley Moore

When you say “all lives matter”... first of all- of course they do.

As a white woman who grew up in a privileged home, even I feel a sense of frustration and fatigue when I hear this statement in response to “black lives matter.” I can’t imagine the utter exhaustion that black people are feeling every time they have to hear this or educate people on the true meaning behind this statement.

Black lives matter does not mean other lives do not. It also does not mean racism doesn’t exist amongst ALL races. What it means is that black lives did not matter when they were forced into slavery. Black lives did not matter when they were incarcerated en masse for minor crimes. Black lives did not matter when they were forced into social oppression after the civil war. Black lives STILL don’t matter to those police officers who KILL them for no good reason.

White privilege does not mean that you haven’t had a hard life; it means you haven’t had a hard life BECAUSE of the colour of your skin.

Speaking out against police brutality does not mean I think all police officers are bad, but as Chris Rock says “there are some jobs that can’t have bad apples.” So when you feel the need to reply to this post defending the great police officers that do exist, know that it isn’t the appropriate response because no one is implying they’re all bad and it’s simply a deflection of the current problem.

When you say “statistically, black people commit more crime than white people” (which is true) OR “there are lots of reasons why black people are incarcerated at a rate 5-10 times higher than white people”... yes there are A LOT of reasons. All of those reasons stem from the history of white people in power who forced them into poverty with no food, no money, no education, a history of socioeconomic oppression. A history of being trapped in a disadvantaged system - higher crime, higher rate of teen pregnancy, higher rate of addiction, higher rate of single parents raising babies, higher rate of welfare dependent families, the list goes on.

Until you open your eyes and realize that our economic system is designed to keep poor people poor and rich people rich, you won’t understand this. And THIS system affects people of ALL colour EXCEPT it affects the black community on a much larger scale since more black people, on average are BORN into this disadvantage.

Are there exceptions? Absolutely, but they are the outliers or they simply got lucky.

The next time you watch a movie like “The Hunger Games” or “snowpiercer” keep that in mind, read between the lines. These movies are just metaphors for our lives.

We’re lucky we live in Canada and most of these stats are more relevant in the states (although still existent on a smaller scale here in our country). We still have an obligation to stand up for any injustice against HUMANITY. This is only the beginning for me.


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