Why 'All Lives Matter' Is Problematic To The Black Lives Matter Movement

10 June 2020, 11:42 | Updated: 10 June 2020, 13:04

Why saying 'All Lives Matter' is dismissive of the racism black people are exhausted by every day
Why saying 'All Lives Matter' is dismissive of the racism black people are exhausted by every day. Picture: Getty Images

Of course 'all lives matter', that much should, and is, a widely accepted fact across society- so then why are Black people still facing disproportionate levels of institutional racism and oppression?

As the spotlight shines on 'Black Lives Matter' and millions pledge to support and fight for the cause across the world, why do so many rebuff the statement with 'All Lives Matter', a statement that, as humans beings, is a basic and almost universally accepted law of life?

Black people continue to be subjected to higher levels of violent, systemic and everyday racism (George Floyd's family have just laid him to rest) and it's clear, as it has been for years, that black lives are in danger and it is everyone's duty to help make a change.

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Saying 'all lives matter' in response to 'Black Lives Matter' is dismissive of the racism, in all its forms, that Black people are accustomed to experiencing, enduring and fearing, in every day life.

From micro-aggressions ranging from people asking to touch Black peoples' hair or telling them they're 'exotic' looking, to being 'randomly' stopped and searched by police and suffering brutality from the authorities - Black people have exhaustively pointed out white people have had a very different and more privileged experience growing up than they have.

To acknowledge the above is a crucial step in helping dismantle the structural racism that's so deeply ingrained into society, and to support the BLM movement is to say 'yes, of course all lives matter, but we need to throw our support behind black people right now.'

The immense crowd of protesters taking the Manhattan inbound...
The immense crowd of protesters taking the Manhattan inbound... Picture: Getty

An analogy that's become popular during this latest wave of BLM protests is the burning house; if someone'e house was on fire and the fire brigade turned up to extinguish it- would every other house on the street, not on fire, expect to be extinguished alongside the house?

No, because those houses don't need help, they aren't on fire, there's no urgent issue there, and that's what the Black Lives Matter is tending to, a burning issue that's raged on for years, and people have tried to put it out countless times throughout history.

In an ideal world, we would all care for each other equally. But that is not the reality, so until that time, everyone must rally to fight for groups facing inequality and raise them up to the level of those at the top.

If you're looking for ways you can support BLM, here are some petitions you can sign.

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