#BlackLivesMatter

%23BlackLivesMatter

Naomi Nembhard

Naomi Nembhard, Staff Writer

There’s a neighborhood full of houses. These houses are all exactly the same, but one of them catches on fire. The fire truck arrives, and the firemen point their hoses toward the house. This house deserves to be safe just like all the other houses, because this house, despite the fact that it’s on fire, is equal to all the others. The firemen don’t start spraying water on all the houses, claiming all houses matter, only the burning house. This is the one that needs attention, the one that needs saving.

Now imagine the same analogy, but with people instead of houses, and with racism instead of fire. Black Lives Matter is a campaign dedicated towards ending racism and hate crimes toward black people. Black Lives Matter, contrary to what many might say, doesn’t mean that other lives don’t. Black Lives Matter means that the lives of black people matter also. While the statement all lives matter is true, it does nothing to enforce the idea that certain lives aren’t being treated with the same worth as others. All Lives Matter is not doing anything to diminish racism towards black people, or any other people experiencing racism.

There are varying opinions on the correctness of Black Lives Matter versus All Lives Matter. While Black Lives Matter is a campaign many people recognize, there are still those who don’t understand the meaning behind the campain. Black Lives Matter has to do with  “protecting black lives because they are often discriminated against,” according to sophomore Laurena Olsson. “I think it started when some black kid got murdered by a white guy and potentially the white guy got off without any charges or something. But I’m not really sure.” When asked about the difference between Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter, Olsson responded, “Black Lives Matter is for black people and all Lives Matter is for everyone.” Others thought similarly. “The campaigns have the same message, except with different titles,” said freshman Payton Nicastro.

While most people have good intentions in supporting All Lives Matter, many seem to lack real understanding of the campaign. “The difference between the two is that All Lives Matter is referring to every race; white, black, Asian, Hispanic,” said sophomore Rowan Sheridan. “It’s important that we recognize and promote equality between all the races, not focusing on just one.”

Tré Melvin, known for his YouTube show, This is a Commentary, said in a video, “by changing Black Lives Matter to All Lives Matter, you are disassociating black people from equality . . . You are belittling our struggle, you are patronizing our struggle, you are mocking our struggle, and you are ignoring our struggle. And ignorance equals compliance, ignorance equals consent. You are consenting to our black struggle, and that, my friend, is racism.” In another video, he says, “All lives will matter when the tainted officers who execute my unarmed brothers are no longer labeled heros.” All Lives Matter exists because Black Lives Matter exists. Without Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter would die out, become irrelevant and forgotten.

Freshman Abby English demonstrated understanding of the negativity of the All Lives Matter campaign. She brought up another popular metaphor: “Imagine you are sitting at dinner with your family. Everyone has food on their plates except for you. You say: ‘I should get my fair share.’ Your dad responds with, ‘everyone should get their fair share.’ This is what you meant initially, and it is a sweet sentiment, but it simply derailed the conversation without solving anything. This is the issue with the All Lives Matter campaign.” While this point may not be clear to everyone, most still have positive opinions and outlooks on racial matters. “I want a world where this is no longer a topic of discussion and worry of the United States because we can all contribute something to this world for the better and that’s what matters. Not the color of your skin,” said freshman Anna Neal. Luke Knipe, also a freshman, stated that “black lives are being treated unfairly compared to other lives and that needs to be ended.” This is the positivity needed to move us forward into acceptance and equality.

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