Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter

Photo by Julian Wan on Unsplash

Black Lives Matter or All Lives Matter?

I feel like the media tries to present these two as opposing entities. They’re missing the point. Posing “All Lives Matter” against “Black Lives Matter” is a trick because:

“Black Lives Matter” = “All Lives Matter”

How so?

“Black Lives Matter” is not saying that ONLY black lives matter. It is affirming that ALL lives matter. The idea that all lives matter isn’t introduced by #alllivesmatter— #blacklivesmatter has already recognized that before #alllivesmatter did.

The Black Lives Matter [BLM] movement is trying to point out that Black Lives Matter TOO in addition to the rest of the lives that should be and/or already are recognized to matter by society. It’s trying to highlight that even though objectively all lives DO matter, BLACK lives specifically are omitted from the “ALL” group subjectively as Black people are seen as disposable by society and institutions.

Please don’t fall into the trap that polarizes these two elements of Black lives mattering and all lives mattering. Media platforms are trying to cause (further) damage. Ideally, everyone should know and believe that all lives are precious and matter, regardless of racial and other differences. But sadly, that’s not the case as society and institutions have a record of dehumanizing and killing our Black brothers and sisters at a disproportionate rate.

#alllivesmatter came out in response to #blacklivesmatter. People who promoted the former believed that it isn’t fair to neglect non-Black lives in favor of black ones. In reality, the former delegitimizes the existence of the struggles and racial oppression that Black people face. It fails to recognize that even though Black lives should matter to everyone, they don’t matter to everyone.

Black Lives Matter isn’t FAVORING black lives over non-Black lives. It’s trying to teach society to recognize and understand that Black lives are just as valuable as non-Black lives. And it’s trying to hold society accountable for not recognizing this God-given equality. And it’s trying to teach society— people— to recognize it.

The thing that these two hashtags have in common is that they talk about what SHOULD matter. But remember, what should and what is aren’t always the same because racism exists and people are unjust. BLM recognizes that progress is still yet to be made. All Lives Matter, on the other hands, falsely assumes that this progress is already there.

The media purposely led people astray from the fact that the recognition of life equality of humanity is embedded within #blacklivesmatter. They tricked people into believing that the recognition of black oppression equates to the delegitimization of racial equality. In other words:

Black Lives Matter is NOT saying that All Lives Don’t Matter.

The media missed the point that affirming the value of Black lives was done because Black lives in comparison to non-black lives are NOT recognized to matter all too often in society.

“All Lives Matter” wasn’t prevalent prior to “Black Lives Matter.” It only came out to oppose the recognition of Black lives and the reality of the injustices committed against Black people. In insinuating that the valuing of Black lives contradicts the value of all lives, the media has succeeded in ironically further contradicting the valuing of all lives.

I hope that this post explains why the “All Lives Matter” hashtag is ineffective and self-contradictory, and delegitimizes the value of Black lives. And I hope it explains why the #blacklivesmatter hashtag is necessary if you are truly trying to promote that all lives matter.

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