You’ve probably seen the hashtag #AllLivesMatter circulating around social media. The posts associated with this hashtag, primarily related to racial issues, are often rewarded with positive feedback and praise.
You may agree with some of these statements and get involved with the movement. However, there is an issue that is overlooked when saying “All Lives Matter.”
Our brains are wired for self defense, as well as self exaltation. We see ourselves in everything, whether it is seeing that the front of a car is “shaped” as a face or picturing another face when looking at a power outlet.
The same mentality is adopted in terms of racist acts. For instance, the recent death of unarmed Alfred Olango sparked innumerable comments on social media. Many of the comments made on his murder, as well as on assassinations of other African Americans, include the notion of “All Lives Matter.”
In this era, black lives are not yet equal to white lives in the criminal justice system. Bringing all lives into the picture takes away the importance of settling the relevant injustices that are being faced by black lives.
Many individuals have already begun explaining the significance of this misconstrued mindset. Many incorporate metaphors into their tweets, such as the following post by Judy Chen: “Saying #AllLivesMatter is like running through a cancer fundraiser & saying ‘THERE’S OTHER DISEASES TOO.’”
This shocking commentary impacted me and encouraged me to research more about the hashtag’s meaning. I, as well as various celebrities, have innocently used the #AllLivesMatter hashtag in posts related to social justice issues in the black community.
The concept of equalizing everything in our minds was so commonplace, that we failed to realize whose lives were more important to democratize in our society.
Rather than taking away the focus from this suffering community, it must be everyone’s priority to take action in finally reaching a state of equality between races, especially in such a diverse country. Once it is accomplished, it must also be maintained.
After maintaining racial equality, fighting for human rights is facilitated because now it becomes an issue of the people as one entity.
Essentially, the human race is interconnected. The sufferings of one individual become the sufferings of another. The only difference between us is the levels of suffering we undergo.
The main idea is to minimize the adversities of one group so that they are now facing the same things everyone else goes through.
Once that common ground is established, empathy is born. We are now able to sympathize with other issues that trouble the nation.
This becomes the closest form of a utopia in our corrupt society. The first step in achieving this is eradicating #AllLivesMatter and moving toward #BlackLivesMatter, narrowing it down to fixing what actually matters today.