Why All Lives Don’t Matter

all-lives-matter

Many people find fault with the Black Lives Matter movement, claiming that the organization is creating an isolationist sentiment that is counter-productive to the fight for unity amongst people from different backgrounds. By dividing the struggle in terms of race, the movement singles out the struggle of Black Americans and does not create an open space for the inclusion of other races. If the aim is to live in a colorblind society where people are not subject to discrimination and oppression based on race, it is counterproductive to try and use race as the focal point in the issue of police violence. The Washington Post did a study that proved that out of the 788 individuals that were killed by police in 2015, 365 of those individuals were white which is more than the combined number of black and Latinx individuals killed by police. This led many people to see that police brutality is not a race issue, but a people issue, and by categorizing this problem as something only Black Americans deal with belittles the issue of police brutality in the United States. For many people it is not that Black lives don’t matter, it’s that Black lives are not the only ones suffering from the side effects of police violence. Black lives matter because all lives matter, and it is only through the reiteration that all lives matter that society will be able to solve these problems.


The purpose of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is to highlight the fact that there is substantial evidence of  discrimination against African Americans in the criminal justice system in the United States. For victims of injustices committed against African Americans in non-white communities, the All Lives Matter (ALM) movement can be excruciatingly insulting. There is a misconception that the BLM group is isolating or racially dividing themselves further, but their principles display the complete opposite. The BLM group in fact has the same idea as their counterpart, that all lives matter equally. The All Lives Matter group brings  a sense of oppression and denial toward racism of Black Americans, diminishing any opportunity for positive change or advocation of equality. Jesse Damiani, who wrote a compelling article for the Huffington Post on the All Lives Matter movement states, “Every time you use the term ‘All Lives Matter’ you’re broadcasting to others that change isn’t necessary when it very much is.”
  All don’t matter until black lives matter, and until we face the racial issues in America we cannot eliminate race from that conversation.

Sources:

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2016/
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-damiani/every-time-you-say-all-li_1_b_11004780.html
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