Is it wrong to say "all lives matter?"


Fact Box

  • The Black Lives Matter organization (BLM) was founded in 2013 by three “radical Black organizers” - Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi - in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Treyvon Martin case.
  • In August 2015, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) passed a resolution supporting BLM, stating, “the DNC joins with Americans across the country in affirming ‘Black lives matter’ and the ‘say her name’ efforts to make visible the pain of our fellow and sister Americans as they condemn extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American men, women and children.”
  • It is suspected that BLM donations funnel into DNC coffers since BLM uses ActBlue, a technological fundraising arm made for and used by the DNC. 
  • Since the May 25th killing of George Floyd, protests have erupted around the globe.
  • Ben Carson, 17th US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Trump Administration (assumed position in 2017), is a sharp critic of BLM and is a proponent of the All Lives Matter movement.

Mandy (No)

“All Lives Matter” is not only a true statement applicable to all people, nations, and cultures but concerning current events, it equalizes and elevates POCs (i.e., people of color) of every community. It is racist to promote any race over another. “Black Lives Matter” subtly implies Asian, Hispanic, or Native American lives don’t matter as much. “All Lives Matter” asserts every life as valuable, uplifting all of humanity, and reminds us no person is inferior based on skin color or location or anything else. Most people, including POCs, agree black lives matter. But when tied to the BLM movement specifically, we find many radical plans of action.

The “What we believe” section of the BLM organization promotes goals to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” and has propelled the move to defund police. Many believe BLM doesn’t scrutinize or care about black-on-black violence, which is responsible for ~94% of black homicide. Instead, BLM seems to exist to foment division and anger, even amongst their fellow blacks. Many black activists have begun using the hashtag #ALLBlackLivesMatter to show their solidarity with all black people, not just those killed in police brutality. Truth matters, especially when we look at movements; we need to be careful it’s based on fact. Police shoot more unarmed whites and Hispanics each year than blacks, and police killed only ten unarmed blacks in 2019.  

Every life lost is a tragedy. Our society needs to uplift all people, affirming life as inherently valuable and worthy of respect, no matter the shade of melanin. Only when we come together in compassion as fellow humans will we finally see the change in society that BLM claims to want. 

Tyler (Yes)

The phrase 'All Lives Matter' is being used to distract Americans from an ongoing issue in our country.

If a group of breast cancer survivors planned a rally, a group of lung cancer survivors should not be chanting 'All Cancers Matter.' People of color, particularly African-Americans, have been on the receiving end of unfair treatment from law enforcement for decades. The New York Times reported that while black people make up 19% of the City of Minneapolis' population, they make up 58% of reported force-of-use incidents by city police. The phrase 'All Lives Matter' does not seem to be quite clear in the minds of some police officers. The National Academy of Sciences wrote that in altercations with police, black men are 2.5 times more likely to get killed than white men. By saying that 'All Lives Matter,' you are ignoring the blatant harassment police officers plague black people with on a regular basis. The Washington D.C police department disclosed 70% of their reported traffic stops involved a black person, while black people only make up 46% of the city's population.

Stating 'Black Lives Matter' does not insinuate that black lives matter any more than anyone else's. The University of Texas School of Law reported that surveys showed how black and white residents of Travis County consumed drugs at the same rate. However, the county reported 30% more drug-related arrests among its black residents. 'All Lives Matter' should not be uttered until those enforcing our country's laws view everybody the same way, regardless of color.

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