*Editor’s note: This is an op-ed. BUnow invites readers to submit their own pieces.
If you have been keeping up with the news, scrolling through social media, or have driven by a protest, odds are you are aware of the Black Lives Matter movement. You also may have noticed the BLM movement has become more and more prevalent due to the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of Derek Michael Chauvin, a white police officer.
After the murder, social media platforms and their content completely changed. Rather than seeing what your friends and family were up to, you are now seeing post after post supporting the BLM movement, petitions to sign, as well as ways to donate to the Black community.
Many of these posts are being shared by younger people (i.e. around 18-29) who continuously provide vital information in order to educate further on the movement as well as police brutality against the Black community. Facebook, an app mainly used by adults (i.e. around 40), has a range of posts concerning BLM, some in support, some against, using a variety of arguments.
“Blue Lives” Don’t Exist
Perhaps the biggest argument used by those that are older on Facebook against BLM, is that “all lives matter” or “blue lives matter.”
First, let’s eliminate the “blue lives matter” argument. “Blue lives” don’t matter because, simply put, they don’t exist. Cops willingly chose the profession of a policeman/policewoman. When they finish their shift, they clock out, go home and take their badge off. You can walk right past an off-duty cop and not even know that they are one. It’s a job, not a race.
Black people cannot go home and not be Black anymore; they did not willingly choose to be a Black person in this world.
“Blue lives matter” is just a mockery of an actual, valuable movement.
So, now that you know the difference between Black lives and “blue lives” (one exists; one does not), we can now move on the the “all lives matter” argument.
“All Lives Matter”: the Inconsistencies
Black people are three times more likely to be killed by a police officer than white people, and are 1.3 times more likely to be unarmed and killed compared to white people. The Black community has been facing these injustices for their entire lives.
If you argue that “all lives matter,” then, all lives matter. LGBTQ+ lives matter, all POC matter, people of a lower status than you matter, people with different views than you matter. All lives matter, correct?
The Trump administration recently submitted a brief to the Supreme Court stating that adoption agencies, a taxpayer-funded organization, should be able to refuse to let gay couples adopt. The President of the United States believes that a child would be better off as a ward of the state than with a loving, gay family. The president that you voted into office argues this, while you argue all lives matter. If you truly believe all lives matter, then you would not have voted Trump into office, you would be fighting against this brief, and you would be fighting for and accepting of the LGBTQ+ community.
If all lives matter, then this includes children. Children who are afraid to go to class because they might get shot. Firearms are the second leading cause of death of children. Since 1970, there have been around 1,316 school shootings, and the numbers are increasing. March of this year was the only March where the US has not had a school shooting since 2002, because COVID-19 stopped children from going to school. It took a pandemic to stop school shootings for a month. Yet, all lives matter. If you truly believe all lives matter, why are you not outraged by this? Why are you not fighting for stricter gun laws? Does it infringe on the second amendment? You don’t want the government controlling your rights? Neither does the Black community. The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, yet the government infringes on the Black community’s right to life; police kill Black people. Only for 27 days did the country go without a cop killing someone in 2019. What about freedom of speech? Protestors that are protesting peacefully are being teargassed, tased, and attacked by the police. They deserve their rights and freedoms as much as you. However, because they are protesting something you do not believe in, your argument of not wanting the government to control our freedoms goes out the window, you look away.
By saying “all lives matter,” you are changing the facts to fit your narrative, the white person’s narrative. “All lives matter” was made to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement. It is a selfish way of taking the attention off of an actual issue and turning it to fit a different narrative.
“All lives matter” and “blue lives matter” were both made up to take away from the Black Lives Matter movement. Both that have no credit of being a valid argument, just a way to, once again, wrong the Black community.
If all lives matter, below is a link that will take you to a variety of petitions you can sign to make a change to help the Black community. Petitions that are fighting to make the world a better place for them. All lives can not matter until Black lives matter.