All lives matter, but some have it harder


Cory Kay, News Editor


Throughout recent months, activists have taken to the streets and social media to spearhead the Black Lives Matter movement, only to be confronted with the “all lives matter” response.

Out of context, the phrase “all lives matter” promotes equality and respect. In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, however, the phrase carries a number of concerning implications.

As a white male, I can acknowledge that I am astoundingly privileged.

I did absolutely nothing to acquire this privilege and I am concerned to see countless people with whom I share it be unable to acknowledge their own privilege.

Most of those supporting the “all lives matter” response are white individuals who have never been harassed because of their race. These people misunderstand the purpose behind the Black Lives Matter movement.

While racial equality has made progress over recent decades, I argue that society is not even close to achieving true equality.

To respond to the Black Lives Matter movement as a white individual with a defensive “all lives matter” retort is to imply that you too have been faced with the same challenges that the black community has faced.

To respond in this fashion is to say that you can relate to the oppression; while we, as a majority, can sympathize with the oppressed, we cannot relate. Therefore, we certainly should not include ourselves in an equality movement that we do not need.

All lives do matter. Each life is equal in potential and in value. Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement are not disagreeing with this or trying to convince you otherwise.

Why are some people getting so upset over Black Lives Matter supporters? They just want people of color to be valued equally in our society.

As a white person, I understand that my voice does not carry the effectiveness of the voices of those within marginalized communities who go through these experiences. For this reason, I feel that I can only speak with, rather than for, people of color.

What I can do, however, is encourage the privileged to acknowledge their advantage in life that was handed to them. When one truly understands his/her privilege, he/she can then understand and support the emotions and the motives behind movements like Black Lives Matter.