Saturday, January 9, 2016

All Lives Matter

I started this blog saying that I want to rise above the mindless Internet chatter with sound reasoning and credible sources for my arguments.  At the risk of some, perhaps many, thinking ill of me, I feel that I must have the courage of my convictions to make a stand on something I feel very passionate about: All Lives Matter.

Of course black lives matter.  White lives matter.  Brown lives matter.  Red lives matter. Yellow lives matter.  Atheist lives matter.  Jewish lives matter.  Christian lives matter.  All lives matter.

Those in power who view common people as cattle rely on us being divided. While we are fighting each other we cannot fight them.  Now, as it has always been, is a time for all good people to be united against our real oppressors.  How can we unite under a banner that implies one type of person's suffering is somehow intrinsically greater than another's?  How can any just, moral person embrace a political or social movement that does not seek liberation for everyone?

Unity is impossible when any segment of society is allowed the luxury of indulging in the fantasy that the oppression they have endured is in a class all by itself.  Sure, all minorities have been oppressed each in their own unique ways, but as soon as we say that any one minority's suffering is of magnitudes greater than that of any and all of the other groups, we are enabling a culture of victimhood which engenders a runaway sense of entitlement and a brand of elitism particularly insidious because to be brave enough to challenge it is to risk being labeled a bigot.

This is the very first sentence of Wikipedia's entry on Black Lives Matter: "Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international activist movement, originating in the African American community, that campaigns against violence toward black people."

Where is the "international activist movement" to "campaign against violence" toward all people? The only explanation I ever get is that others "aren't getting killed in the streets the way black people are."  Exactly how so?  Does a police baton upside the head of a brown or white or yellow person hurt less or do less damage?  Why is it that these same people who rightly distrust the media's sensationalism and slant on most issues now decide to accept at face value the quality and quantity of reportage about violence against black people versus white people versus brown people?

We need a movement that sees no color or race.  We need a movement that speaks the language of personal empowerment rather than that of victimhood and powerlessness.  We need a movement that encourages meaningful and civil participation by all in shaping a society and government where all are truly equal.  We need a movement about all people of all races taking their rights back rather than waiting for said rights to be "given back." We need a movement that sees all people as masters of their own destiny and encourages us to make the changes that we need to make to live the lives we deserve rather than to wait for forces beyond our control to magically align in our favor.  We need a movement that fully and explicitly acknowledges that #AllLivesMatter.