Monday, December 15, 2014

All Lives Do Matter

I read an article the other day about a college president who apologized to students for an e-mail she sent out that said "All lives matter."

Student protesters at Smith College in Massachusetts last week were protesting the "violence against blacks" brought on by the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, among others. Their theme was against racism and police brutality, two things that neither of the mentioned cases were about.

The college president, Kathleen McCartney, sent an e-mail to students campus-wide with a subject line that said "All Lives Matter." Apparently some of the students took offense to such a notion with one saying “It minimizes the anti-blackness of this the current situation."

Really? Saying that all lives matter minimizes the anti-blackness of the situation? What anti-blackness is that? You mean the anti-blackness that the police officers showed against Michael Brown and Eric Garner? The anti-blackness that was denounced as false by the families of both men?

Michael Brown's mother and Eric Garner's wife and daughter all said they did not believe the police acted with racial bias in the cases of their loved ones. So where exactly is the anti-blackness?

The same student went on. "Yes, all lives matter, but not all lives are being targeted for police brutality. The black students at this school deserve to have their specific struggles and pain recognized, not dissolved into the larger student body."

Another student said  “It felt like she was invalidating the experience of black lives.”

Ms. McCartney retracted her first e-mail and issued a second. “I regret that I was unaware the phrase/hashtag “all lives matter” has been used by some to draw attention away from the focus on institutional violence against Black people,” she wrote.

Institutional violence against black people? Please.

But what can one expect when even the President of the United States, his Attorney General, and elected members of our government push the lies and the racial division?

President Obama was supposed to be the "Great Uniter." Yet from the beginning he has only increased racial division, beginning in his 2008 campaign when he said "Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, 'he's not patriotic enough, he's got a funny name, you know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.'"

From the Professor Gates incident to the Trayvon Martin incident to the Michael Brown incident, President Obama, rather than attempting to unite people against bigotry and lies, has fueled the fire by commenting in a biased way against the police and whites in general. As the first black American President he had such an opportunity to make positive changes in racial relations here in the United States. And he blew it big time.

Again - the facts and the families of the men who were killed have negated the racial aspect of these cases. Yet people around the country continue to propagate it as if it were fact. Pushing a lie, particularly one that has become so widespread, is just wrong.

Pushing the phrase "black lives matter" over "all lives matter" only tends to further divide the nation. "All lives matter" means everyone. It doesn't negate black lives - it includes them. Those pushing the "black lives matter" phrase and silencing the ones who say all lives matter are only increasing the problem of division.

I read a sign the other day being held by black protesters that said "Black Lives Matter - unless they're taken by other blacks." Sadly, this is the reality that the current protesters continue to ignore. It's easy to blame whitey and the police for the deaths of black men but reality is that black men are being killed by the thousands by other black men. Why don't we see that as a part of the protests? Oh yeah... it doesn't perpetuate the agenda.

All lives matter. Black, white, Asian, Native American, male, female, straight, gay, what have you. All lives matter. God loves each and every one of us. The Bible says we should love our neighbors as ourselves. It also says to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If people began living by those principles there would be far less violence in this nation and the world. How could that be a bad thing?

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