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Why you shouldn't respond to 'Black lives matter' with 'All lives matter' | My 2 Cents

WFMY-TV Greensboro logo WFMY-TV Greensboro 6/3/2020 Taheshah Moise
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Black lives matter.

It's a battle cry for people across the country protesting police brutality and racial inequality.

It's also a topic of discussion because this is what I've been seeing and hearing not just the past few days, but the past few years.

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Someone says, "Black lives matter."  And someone else responds with "All lives matter."

Of course all lives matters. That is exactly true. But that's not the conversation here. 

Black lives matter because parts of society and all of history tells them different.

Black people were brought here as slaves.

Black people weren't even counted as a full humans.

Black people couldn't vote at one point in time.

Black people experience a disproportionate amount of police brutality, health care disparity, and mass incarceration.

When the response is all lives matter, we are going back to ignoring the problem. 

Because there is a difference between focus and exclusion.

When it's breast cancer awareness month, do we respond with all cancers matter?

When it's someone's funeral do we respond with all deaths matter?

When one home is burning do we respond with all homes in the neighborhood matter?

No. It's implicit, of course. But the focus is on that specific issue because that's what clearly needs to be addressed.

So when someone says black lives matter it's a call to address inequality.

Ignoring that won't make it go away. Look at where we are in society right now.

It's uncomfortable to talk about, yes. But we must and we can't be dismissive.

I appreciate you letting us speak frankly about this. I hope if a black friend, neighbor or stranger says to you black lives matter, that you take some time to empathetic that you listen instead of minimizing the experience of being black in America. 

Form your own opinion. That's just my two cents.

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