Oh, #alllivesmatter people, please, just listen for a minute.

For those of us in communities that are targeted for violence – from both people who hate us and often the police who are supposed to serve and protect us – we’re aware that our lives are supposed to matter. We know our own lives matter.

But for LGBTQ people, that is not often the case.

For trans people, it is rarely the case.

For Hispanic people, it is rarely the case.

For black people, it is almost never the case.

The reason #alllivesmatter is an insulting response to a racial problem is because it whitewashes the problem. Being more humane doesn’t work; racial prejudices and homophobia go so deep historically, personally, unconsciously, that unless we pay special attention to the kinds of hatred that fuels the killings of trans women and black men, trans women of color in particular, young black men in particular, our systems don’t get any better.

Look, the hippies tried loving everyone and that was a long time ago, and if the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner teach us anything, it’s that people refusing to call our national race problem a race problem is part of it.

Please. Of course #alllivesmatter. But as Orwell once wrote, the problem is that some lives matter a hell of a lot more than others, which is why we need to highlight that #blacklivesmatter and #translivesmatter and #queerlivesmatter.

Step away from your white privilege. We are part of a system that kills black men and imprisons them and throws them away. “Universalizing” is exactly what disappears black lives in the first place.

3 Replies to “#blacklivesmatter”

  1. Well said, I’ve thought about male privilege, but never considered white privilege as I was taught to look at the “great melting pot” instead of what was inside of it.

  2. The moment in time of hippies loving everyone was short-lived. White kids in the 70’s outraged our parents by allying ourselves, at least symbolically, with black and latino radicals. We also took to the streets in massive numbers, similar to what is happening now, to end a stupid war.

    We of course were swimming in privilege, including the fact that students in college with a “C” average didn’t get drafted. The best thing we did back then was listen and find some empathy; the worst thing we did was forget all about it and become as bad, or worse than our parents.

Comments are closed.