Myth #5: “Black Lives Matter Means All Lives Don’t Matter!”
Reality: You think pro-black movements are anti-white because pro-white movements have always been anti-black. The BLM movement is an anti-racism movement, if you feel attacked by it, I have news for you.
This argument is the same as ‘saying Maths is important means other subjects aren’t important’ - it’s wilfully seeking to paint ‘black lives’ and ‘all/white lives’ as competing with one another, which is inherently racist. Black lives matter is about recognising the disregard with which people - predominantly white people - treat black people, whether by the abhorrently high proportion of black people stopped by police (Connolly, 2011; Duggan, 2019; Balko, 2020), even without any evidence of wrongdoing (Coates, 2013).
This is on top of the everyday experiences of black people, whether being followed by security in a shop, or when people cross the street to avoid them (Schatz, 2020), which are extremely uncomfortable yet white people are often completely oblivious to.
This treatment of black people compared to white people is racist; they are being targeted because of the colour of their skin, and in some cases, such as Stephen Lawrence’s, their deaths ignored because of this (Macpherson, 1998). This is ongoing but is often only brought to attention by high-profile racially motivated deaths, such as George Floyd, Stephen Lawrence, or Trayvon Martin. The statement ‘black lives matter’ seeks to draw attention to the fact that black people’s lives and experiences are routinely dismissed, and asks only that action be taken to stop the discrimination and racial hatred that black people face.