Since the Black Lives Matter movement launched two years ago, some folks have continuously tried to derail the conversation by asserting “All lives matter.”
On its face it sounds reasonable enough because all human life should be sacred. However, between the extrajudicial killings of Black Americans and the continual effects of systematic white supremacy on everything from education and health care, to the justice system, it’s clear that, in America, all lives aren’t treated the same.
Need more proof?
Over the weekend, Canadian artists Kalkidan Assefa and Allan Andre painted a mural honoring Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old woman who died while in police custody, on Ottawa’s “tech wall.”
“I really wanted it to be a celebration of her life and her spirit,” Andre told a local paper.
Unfortunately, within hours, the colorful tribute to Bland was defaced with the phrase, “All lives matter.”
— zellie (@zellieimani) July 28, 2015
Like those who say, “All lives matter,” while ignoring the systematic, challenges people of color face, literally scribbling over a mural celebrating Bland’s life perfectly illustrates why insisting we acknowledge all lives while Black folks are being mistreated, and in some cases murdered, by the police is bullshit.
Yes, everybody’s life matters, but right now, we’ll continue to say, “Black Lives Matter” until the powers that be starts acting like they do.