Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Why "All Lives Matter" is Controversial

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
We have all heard people respond to the phrase Black Lives Matter, with the phrase All Lives Matter. This has led to controversy, but many people do not understand why. 

Recently, a colleague pointed me to a written piece on Reddit that explains this in words that anyone can understand. 

The author of "Why is it so controversial when someone says 'All Lives Matter' instead of 'Black Lives Matter'?begins with:

Imagine that you're sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don't get any. So you say "I should get my fair share." And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, "everyone should get their fair share." Now, that's a wonderful sentiment -- indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad's smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn't solve the problem that you still haven't gotten any!  
The problem is that the statement "I should get my fair share" had an implicit "too" at the end: "I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else." But your dad's response treated your statement as though you meant "only I should get my fair share", which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that "everyone should get their fair share," while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out. READ THE ENTIRE PIECE HERE.
If this written piece makes sense, you can share it with friends, neighbors, and family members who may benefit by reading it. One commenter stated, "You just changed my mind on the statement bud, I will bring up your argument to friends who haven't seen the light. I get it now." In fact, there are dozens of comments after the piece that confirms how complex the issue of race in America is, and they are very informative. 

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