If you’ve been searching for a simple, quick comeback the next time someone responds to the Black Lives Matter movement by whining that “All Lives Matter”, we’ve found it for you.
Cartoonist Kris Straub has come up with a simple, three-frame cartoon strip that neatly summarizes the stupidity of such arguments.
To argue that Black Lives Matter, is not the same as arguing that others don’t – simply imagine a silent “too” at the end of the movements name. It’s just there is a major issue that we need some special focus on right now – like the burning house.
The “All Lives Matter” people are so unable to deal with the injustice meted out to others and not them, they have to ignore it altogether. Because they know in their hearts that Black Lives Matter is an urgent call to action, but All Lives Matter is just a glib sentiment. The difference is a stark as that between “I love you”, and “Don’t you just love people?!”
This childish response to such a grave issue exposes the contempt with which the All Lives Matter crowd view the African American community. As comedian Arthur Chu put it:
Perhaps the group most sympathetic to the plight of the Black Lives Matter movement right now, will be the feminist movement. Any man or woman who writes on feminist issues will have experienced the unwillingness of (mostly) male readers to just hang out with the unique injustices faced by women. They will write about domestic violence against women and most comments will be about how men are abused too. Of course the writer never said they weren’t, but to deny a gendered imbalance in rape and violence is simply to deny reality.
People will remind them that feminism just separates men and women and how they’re an EQUALIST. As if a.) that wasn’t the very point of feminism, or b.) at some point, the scales of power tipped too far in women’s favor and so we need to start course-correcting to make sure men don’t get a raw deal. Meanwhile, women continue to earn 78 cents on the dollar compared to men, while taking on the vast majority of housework and childcare responsibilities – all despite being an equal or main breadwinner in four out of ten households in America. And this is in a country that provides one of the better deals to women.
In both cases, it is easier for those who might benefit from this unjust status quo to flat-out deny it exists, than to check their own privilege.
Just as with justice and equality for women, it has become a staple of the US conservative movement to oppose justice and equality for non-whites. We have the entire field of GOP Presidential candidates, including Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and even Ben Carson (who might benefit from listening to Malcolm X’s speech about the House Negro and the Field Negro) declaring war on the Black Lives Matter movement. We have the potential to see an unashamed, committed bigot in the Oval Office come 2016, which would be quite a fall from grace after electing our first black president.
Should all lives matter? Yes. Do they? No. That’s why we need the Black Lives Matter movement and a president smart and progressive enough to understand that.
Featured Image via Chainsawsuit