There certainly has been enough written about why Black Lives Matter is not racist. I won’t belabor that here. It’s intuitively obvious it isn’t, anyway, and you have strain to make it out to be so.
The obvious intent here is that “Black Lives Should Matter. After all, the fact they don’t is the inherent injustice they’re trying to amend. Black Lives Matter isn’t a conclusion. It’s an argument against an inequality in our system.
When people say “All Lives Matter,” though, it’s actually a lie. It’s stating a conclusion that all lives matter the same. But they don’t.
And they never have.
When the first slave ships started transporting blacks to America in the 17th century, black lives did not matter.
For the next century, as the southern colonies built their economy on that slave labor, black lives did not matter.
When the Constitution accounted a black as two-thirds of a person and allowed that “peculiar institution” to perpetuate for another 85 years, black lives did not matter.
When the Supreme Court declared in Dred Scott vs.Sanford that blacks did not have the rights of a citizen in 1857, black lives did not matter.
When the Confederacy rose up and fought to maintain the right to own black people, black lives did not matter.
When sharecropping became the new de facto slavery after the end of the Civil War, black lives did not matter.
When blacks were denied the right to vote until 1870—and the opportunity to for the next 90 years though Jim Crow law — black lives did not matter.
When segregation was upheld as Constitutional in Plessy vs.Ferguson, black lives did not matter.
When 14-year-old Emmett Till was killed for flirting with a white woman, and his murderers were allowed to walk free, his life did not matter. Nor did those of the other 3,445 black men who were lynched.
When Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat on a bus to a white person just 61 years ago, her life did not matter.
When George Wallace stood in the doorway of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama to block Vivian Malone and James Hood from entering, his presence told them, their black lives did not matter.
When James Chaney was killed for registering to vote, the only reason his life mattered is two white men were killed with him.
When blacks finally won the appearance of equal rights, racist, redlining mortgage practices stripped away their homes, businesses and jobs.
And their lives did not matter.
And now, as a result of that history, there is inordinate inequality.
When the median household wealth of whites is more than 14 times that of blacks, black lives don’t matter.
When median white household income is 68.7 percent higher than median black household income, black lives don’t matter.
When college-educated whites earn 81.0 percent more than college-educated blacks, don’t blame the disparity on education.
And realize, black lives don’t matter.
When unemployment among blacks is more than twice that among whites please, don’t tell me black lives matter.
And it’s getting worse, not better. Again, don’t tell me that black lives matter.
When the poverty rate among blacks is three times that among whites, it’s apparent that black lives do not matter.
Politics is no help.
When state after state passes voter ID laws which have the hidden purpose of once again disenfranchising black voters, their lives don’t matter.
And it’s worse when it comes to the judicial system.
One out of every 10 blacks in their 30s is currently in prison on any given day. Do their lives matter?
Blacks are five times more likely to be imprisoned.
But black lives matter?
More than one in four blacks will be imprisoned at some point in their life. If those were white lives, do you think the system might change?
But all lives matter?
Black drivers are more likely to be pulled over by police and more likely to be searched in spite of the fact that they are no more likely to be “guilty” of anything.
Blacks are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police and five times more likely if they’re unarmed.
In fact, according to Wesley Lowry of the Washinton Post, a study by the paper found:
“The only thing that was significant in predicting whether someone shot and killed by police was unarmed was whether or not they were black,” said Justin Nix, a criminal-justice researcher at the University of Louisville and one of the report’s authors, said in April. “Crime variables did not matter in terms of predicting whether the person killed was unarmed.”
The system is telling blacks their lives don’t matter every time one of them is needlessly killed and the person or persons who did the killing don’t even stand trial.
And you want to call them the racists?
What Black Lives Matters protestors are saying is that those lives should matter.
When you counter with “All Lives Matter,” you discount the entire history of our nation and the current realities of its institutional racism. You parrot a racist apology masquerading as a feel-good slogan.
Simply put: Do you agree with the way the system as it currently is?
If so, by definition, you are a racist because you are promoting the continuation of institutional racism.
If not, then it’s OK to admit it. Black lives should matter. And they don’t.
Author: Kelly A Scaletta