Opinion: Black Lives Matter



Recently, the issue of race relations and police brutality has dominated the news.

The Black Lives Matter movement at its core seeks to equate the values of lives of people of color and their white counterparts. Many white people however, see this voyage to and for equality as a movement that seeks to lessen them.

Black lives matter. This  simple truth is often disputed because of the insecurities of a privileged majority. Black lives do matter, and the “all lives matter” movement represents socially acceptable racism.

People of color have historically faced awful discrimination and oppression explicitly because of their race. Africans in the 16th and 17th centuries were seen as lesser because of their skin color, and therefore taken as slaves by a white majority. Black lives have only had civil rights for 52 years, whereas white people have been privileged since our country was founded.

Still, to this day, African-Americans operate in a society that actively discriminates against them. Black people, according to dosomething.org, account for 13 percent of the U.S. population, and 14 percent of monthly drug users, yet 37 percent of people arrested for drug related offenses in America are black.

In New York City, 80 percent of the people stopped on the street by police officers, during the controversial period of “stop and frisk”, were black or Latino. White people accounted for a meager 8 percent of the people stopped by police.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission in 2010, revealed that African Americans typically receive sentences 10 percent longer, through the federal system, than whites who commit the same crime. According to dosomething.org, a poll conducted in 2012 found that 51% of Americans expressed some sort of anti Black sentiment, which was even greater than the 48% in 2008.

On the other hand, the “all lives matter” movement is merely racism disguised as equality. The crusades to equate the experiences of all races undermines the struggles of black people and other people of color, who have faced levels of widespread discrimination based on skin color that white people as a group have never faced in human history.

How can Caucasian people speak out and claim that racism against people of color is overblown or does not exist when they have never had to face racism in their lives? White people rarely face dormant discrimination and covert prejudice because of their race, which is a factor that people of color cannot control.

Ethnic minority activists and their allies have been consistently telling white people who preach “all lives matter” that what they’re saying only helps to draw attention away from the struggles their communities as a whole have faced.

These people have heard the outcry against the All Lives Matter movement and continue to act upon it. They say that all lives matter, and when lives protest against that, they ignore the feelings of these lives that they supposedly value.

If white people think all lives matter, then why do they not protest against police killings? These black lives that matter are being extinguished, and the all lives matter movement is not outraged at the fact.

If white people get more offended when their feelings are hurt by being called out, then when black people are murdered, do all lives really matter equally to them? Do all lives matter the same amount?