By Zaain Ahmed Hameed, 12A
In the Trending list on Twitter, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter would be followed, by #AllLivesMatter. A tweet about Black Lives Matter would be sent out, and in no time there would be a tweet back saying it is all lives that matter. One person says, ‘Black lives matter.’ Then another responds, ‘No; all lives matter.’
Why is it this way though? It is because people do not understand what the slogan Black Lives Matter actually means. People tend to interpret it as ‘black lives matter more than all other lives.’ However, the point of Black Lives Matter is not to suggest that blacks lives are, or should be, more important that any other lives.
So what does Black Lives Matter really mean?
The Black Lives Matter movement is an international activist movement founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. This movement campaigns against violence and institutionalised racism towards black people.
The point of Black Lives Matter is to reveal and remind people that black lives are undervalued, and by doing so to put an end to inequality.
What ‘Black Lives Matter’ essentially says is that ‘Black Lives Matter, Too,’ not ‘Only Black Lives Matter.’
In the United States, race and police brutality are closely linked, and have provoked many ethnic conflicts throughout the years. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s is one of the many movements that involved excessive force by the police.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation in public spaces and ‘banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.’ However, it did not stop inequality and discrimination then, and it still does not stop the violent crimes of racial hatred that occur today.
All lives matter, yes. Black lives are also lives. Therefore, black lives matter. Black lives matter because, just like any other person, it is the life of a human being. And any human, despite their race—whether white, black, brown, or any other colour—should be treated with equality.
‘All lives can’t matter unless black lives matter.’