All lives matter. That’s the point

In NC, a white mob showed up at a black residence, said they were looking for a lost girl and demanded to come inside. They packed heat.

In Charlotte NC last year, police made a black man crouch down, draw his gun and put it on the ground. As he drew out the gun, an officer shot him.

In Georgia, two men murdered Ahmaud Arbery in February. The DA and the DA of the next county over told the cops to back off investigating. And two right-wingers say that investigating the killing — not the kiling itself — is a liberal attempt to start a race war.

One of the standard conservative complaints about Black Lives Matter is that “All Lives Matter” as if BLM had said they don’t. “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t mean “and white lives don’t” — they’re saying that yes, all lives matter, so black lives (admittedly none were lost in this incident but it could easily have gone the other way) and rights shouldn’t be treated as disposable.

Racists hate that idea but a lot of people who aren’t hard-core racists are uncomfortable with it too. They’re uncomfortable with the idea that having white skin gets them treated differently, or that people treating blacks as presumptive criminals (see also: Trayvon Martin) are acting purely out of racial bias. As Martin Luther King said, they hate tension, and wouldn’t things be less tense if black America just didn’t complain so much?

And so they’re open to the white race hustlers’ argument that complaining about how blacks are treated is racist itself — after all, why focus on blacks? Isn’t that identity politics? Shouldn’t we be color-blind and worry about how all races are treated? Isn’t that what MLK would want?

Actually no; Dr. King was quite clear that black America needed help in ways white America didn’t, and that we had a lot of work to do before we could balance the scales and be color-blind. As Bishop Desmond Tutu once put it, when the elephant steps on the mouse’s tail, neutrality does not help the mouse. Black people are targeted in ways that white people aren’t, it’s racist as shit and it needs to stop. And until it does, we need to keep saying that black lives matter.

 

 

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