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< Back to question Is All Lives Matter a legitimate protest for equality? Show more Show less

In 2013 policeman George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder, after shooting black teenager Trayvon Martin to death. Many saw this as an example of racially motivated police brutality, and symptomatic of wider racial prejudices in the West. As public outrage grew, "Black Lives Matter" (BLM) became a rallying cry across the internet to protest against these injustices. The "All Lives Matter" (ALM) movement mobilised in response, seeing BLM as an affront to non-black rights. This has divided people. ALM argues that achieving an equal society requires inclusivity, and that focusing only on black lives is misleading and offensive to non-blacks. Meanwhile, their critics see the ALM movement as proof that black lives remain unequal. It is regarded as a problematic campaign. One that gives non-blacks license to distract from the uneven levels of inequality and prejudice faced by black people, and undermine their cause. With public figures including Richard Sherman , Ben Carson and Tim Scott active supporters of All Lives Matter, is it a legitimate protest for equality? Or does this campaign only deepen existing prejudice?

Yes, All Lives Matter is a legitimate protest for equality Show more Show less

All Lives Matter is a legitimate protest calling for the end of racial prejudice, and recognition that people are equal irrespective of their skin colour.
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All Lives Matter addresses the anxieties of a silent majority

There is growing disenfranchisement amongst white populations in the West. This group feels that despite being the majority in their societies their systemic problems are frequently overlooked in favour of championing minority rights.
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Proponents


The Argument

It is impossible to ignore the millions of white people who are left perplexed at the victim hierarchy promoted by groups like the Black Lives Matter (BLM). As former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani suggested, movements like the BLM are “inherently racist,” because “it divides us.” [1] Protests call for more protection for minorities pushing white people to the sidelines. The silent majority does not speak up in fear of being labeled a racist and publically shamed. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall called out the illogic of civil rights advocates in 1976, claiming that laws against discrimination only protect minorities. [2] Whites also deserve protection, and one group of people should not have preference over the other. Even if that group is perceived to be more disadvantaged than others, it does not justify preferential treatment. Chief Justice John Roberts stated in 2007, “The way to stop discrimination based on race. is to stop discrimination based on race.”[2] Many people are targeted, killed, and discriminated against in all races and groups. The government and activists should work on protecting all citizens regardless of their race—only then will there be a fair system and country.

Counter arguments

Any group of people can experience racial prejudice or discrimination. Racism refers to “prejudice in addition to the socialized powers at play.”[3] But, since the Atlantic Slave Trade, the power dynamics that exist for black people are different. Any political, social, or economic gains by black people somehow seem to undermine white people’s lives. They feel threatened and claim reverse racism. Reverse racism ignores the current power dynamics and structures that are in place today that keep white people privileged and oppresses minorities. These power dynamics do not support an even playing field, which gives white people advantages in life, ranging from education, housing, jobs, etc. Reverse racism also disregards institutionalized racism.[3] White people benefit from institutional racism and unfair power dynamics. The anxieties of the silent majority disregard the experiences of black communities. White people can live without the fear of being harassed, discriminated against, and killed for their skin color. They have the privilege to be seen as humans and individuals rather than representatives for their race. Minorities do not have that luxury and are forced to fight for fundamental human rights.

Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2016/07/11/politics/rudy-giuliani-black-lives-matter-inherently-racist/index.html
  2. https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/507941-how-real-is-reverse-discrimination
  3. https://www.mndaily.com/article/2020/06/can-white-people-experience-racism-pt-ii

This page was last edited on Saturday, 12 Sep 2020 at 18:02 UTC

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