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Is All Lives Matter a legitimate protest for equality? Show more Show less
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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?

No, All Lives Matter is not a legitimate protest for equality Show more Show less

All Lives Matter is a movement to distract attention from inequalities faced by blacks. As UC Irvine Anthropology Professor Theo Goldberg explains: "The universalizing politics of “All lives matter” is one of racial dismissal, ignoring, and denial."
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All Lives Matter props up systemic racism

Black Lives Matter was formed as a protest against the prejudice faced by black people in their everyday lives. All Lives Matter cannot be a legitimate protest for equality until all lives are treated equally,

The Argument

All lives matter is an argument meant to disguise systemic racism. It is not a response to issues of equality, but a rebuttal against those fighting against discrimination. People who use the phrase “All Lives Matter” suggest systemic racism is not a real problem. The Black Lives Matter movement has drawn attention to the fact that all lives do not matter, and that there are many marginalized groups of people who deserve to have their voices heard. In the US, racial politics have their roots in slavery, with black Americans often used as tools rather than people. The dehumanization of black people has continued long after segregation and is still present today. Racial discrimination by law enforcement and police brutality are two prominent and well-recorded examples. The Black Lives Matter movement is trying to raise awareness about the disproportionate amount of violence suffered by black people at the hands of the police.[1] If all lives truly mattered, black people would not have to live in fear of their lives. White lives are more valued; white people are more likely to be employed, wealthy, and less likely to be arrested. By refusing to acknowledge these problems, supporters of “All Lives Matter” prop up institutional and systematic racism. The slogan is, at best, a display of ignorance, and at worst, racist. [2] The All Lives Matter movement ignores evident racial inequalities and discrimination to gloss over systemic racism.

Counter arguments

There is no need to divide people into special interest groups to solve problems. The All Lives Matter slogan is inclusive, non-discriminatory, and the phrase “all lives” includes black lives.[3] The phrase “Black Lives Matter” implies that white people’s lives do not matter. The slogan is unnecessarily divisive. People of all races face difficulties and problems, not just black people. People who care about equality should care about white people as well. “Black Lives Matter” is a racist slogan. Black lives matter amounts to a form of reverse discrimination. [4] The Black Lives Matter slogan symbolizes hatred and division in the same way the Confederate flag is. The behavior of some Black Lives Matters protestors proves this. They are sowing discord, not bringing people together. Focusing on what divides people will not help to solve anything.[5] The supporters of the All Lives Matter Campaign are not racist; they just do not like divisive rhetoric. The phrase "All lives matter" includes black lives.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Black people still experience prejudice and discrimination. [P2] The All Lives Matter campaign implies they do not. [C] By refusing to acknowledge there are issues that apply specifically to the black community, "All Lives Matter" attempts to ignore systemic racism.

Rejecting the premises

[P2] The phrase 'All Lives Matter' includes black lives.

References

  1. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/23/opinions/all-lives-matter-misses-the-big-picture-baker/index.html
  2. https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/philosophy/black-lives-matter-essay-why-is-saying-all-lives-matter-wrong
  3. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/15/ben-carson-course-all-lives-matter-and-all-lives-i/
  4. https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/do-all-lives-matter-or-only-black-ones
  5. https://americanindependent.com/ben-carson-black-lives-matter-confederate-flag-donald-trump-hud-blm-fox-news/

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020 at 11:07 UTC

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