‘All Lives Matter’ true, but doesn’t challenge status quo

‘All Lives Matter’ true, but doesn’t challenge status quo

Letter to the Editor:

Several people sit down for dinner and food is distributed. Terry looks down to find an empty plate. “I should be fed,” they say to the others, some whose plates overflow with food.

“Everyone should be fed,” replies Greg from behind his plate, with more food than he could eat but makes no move to ensure Terry is fed.

This is what “All Lives Matter” sounds and feels like in response to assertions “Black Lives Matter” or any statement where marginalized groups point out their oppression and ask for or demand change. While “All Lives Matter” is an obviously true principle, it does nothing to call out or rectify injustices in our country and world that make it so not all lives matter. Saying “All Lives Matter” without addressing how marginalized lives are treated as if they do not matter means that, in your eyes, their lives are not lives at all.

“All Lives Matter” points to the principle that everyone should be treated equitably but does so without challenging the status quo in which they are not. “Black Lives Matter” says people are not treated equitably, points out areas of marginalization and works for solutions to dismantle an inequitable status quo.

If you truly feel “All Lives Matter,” hearing people say a marginalized group matters should not make you need to assert “All Lives Matter.” No one is saying lives outside the marginalized group do not matter, especially other marginalized groups. That other lives matter too is implied.

Terry is not saying the others at the table should go without. They are saying, “I see you are eating and have extra. You should help me eat, just as if I had food and you did not, I should help you.” They are looking around the table to see who has food on their plate and who does not and asking those with food to share with those without.

“Black Lives Matter” is saying we need to make sure those who are marginalized are marginalized no more.

Andy VanDeusen


Letters to the Editor are accepted by email at mplant@alonovus.com. Writers are allowed one letter every 30 days, and letters should include name and address (address not published) and be 500 words or less. AloNovus Corp. reserves the right not to publish and to edit for clarification purposes.

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