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The Origin of All Lives Matter
by Seojin Ahn
I posted on Tumblr that nonblack POC should also support the Black Lives Matter movement, and within a week, it had over 300 notes. Half of the notes were likes and reblogs but the other half were made up of people criticising my opinion and the BLM protestors. These were mostly the other nonblack POC groups that I suggested should support the movement, and what they claimed was very enlightening.
The All Lives Matter hashtag has been used by white people and some minorities who claim that the Black Lives Matter movement is a terrorist organization out to prove black superiority. It’s become a way for white people to ignore that racism is alive and well in our society today by stating that all lives, not just the ones in danger of systematic police murders, need to be protected. This of course has been compared to situations such as, “If you had a broken leg, would you put a cast on your entire body because All Bones Matter?” Black Twitter has made it clear that the use of #AllLivesMatter is offensive and anti-black.
However, on my post were people of color telling me that the origin of the All Lives Matter campaign came from the non-black POC (people of color) groups feeling that Black Lives Matter was overshadowing the other racial issues, such as deportation, genocide, and systematic rape. All Lives Matter was begun to refer to how while black lives were suffering, other minority groups were going through the same racial bigotry and some on larger, age-old scales. It was only until the white population of the Blue-Lives-Matter-sort got a hold of it and turned it into a racially insensitive hashtag.
A lot of minority groups, such as the Native Americans, Latinxs, and Asians feel as if the Black Lives Matter movement takes away from their own social injustices. According to one commenter, “BLM is enjoying the freedoms of America and what the Constitution provides while my people are desperately hoping their asylum papers are approved because if they go back to Honduras, they will be killed. They are labeling us white when we don’t tow the line, or when we don’t fit the narrative. Twisting our tragedies into their own. They are taking our tragedies and using them as a platform for themselves.”
It seems that the general consensus among a lot of nonblack people of color is that “BLM did to [other people of color] what the Whites did to them. We got hidden and shoved to the back of the bus.”
This brings up an important question about how other minorities are being treated at this time as well. Black Lives Matter is to support black power and to protest against police brutality and racial profiling. However, it is not untrue to say that many other race groups suffer the same treatment. Knowing that the All Lives Matter movement started as a way to highlight the discrimination against any group of color instead of as a way for white people to claim racism disappeared when Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves can drastically change the message of the movement.
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