Black Lives Matter…More?

Recently, there have been several articles, Facebook posts and other media trying to explain that the Black Lives Matter movement and hashtag is not about saying that black lives matter more than other lives. The point is that black lives have been marginalized and that this movement is trying to establish equal importance with white lives and make black lives a real part of the concept of all lives. There was a great article (here) that explained why the phrase/hashtag all lives matter is problematic. This article was in response to democratic candidates not seeming to get the importance of articulating specifically that black lives matter. In reading these articles and posts, one thing occurred to me. There may be a way in which black lives do matter more and it is specifically problematic to the people who are supposed to be in support of civil rights and racial justice. The white democratic candidates are the ones who arguably can do something really powerful to stand with black and brown people (and their white allies). Yet it does not seem that they are doing very much. One of the underlying ideas of black lives matter that might be unconsciously irritating those who know that black lives matter, such as these candidates, is that they aren’t doing enough. So to those who are articulating that black lives matter, the truth is that black lives matter more to some people than to others. This might be obvious in that black lives don’t seem to matter very much to the police, but I’m not talking about those obvious groups. I’m talking about the very people who are supposed to be standing with advocates for racial justice – the democratic party candidates. They know they have this power and yet they too are shutting down the advocates with calls for “all lives matter.” Could they be saying this out of guilt for not doing more to make black lives matter to the structures of power over which they have significant influence?


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