Letter: “All lives matter” is an offensive, misguided response to “Black lives matter”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Ty Bellamy speaks during a vigil marking the one year anniversary of the death of George Floyd, at the Murals in Salt Lake City, onTuesday, May 25, 2021.

Why is it that the only time people say that “all lives matter” is when we talk about the fact that Black lives matter? When we say that “Black lives matter,” people completely misinterpret its meaning to being all lives matter less than the life of every Black person.

But that is not its intention. Its intention was not intended to mean that other lives do not matter. For the African American community, saying “Black lives matter” is a way of declaring that we are important, our issues are important, and this saying does not support hatred or violence against any other group.

But the fact that people are saying that “all lives matter” towards our “Black lives matter” statements is offensive to the Black community. We’re using it to point out that Black people’s lives are relatively undervalued in the U.S., and we’re the race that is more likely to be stopped and killed by the police in this country.

And people need to recognize and understand the inequity of this before we can bring an end to it. As an African American myself when I make a statement aloud, saying “Black lives matter,” and someone disrupts me saying “all lives matter,” it’s really aggravating because I know the meaning behind what I said is about promoting self-love towards Black people and our African American rights to equal justice and fairness.

It is used to protest against social and systemic racism in a society that sees Black people as criminals who do not obey the law. But we are being killed, discriminated against, and stigmatized by these laws that think it OK to have ongoing African Americans deaths.

When someone refers to the statement that “Black lives matter,” do not respond or argue with the fact that “all lives matter,” we know and that is not the point.

Mouhinatou Djobo, Salt Lake City

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