"Black Lives Matters vs All Lives Matter"
I'm getting tired of the Black Lives Matter vs All Lives Matter discussion. I get why it's important to get into people's heads and try to help people see from a different perspective.. but I feel like way too much time and energy is being spent arguing semantics with people who aren't going to change their minds because of a well- written analogy. That being said, I like the Bob at Dinner analogy and the Broken Bone at the Doctor's analogy. Here's one more analogy, taken straight from my personal life experiences in full acknowledgement of my privilege, and this is the last I have to say about this particular layer of the situation.
I am an athletically- built person and I've never struggled with weight. There are a few stigmas and negative ideas that exist around the idea of being "too skinny" (plus there are some real issues like anorexia) but nothing like the horrible things some of my beautiful friends have had to deal with and endure. I have been discriminated against for my weight by my fuller- bodied peers. People I care about have both lovingly and legitimately told me they "hate" me. I don't believe they truly do and I don't usually get upset by this because I understand that they have been historically and systematically oppressed by societal beauty standards for decades. Me getting mad at them would be silly, they're simply taking their anger at society out on me. I would prefer if they didn't but if I walked up to a conversation about body image and I said "skinny bodies matter, I matter" they might tell me to stfu and sit down because my privilege is showing. They're not telling me not to fight the issue alongside them, they're telling me that it's time for other voices to be heard. I have body issues too, but to respond to them in anger would be mighty self- righteous of me.
Black Lives Matter isn't a lone statement. It's a response, it's part of a conversation. If you were to ask the question "Why should I care about racism and police brutality?" the answer would be "because black lives matter." It's not an open- ended or rhetorical statement open for interpretation. It's a statement of fact. It's not an opportunity for you to say "Well, I matter too." Of course you do, and if you want to start a movement to stand up against the injustices you've experienced, regardless of your skin color, by all means please do. We're just asking that you not hijack this movement and make it about other issues. Yes, those other issues exist. A vast and diverse array of people suffer from the many, many, many civil and social issues that need battling in this country. This is the one that we as a nation are talking about right now. Don't be jealous of the attention that black people are getting just because you're hurting too. I'm sorry that you're hurting, but a dismissive or combative response is entirely unhelpful.
If you totally understand all of this, then let's please stop talking about it and get to the real work. At this point, we're not going to change many minds. We can change laws, though. Let's work on that. Just sayin..