A new social media hashtag that counters the at best, naïve and at worst, racist intentions of the phrase “All Lives Matter” has exploded across the blogosphere.
(Left) A message reading “All Lives Matter” is written on the pavement as police in riot gear cast shadows while standing in line ahead of a curfew in Baltimore. (AP Photo/David Goldman); (Right) Neal Blair, of Augusta, Ga., wears a hoodie which reads, “Black Lives Matter” as stands on the lawn of the Capitol building during a rally to mark the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
“#AllLivesMatter,” a seemingly innocuous hashtag usually used to counter the slogan of the Black Lives Matter movement, has been clouded by criticism, causing backlash to politicians such as presumptive presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and entertainers such as J.Lo and Fetty Wap.
Detractors say the phrase is an attempt to ignore the glaring racism that exists and to move warranted attention away from the specific grievances of the Black community, particularly the disproportionate killing of unarmed African Americans by police and trigger-happy gun-toters. They’ve used the analogy of a fireman ignoring a burning house in favor of one that is not burning or a doctor ignoring a broken bone in favor of a runny nose.
“The entire point of Black Lives Matter is to illustrate the extent to which Black lives have not mattered in this country,” said Keeyanga-Yamahtta Taylor, an assistant professor of African-American studies at Princeton University, as quoted by The New York Times.
A new social media campaign, “#AllLivesDidntMatter” furthers that attempt, schooling the ignorant about all the times African Americans and other marginalized groups were not included in the idea of “all lives” and directly debunking “#AllLivesMatter.”
“#AllLivesDidntMatter until we said #BlackLivesMatter,” wrote user Melanin_Art.
“AllLivesDidntMatter when the shooters in Dallas were deemed murderers, but the officers who killed two innocent men weren’t deemed the same,” one Twitter user posted, referring to the recent killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.
“#AllLivesDidntMatter from 1619 to the present day… aka from when the first slaves arrived to Jim Crow to our criminal justice system today,” wrote social media user John Haltiwanger.
#AllLivesDidntMatter when the residents in Flint, Michigan had to drink that tainted water,” another user said.
#AllLivesDidntMatter when White scientists injected Black men in Tuskegee, Alabama with syphilis & didn’t tell them,” wrote user Marcellus X.
Other users also pointed to the historic disenfranchisement of other groups.
#AllLivesDidntMatter when Whites were the illegal immigrants and killed off Native Americans and stripped them of their land,” user harambe del ray wrote.
Another said: “#alllivesdidntmatter when y’all made up 10 million excuses as to why Syrian refugees couldn’t enter your countries.