“All Lives Matter” and other signs that diminish a movement


On its surface, “All Lives Matter” might be a more inclusive riff on “Black Lives Matter;” a central rallying cry of the popular outrage against the failure of the justice system to indict police officers for killing unarmed black people like Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

But while the latter must be said, heard, and repeated–Black Lives Matter, and we live in a society where that critical truth is unrealized–the former hardly needs to be said. It espouses ignorance to the cause at hand. Because, as a contribution to a movement intended to amplify historically oppressed black voices, “All Lives Matter” is as necessary or reasonable as honoring White Heritage Month when we already observe it year-round. “All Lives Matter” pulls the conversation about race and representation back toward the status quo, not forward.

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