... a view from the Curate

A reflection from Cathrine, our Curate…

 

January 2021

 

What is wrong with ALL LIVES MATTER (ALM)? 

 

In all honesty, ‘All Lives Matter’, is a truthful statement because every person’s life is important. However, speaking these words in a racial injustice conversation can be indisputable and even controversial. ALM can be seen as a counter statement to the Black Lives Matter (BLM), a social and political movement that advocates for the rights and equal treatment of black people.

 

Though BLM started in 2013, the death of George Floyd in May 2020 raised an international awareness racial injustice, racism and police brutality. At its core, BLM challenges such injustices, exposes the imbalances between black and white people and calls for their equal treatment.

 

ALM has been proposed as a counter statement to BLM on the basis that, the former is inclusive of all people, while the latter calls for special treatment of one group of people. At face value it appears as such, but is that really the case? 

 

BLM calls for all people to reflect on what it means to be human and what makes us human. Can one be fully human, while ignorant or disconnected to the needs and state of other people? Luke 15.3-4 speaks of a shepherd who leaves ninety-nine sheep to go in search of one lost sheep. What if his drive is the recognition that a sheep cannot be safe and socially stable without its flock? Therefore, for the sheep to be equally safe, cared for and thrive, it needs to be re-united with its flock. 

 

So, to say ALM, is to undermine the very significance of the phrase Black Lives Matter. Is it not to ignore that there are people ‘lost’ because of unjust policies and structures that have, and do exploit them? Is it not to silence the voices and efforts in search for them? Saying All Lives Matter is to ignore the significance of the very words. If all lives matter, then black people’s lives deserve all efforts necessary to make them equal.