Why 'Black Lives Matter' Movement Shouldn't Mix With 'All Lives Matter'?
Amidst Black Lives Matter protest, "all lives matter" slogans have emerged as a thoughtless and dismissive counter to the African American's fight against systematic injustice they have been facing for centuries.
These counter-productive slogans pertaining to the importance of all lives are brought forward whenever African Americans demand fair treatment in the country. If "all lives matters" slogans are to be made mainstream, it would convey that African Americans aren’t any different.
But that is a narrow and privileged argument. From days of Jim Crow until today African American communities have had to face unfair treatment and discrimination. Years of historic oppression and slavery practices cherished by the Americas and the European population have marginalized the African American communities into poverty and backwardness. Even though the oppression may have legally ended with the 13th Amendment in 1965 but the discrimination lives on.
So, What Does Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement Mean?
It is a movement originally sparked in 2013 when an unarmed African American teenager, Trayon was killed under suspicion. What started an Instagram hashtag soon turned into a global humanitarian movement for the protection of African American lives and against police brutality. However, there is more to the BLM movement than just police brutality even though it tops the list there are multiple issues the movement is trying to raise awareness about which is that African American communities have been treated unfairly at every juncture in life be it education, workplace, housing or healthcare and they demand to be treated equally whether as a criminal or a citizen.
Why Black Lives Matter Movement Shouldn't Be About 'All Lives Matter'?
African American communities in the United States Of America are gradually raising their voice against years of slavery, injustice, and business against their race. Their historical contexts are different and the way they suffered through slavery was wrong.
Therefore, we shouldn't bring "all lives matters" argument whenever the Black Lives Matter movement talks about uplifting the African American population.
Here are some factors that show how African American population are living with inequalities in the same country in comparison to the majority white population.
According to Mapping Police Violence, which has accurately and successfully recorded data from 2013 to 2020, it is evident that the rate of police brutality against Black Americans is 3x higher than those against White Americans.
Mappigpoliceviolence data shows police brutality against black (Photo: Mappingpoliceviolence)
The police continue to the racial profile when they should criminally profile someone, but the difference seems to be marginal in the heads of exploiters when racism is ingrained deep within the justice system
Early stages of growth are most crucial for the development of a child to form the right set of values and knowledge to get success in life.
When these important years are compromised by historical injustices combined with poverty, they are exposed to a ‘new normal’.
It is such a distinct type of normal that says the marginalized African American people—who look or dress differently than the majority culture or express their sufferings via protests and cultural aspects—to "act" like all other races in the country. Suddenly, this kind of normality also drives some people to consider African Americans as socially distant, problematic, poor, and inadequate.
Consequently, African American children are then compared with other races and deemed academically slow. But, teachers along with the management and government, in most cases, fail to account for different historical contexts, cultures, and backgrounds of a large student population.
Because of the historical suffering, the social-economic contexts and racial stereotyping, a large portion of African American students tend to drop out of the institutions.
All these factors prevent African American children, educated or drop-out, from developing a positive outlook of their future.
They grow into adulthood to live in a cookie-cutter system to serve the real world that is tailor-made for the majority culture.
On May 25th, 2020, a video of Amy Cooper, a White American woman in Central Park went viral. She was the VP and Head of Investment Solutions in a multinational company called Franklin Templeton Investments.
In the video, it was seen that Amy was blaming Christain Cooper, an African American man, for threatening her and her dog's life. Out of the anger, she called the police on him.
But the version of Christan's story was different. According to him, he was watching birds at the park when he saw Amy's dog was not leashed. After that, he said that he asked her to control the dog but she refused. Then after, he started recording the video and she blamed him for aggression.
After the matter went viral, Amy was fired from her job. Her words and actions against Christian backfired on her. People defended the African American man defending his right and enforcing the "dog-friendly areas" regulations at the park as a private citizen.
This tragic story shows us that people like Amy are the same kind of executives who tend to advocate workplace diversity and equality at their office but remain biased against minorities when they feel free.
The unemployment rate among African Americans has been on the decline for the past 10 years. However, minorities such as African American and Latino communities have higher unemployment rates when compared to the white majority and Asian minorities.
The context of difference in unemployment rates in minorities population such as Asian and Hispanic could be a separate matter of discussion, but what we shouldn't forget is that the African American population have suffered differently than other minorities. No other minorities or the majority population had to go through years of slavery like the African American population.
Even though it's true that the African American unemployment rate was significantly low before the Covid-19 as President Trump claimed, the post-pandemic period has shown us that African American and Hispanic populations are likely to lose more jobs (as shown by current African American unemployment rate of 16.8) and remain unprepared financially to recover from the current level of uncertainties in the economy.
Diversity, Just A Politician Slogan
Even though the issue of a lack of diversity in the workplace has been a long-discussed issue, it seems as though the task of hiring people of color has been more about compliance than ensuring the assembly of an inclusive workforce. How much do the big giants' companies invest to better the lives of the population that have suffered historical injustice? Indeed, the answer is not enough.
Biases also play a big role in the hiring process where different communities are associated with stereotypes that are equally dangerous in any workplace that wants inclusiveness of person and thought.
The education system and workplace is not the only challenge an African American person faces. The housing issues put people of color in a disadvantageous position. The way the housing system works against the black community today is only a slightly ‘better and improved’ version of the days of redlining in 1934.
Housing discrimination and segregation are evident in present-day neighborhoods across different cities. Being denied to rent an apartment based on the color of skin or devaluation of houses of Black American Neighborhoods is a direct and obvious correlation to the practice of redlining.
Similar is the state of healthcare where African Americans are sicker when compared to white Americans. Not only do they hail from a lower income bracket, they are also discriminated by institutionalized biases.