AFROPUNK

... the other Black experience

Whatever Happened To ‘All Lives Matter?”

Waaay back in the days of 2016, before the Chester the Pussy Molester flooded the Oval Office with white nationalists and Alt-right advocates, there was this group called “Black Lives Matter.” I know it’s hard to think back that far before the Nazis took over the executive branch of the government, but trust me, it’s true. Black Lives Matter had a simple goal–to fight State violence against black bodies. It started with a hashtag meant to explain to everyone–both black and white–that black lives were just as important as every other life in America. To make it clear, they didn’t say “Black lives matter more.” They were careful to not make it seem like Black Lives were the only ones that were important. No one said “Only Black Lives Matter. They said, “black lives matter.”

Just, “matter.”

Matter.

By Michael Harriot* /NegusWhoRead, AFROPUNK contributor

The phrase seemed meaningful but innocuous. Little did anyone know that there was something about that particular combination of words that instantly triggered the never-ending faucet attached to the natural wonder called the Great White Tears Waterfall. As soon as people began using the hashtag or saying the phrase, butthurt wypipo, angry conservatives, and brainwashed negroes countered with the phrase “All Lives Matter.”

But we weren’t talking about “all lives.’ Besides, no one has ever questioned whether white lives matter. Black people know white lives matter. White people have always known that white lives matter. History shows it. The constitution spelled it out. There are some people who believe the earth is flat, no one ever landed on the moon, Obama was born in Kenya and Beyoncé ain’t that fine, but no one wonders whether white lives matter.

Yet they persisted. “Why are you so focused on Black Lives,” they asked, as if they didn’t know that in 2016 Black males were nine times more likely to be killed by police than white men 15-34. As if they hadn’t heard of Eric Garner or Tamir Rice. They insisted we should be focused on “all lives.”They said BLM was paranoid. It was race-baiting. Their premise was–if everyone is equal, then we shouldn’t focus on just the black lives but on all lives. “Every life is important,” they said.

Whatever happened to those motherfuckers?

Shouldn’t the conservative douchebags who called Black Lives Matter a “hate group” for just focusing on people with melanin be out there at the rallies against Trump’s executive order banning people who worship Islam? I’m sure they’re out there supporting the Muslim community against the immigration ban. I haven’t looked, but I bet if you zoomed in on the crowds protesting at airports across the U.S., you’d see nothing but a sea of “Make America Great Again” hats, right? Oh, you don’t see them?

Maybe they’re helping the other lives. Maybe they are helping the immigrants Donald Trump said he would round up and deport by adding 10,000 new immigration agents. Maybe there’s an “All Lives Matter” shuttle taking them to sanctuary cities, because Mexican lives matter, too. You haven’t heard about the shuttle? What the fuck?

Oh, I know. Maybe they split up. I’m sure some of them are protesting the keystone pipeline, some of them are fighting the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, while the others are busy making sure they have clean water in Flint. Plus, they have to go fight the transgender bathroom bills in North Carolina and Texas while simultaneously urging the Supreme Court to stop voter ID laws. See, when “All Lives Matter,” you have to split your time between the Native Americans, the LGBTQ community, the poor and the disenfranchised.

What, you don’t see those bastards?

What happened to them? I’m sure they are somewhere. They were so adamant about all lives mattering. I could see it in their eyes. If they aren’t out fighting for all lives, that could only mean one thing.

No. I don’t believe it. I refuse to accept the possibility that they were lying all along. That’s not the Y.P. Pull I know! Lying isn’t even in their character! I don’t think they were leading us on. I’m sure they meant what they said! Sure, I know there’s the slavery thing, the Jim Crow thing, the lynching thing, The KKK thing, firebombing thing, Black Wall Street thing, the unequal education thing, the hiring practices thing and the…

Wait.

You mean to tell me that they were lying the whole time? Are you trying to say they never cared about “all lives?” Are you insinuating that they didn’t give a damn about police brutality or violence against Black people or any of this? Are you trying to tell me that “All Lives Matter” in response to Black Lives Matter was just a way to get Black people to shut the fuck up?

Nah.

I’mma keep looking.

I know they’re out there somewhere.

This post is published in partnership with www.neguswhoread.com

*Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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