#BlackLivesMatters for Dummies

I am terribly frustrated to still see people “correcting” #BlackLivesMatter posts by commenting with “all lives matter.”

The problemIMG_3174 with “all lives matter” is that it is neutral. And Desmond Tutu said it best, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

I like analogies so here’s another one: “All lives matter” is like me bleeding and needing a band aid. So I tell everyone my problem and start the #AleidraNeedsABandAid movement. Well, my friends see my post, and instead of becoming allies of my movement, they start the #EveryoneNeedsABandAid movement, because we should keep things equal and get everyone a band aid, right?

Wrong. #EveryoneNeedsABandAid actually distracts from my problem and makes my movement about everyone, even though everyone is not bleeding and in need of help like me. No, you are not included in my movement but why do you need to be if you are not bleeding? Why does my issue have to be made to include you when I’m the one that is bleeding, not you?

My advocacy for myself is no disrespect to you– I just need help and am trying to fix my problem. Would it make sense for you to be more concerned with advocating for everyone to have band aids (even though everyone is not bleeding) instead of helping me stop my bleeding? Is it appropriate for you to be more concerned with being included in my movement (even though you don’t have my problem) than helping me overcome my problem?  Why focus on getting everyone a band aid when we could use that energy to get band aids for the people who actually need them?

Joining my movement would not mean you are any less important or deserve any less assistance if you ever start bleeding. It would just mean that you are willing to step outside of your privilege of not needing a band aid right now, to help me so I won’t need one, or this movement, anymore.

And there should be no fear in that. Because if and when you ever start bleeding, I’ll be there to help you get a band aid, just like you did for me. But what you should fear is me never getting a band aid because you preferred to advocate for everyone, and never directly said #AleidraNeedsABandAid.

#BlackLivesMatter .

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16 thoughts on “#BlackLivesMatters for Dummies

  1. Nontalie Morrow says:

    Reblogged this on Thinking About Tomorrow.

    Like

  2. Wayneesha says:

    I love your blog and I would give you a band aid or take you to the hospital if you are bleeding too bad. I think this is what I get from your blog…your willing to heal whoever needs to be healed. I think that if a person is in need and you have what they need…give it to them. We go through to help someone else to get through. We are put here to help those who need it and speak for those who do not have a voice. And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. We are overcomes when people such as Aleidra loves to heal and help the ones that need it. Awsome blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shawnda says:

    Couldn’t have said it any better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Krissalyn says:

    So incredibly proud to say you’re my friend, but I’m so honored to call you my sister. Excellent analogy. I look forward to reading more of your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pam lehrke says:

    Not everyone needs bandaids at the same time but make sure you have them close because life these days changes in a blink. Keep your hearts open and forgiveness close.
    Proud of you girl keep make a difference for everyone because we all bleed red!
    Love you

    Like

    • aleidraallen says:

      @Pam Lehrke Yes. I tried to emphasize that things can change later and the other group may then need a “band aid,” and that’s totally fine…we can then help them. I just want people to understand that they should not be offended by or reject one groups movement because it does not include them, if they do not need a band aid for that specific wound. It means no disrespect to anyone else to advocate for one’s self, if you are in need. It doesn’t mean they only care about themselves, and allies (people who don’t need this specific “band aid” but support those who do) are more than welcome to join in the advocacy. I honestly believe that we can’t make change without allies…we need everyone’s help. And most importantly, us advocating for one another starts a culture of care for each other, regardless of if the problem directly affects us or not. And that is the key because like you said, things can change in the blink of an eye. And when they do, we’ll be ready to get that person their band aid, too.

      Thanks so much for reading and your support!!

      Like

  6. Patrice says:

    Aleidra,
    Beautiful ffirst post. The analogy is genius! I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mary Pauline Owens says:

    Thanks Aleidra,
    For making it so plan! I love reading the blog! Keep them coming!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kyra says:

    I, too, love a good analogy sister! This was great! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Adrian says:

    Though this article is very helpful in understanding the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it fails to recognize the full equation of America’s race problem. The #BlackLivesMatter is a noble campaign, but, to use the metaphor from this article, the African-American population is not the only community that is “bleeding”. In fact, the white population has suffered much more from fatal police shootings. According to the far-left Guardian newspapers, approximately 1001 people were killed by police this year in America. Of these 1001, 502 people were white, and 250 were African American. Though many people source the argument that there are many more white people than black people, so therefore the argument is invalid due to the differing proportions, the crime rates of both races tell a different story. According to the US Department of Justice, blacks accounted for 52.5% of homicide offenders land whites accounted for 45.3%. However, these figures group Hispanic crimes into the ‘white’ category, so the real numbers show that whites account for roughly 10% of violent crimes. Also, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the black arrest rate for robbery was 8.55 times higher than for whites. There are more and more statistics that I can source, but they will all go to prove that white people are far more likely to be fatally shot by police than African-Americans, even when being compared proportionally. This doesn’t mean that the African-American population isn’t descriminated against, but it does go to show that all races deserve “bandaids” too. #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter should not be opposed to each other, and instead they should be working towards the same goals of stopping fatal police shootings.

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    • Just to clarify, you are correct in that we all “bleed” in different times, which I elude to by saying (ideally) in situations when we do not need “band aids,” we will help others get “band aids” when they need them. Yes, we all may need “band aids” at different times and for different wounds but we should not focus on everyone getting band aids for the same wound when everyone is not bleeding in that way. We should be okay with prioritizing and focusing on those who actually need the band aid instead of prioritizing and focusing on the fact that we all need band aids at some point, even when we don’t have the specific wound we’re discussing at the time. That mentality and method only distracts from those who are bleeding getting the help they need.

      I disagree that white people are experiencing the same plight as black people when it comes to police brutality so I do not think white people are in need of a band aid here. I hope this makes sense.

      Like

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