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