In such a turbulent world, it can be difficult to choose which hashtag to represent your ideology with.
Let me first say that the death of an innocent man and the subsequent deaths of several police officers is a tragic thing and it should not happen. Of course we should pay our respects to the families and loved ones who have suffered such awful and meaningless tragedies. We should especially remember our black and law-enforcement neighbours.
We have apparently decided to pay our respects by starting a war over which hashtag to use. I hope we all recognize that mudslinging does not help resolve conflicts. Let’s just forget that whole aspect of the discussion for now and talk strictly about ideas. Do black lives matter? Yes! Of course they do! The enduring racism against black people is appalling and must be addressed. Do all lives matter? Yes! Of course all lives matter! No one should have violence committed against them for being of any race, nor should there be hatred.
The consensus among reasonable souls is that race should not be ignored or despised, but uplifted, celebrated, and defended.
So black lives mattering and all lives mattering are by no means mutually exclusive. Now the argument I hear is that we cannot defend the rights of black Americans while also upholding the rights of the others. The parable being that “If you go to a doctor with a broken arm and ask him to fix it and he says ‘All bones are valuable’ and proceeds to do nothing, he is a terrible doctor.” Equally terrible is the doctor who is reckless and negligent and breaks another bone while healing the broken one!
On top of that, advocating that all lives matter is not necessarily a call for inaction. Can you, sitting in front of your twitter feed, solve racism? Right now? No you cannot. Each of us must do what we can according to our options and our abilities. Is it a paradox to ensure the comfort of a friend’s family while the doctors are healing your friend? No. Is it a paradox to make sure a fire isn’t spreading while fireman put out the burning house in front of you? No.
Anti-white, anti-straight, and anti-police sentiments all exist along with antisemitism, hatred of Muslims, hatred of My Little Pony enthusiasts; if it exists, someone hates it. We are all equally capable of hatred as we are all equally capable of love. We should remember that and be humble as we serve all of our hurting neighbors.
Anything less will just keep the pendulum swinging. An eye for an eye, a life for a life.
All lives matter. Black lives matter. We can remember both. This isn’t hard. Right now, we especially stand with our black and police officer neighbours. Those who care for the rest of us, we don’t despise. All lives matter and black lives matter. Our real enemy isn’t a hashtag, it’s misunderstanding.
And lack of understanding is what gets us into these messes in the first place.
Stop arguing over hashtags and go help someone.