What "Black Lives Matter" Means

And why the phrase "All Lives Matter" is a problem.

Using the phrase "All Lives Matter" might come from a good place. It may sound like a we're-all-in-this-together sentiment or a desire for all races to join hands.

But here's the problem...

It takes the focus away from the people who are in danger and live everyday in fear and makes it about the people who are safe and do not feel threatened.

It's a natural reaction to respond with, "But what about all lives?" or "Isn't my safety important, too?" But the truth is, Black people are three times more likely on average than white people to be killed during police contact. (Statistic info is available HERE.)

Saying "Black Lives Matter" doesn't imply that other peoples' lives, including the lives of police officers, don't matter. It's an unnecessary assertion so taking this call-to-action against racism and redirecting it to white people is racist. And white people, just because we don't think we're being racist doesn't mean we're not being racist.

"Black Lives Matter" is uncomfortable for white people because it means we have to grapple with our own role in systemic racism, unintentional as it may be.

We all like to think we're good people. In this case, being a good person means understanding that BLACK LIVES MATTER. Period.