By Anya Middleton
February 1st marked the first day of Black History month, a month full of reflection for all that is black. For the past few years, an organization and movement named #BlackLivesMatter has set a trend across not only the United States but the world as well. #BlackLivesMatter has been a controversial group because it is always met with the valid question of “Well don’t all lives matter?” Yes, of course all lives matter but the purpose of #BlackLivesMatter is to draw attention to the injustices that the black community faces on a daily basis.
What is most important to realize is that when one proclaims that #BlackLivesMatter he is not saying all lives do not matter, just that black lives matter too. Look at it this way, when one tells his mom that he loves her, does that mean he doesn’t love his dad too? No, it is just the time to recognize the love that he has for his mother. The same logic applies to the #BlackLivesMatter movement but it seems to be extremely hard for many people to grasp onto that.
#BlackLivesMatter was formed because of the unfair treatment that black people have been faced with for years on end. For some odd reason, when a white person kills a black person he does not face the same repercussions that a black person would face if the roles were reversed. The punishment for murder should be imprisonment however that is too often not the case in white-on-black crime. These reoccurring instances of murders walking free have left the black community to feel as if they do not matter, #BlackLivesMatter’s point is to reinforce that they do.
Another popular argument against #BlackLivesMatter is the rate of black-on-black crime. Undoubtedly, black people have to stop killing one another and place more value on our lives. The difference is however, when a black man kills another black man he will face incarceration without a question. The same cannot be said for white-on-black crime.
This Black History month, instead of responding to #BlackLivesMatter with all lives matter, take some time to really reflect on the treatment of black Americans in our country. Ask yourself why the same value isn’t put on black lives as everyone else? Realize that yes all lives matter, and black lives are a part of that as well.
Middleton is a Junior Public Relations major