The Real Reason White People Say "All Lives Matter" Permalink
One of the most awesome concepts I've been learning about recently is derailing.
I want to write a full post about this someday, but let's just say that when someone in a marginalized group points out bias, and someone in the privileged group responds "Yeah, but everybody...", it's a very familiar pattern to the minority. That's derailing. The majority don't know what bias looks like to the minority — they just need to listen.
John Halstead at HuffPo:
The problem with being “colorblind” — aside from the fact that we’re not really — is that it is really a white privilege to be able to ignore race. White people like me have the luxury of not paying attention to race — white or black. The reason is because whiteness is treated as the default in our society. Whiteness is not a problem for white people, because it blends into the cultural background.
Black people, on the other hand, don’t have the luxury of being “colorblind.” They live in a culture which constantly reminds them of their Black-ness, which tells them in a million large and small ways that they are not as important as white people, that their lives actually do not matter as much as white lives. Which is why saying “Black Lives Matter” is so important.
“All Lives Matter” is a problem because it refocuses the issue away from systemic racism and Black lives. It distracts and diminishes the message that Black lives matter or that they should matter more than they do.