I have resisted writing this post for various reasons…the question raised “Don’t all lives matter?” It is an offshoot of the Black Lives Matter movement that is storming the country. It in some cases has angered many, causes confusion for others and skepticism by many others. At the heart of the issues are the underlining questions, “Don’t black lives matter?” If so then stop the attacks on black people by the racist’s establishment.
So the other side will argue it’s not just black lives that matter, all lives matter. When people express this sentiment, the claims of racism fly in their direction. It matters not who tries to make that point; the rage is coming.
The problem is we are asking the wrong the question. Do black lives matter? Of course, they do. I would hope so since I am black. It is not the right response to say all lives matter because of course, that should be true as well.
The correct question is, “If we value the existence of every individual, how do we fix what’s obviously broken in our society?” If all lives matter, then we need to pay attention to the broken systems in society that plague every person. It all lives matter then every voice needs to be heard. Every circumstance that impacts the quality of life addressed. Every life matter whether that is the black person living in poverty. Or the elderly person whose social security makes it impossible for them to make ends meet. Or the unborn baby who we say have no rights. If all lives matter then we need to deal with all peoples quality of life, their pursuit of happiness, they’re achieving the American dream.
I ran across a blog this past week debating the whole black lives matter movement. To look at this issue from a fresh perspective, here is a quote from a black blogger about the issues.
“For almost the people commenting about “all lives matter,” or “every race matters” you’re completely missing the point…. If all lives matter, then there should be more people who are angered and active about every life taken at hands of police involved murders, protesting police brutality, actively fighting against white supremacy, and not turning your back to acts of discrimination or racism of any sort. The phrase “all lives matter” itself is another means of telling us (black people) that our claims of racism are petty and we should stop protesting. This phrase is insulting to the movement, and is nothing more than superficial propaganda for white supremacy.” Cliff
What is missing in all this again is real solutions to a broken system. A broken system that leaves some people behind. Whether those left behind are black, white, red, it doesn’t matter. No one is listening to their situation. This quote by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose work revealed the atrocities of the Gulag. The Gulag was the Soviet Union’s forced labor camp system. He provides valuable insight for us today.
“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousandfold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age; we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956
The crisis that was created over 200 years ago has never really been addressed. Yes, we have passed the Civil Rights amendment, and we should have been able just to move on. Right? But laws do not change hearts. Laws do not repair the past wrongs; they only are designed to prevent the same future mistakes. Laws cannot go back and say I am sorry and how can I help. The law is intended to correct errors, not to fix problems. Only a heart turned toward God can do that. What we need are more people of faith letting their light shine in the midst of the darkness. The more followers of our compassionate Savior being salt in a bland world that has lost it saltiness. The problem looks impossible if we try to fix it overnight. It is too big, the hurts too dark, the chasm too wide, but like any big problem we need to take small steps. One new authentic relationship at a time. Hang in there; the relationship is worth the effort because all lives do matter. All relationships are worth saving.
Other posts in this series worth reading.