July 5th, 2020

‘All Lives Matter’ retort is childish, damaging

By Letter to the Editor on June 26, 2020.

As a now 40-year-old white male growing up in Lethbridge I realized even as a child how privileged a life my race and gender allowed me to live in our community. My extended family of lifelong friends that span every race and ethnicity were not so fortunate.

I am appalled at how damaging and childish the “All Lives Matter” retort is to the “Black Lives Matter” and other minority lives matter movements.

Join me in completing a comparative analysis exercise via hypothetical situation to explain how ridiculous “All Lives Matter” is as a response to the BLM and other minority lives matter movements.

Let’s say you woke up one night to sirens and an arsonist had started a deadly house fire that had engulfed one house at the end of your block.

Your neighbour whose property was burning and whose children were trapped inside dying are begging the first responders to help them pleading “My children matter! Please save them!”

Would you have so little compassion for their pain that your response would be to scream at your neighbour and the first responders “ALL houses and children matter – not ONLY yours!”

I guarantee that your neighbour would agree without argument that “All Houses and Children Matter” if their children weren’t dying at that moment.

“All” of the houses on your block are not on fire right now. “All” of the children on your block are not dying right now. Your statement at this moment is horribly misplaced and ignorant.

If your neighbour whose children are dying as you scream “All Houses and Children Matter!” were to dismiss your obvious false equivalency, they are undeniably correct.

Is the slogan “ONLY Black Lives Matter”? Of course not. How on Earth do grown adults make the unconscionable leap that what protesters are really trying to say is that all other racial group’s lives do not matter? Do we as a society still have the analytical and intellectual capacity of preschool-aged children?

Be eternally grateful as I am of the fact that white people in our society are immune to the discrimination, hate, brutality, fear, and death that minorities suffer every single day.

Instead of deflecting and turning a blind eye, how about we act like adults and use our undeniable privilege to speak up and support their quest for long overdue equality?

Scott Crabb


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11 Responses to “‘All Lives Matter’ retort is childish, damaging”

  1. Dennis Bremner says:

    Sorry for the long rant, but this is a complicated issue.
    I think that the retaliation of ALL lives matter is a result of what we are seeing with numerous other demands from minorities that have moved here from other countries. They insist they feel priviledged to become Canadian then demand religious symbols be removed becuase it does not fit their religion. Then of course you hear radicals rant about Sharia Law and numerous other changes to Canadian Society. You also watch people from other Countries who are oil producers picket our production because its to their benefit. You get BC Holier than thou’s insisting they are Green, when they pump untold amounts of raw sewage into the ocean and pump out more coal than all the ports in North America. So I think society is rather sick of the two faced approach of minorities.
    A local example was the group who beat up a minority in Galt Gardens, you could hear the mutterings of racism running rampant in Lethbridge and how this has to stop, until of course the names were published and suddenly, it wasn’t a group of white people at all, but of course the damage is done.
    Then of course there is an example published here in the Lethbridge Herald where two youths insist that “The Watch” is nothing more than white people protecting white people, and crapping on minorities.
    So people, minority or not, tend to get tired of this never ending “whining” that is occurring in today’s society by people that cannot even figure out whether they are a he or she or an IT or if they should be offended by the word GOD or a Cross!
    So when you get to a relevant topic, which is the one you raise, people of other minority groups feel minimized by another minority group. So it becomes Black Lives Matter, Indigenous Lives Matter, etc etc. So this then proliferates the issue that ALL lives matter, because a white person would be jumped upon from greatest of heights if he/she dared to say “White lives Matter” because saying it would immediately make you a racist, because what you are really saying by saying “White Lives Matter” is that others do not, right? Following so far?
    Yet, when another group, says “LGBTXYZ2 lives matter” somehow that is not an insinuation that the other peoples lives do not matter? Why is that Scott?
    The double standard of racism only goes one way can be illustrated daily in this and other papers. If a white person were to say ANY of the things the minority groups are saying, they would be considered racists. So in this case and this case only would you be upset if whitey was saying “White Lives Matter” because more white people are shot in North America every year then any one minority?
    I appreciate your letter and agree with the principle but during all these processes of “demands by minority groups” one has to be vigilant that “much like the religion that this country was based on” it becomes irrelevant because minorities from other countries believe only their religion should be practiced.
    Most of the ALL Lives Matter is knee jerk but some people are actually afraid that somehow their whiteness becomes the improper color of their own country. You are seeing countries like Australia starting to speak up and suggest if you come to this country, you adopt to their society or they are suggesting you leave.
    If you were to check Galt Gardens on ANY day you wish, there is one “minority” that is drugged out and sleeping/drinking/crapping in the park. There is one minority that had more clashes with Police then others, not because the Police are racist, its because they are committing 90% of the crime in Lethbridge. Is that Racism? Does a millenial Drug Addict, get to pull the “my grandfather was taken from his parents and put into a white reform school” so I am an Addict? If so, does that also by default the next gen to say “my great grandfather was taken from his parents”……?
    I believe systemic racism exists in Canada. I also believe that systemic racism is created by repetitive criminal activity by a minority group. Racism is not created because whites just naturally hate people, at least I do not think so. If you were to visit India, you would find there is a rather large dislike of people that wear a Turban. So is this large group Racist. are both groups Racist? So when either group comes to Canada, gains citizenship and finds the shoe is on the other foot, why are they surprised? Again, it does not make it right in fact everyone is wrong, but, I can assure you, if you took your “whiteness” to China, or India, etc and set up a group that created most of the crime in an area, you would be profiled and you would be minimized. So I find it interesting that who seems to be continually profiled as racist are whites. why? We are in the majority HERE.
    So whats the point. Well lets take Lethbridge, if 90% of the “SCS clients” were not indigenous, and if 90% of the petty theft was not created by a minority, I would highly suggest that there would be less racism in Lethbridge. So every region of the planet has Racism issues created by minorities who at one time or the other we either conquered, out numbered, or minimized. Which brings us full circle, at what point is an ethnic group going to stop promoting the burden of their ancestors defeat or minimization and get on with being a member of society? Does creating Nations within Nations entitle you to special privilege? It would appear so “the Nation of Quebec” gets privilege according to McKay of a Veto over Canadian Infrastructure. The Nation of First Nations gets to pull the racist card, keeper of the lands and mother earth, while dumping its addicts on Lethbridge and all of this creates Racism. Racism creates perception of lost privilege, lost privilege creates anger among all of the other groups of society because they see your gain as their loss. No matter how incorrect that perception is, it’s a reality!
    First Nations have no Intent on conforming to white mans society, its why they consider themselves a Nation within a Nation. When the larger NATION disagrees its “racism”, when the smaller NATION disagrees its “they are protecting their rights and people”. When the Quebec Nation decides it disagrees, its not being Racist, its protecting their rights and people. When the White Nation of Canada (there is no such thing but that is the perception) exerts its rights, then its being “racist”, or dominating/intimidating and attempting to suppress!
    “ALL lives matter” is a fear by whitey (right or wrong) that his religious symbols are disappearing faster than houses into a sinkhole in Florida! His/her “National Infrastructure” is being carved up into Nations within Nations, who then decide what is best for the entire country!
    The immediate and natural fear is that maybe “only some lives begin to matter” and whitey finds him/herself excluded? So no matter how illogical the thinking…..”reverse racism does rein and is becoming in vogue”, just like the carving up of the contents of the bible…whats next?
    Is it “white lives don’t matter”? I realize that is a huge leap, but who would have thought 20 years ago that the word GOD or a Crucifix would ever become offensive in Canada? Yet, it now is!

  2. Citi Zen says:

    White folks in Lethbridge are not immune to discrimination, hate, brutality, fear. Try visiting a downtown park and you will quickly realize how much the natives hate us. Or go to another country that is primarily black, Hispanic , etc and experience the “gringo” bashing. Or even visit parts of NE Calgary, where minority whites are driven from their homes to live in another part of the city.
    “White privilege” developed from people who got a job, worked hard all of their lives, provided for their families, and didn’t expect or demand government handouts to support them.
    That said, this is also true of the many successful people of color, who work hard, are successful and proud. It’s all about making choices; Get a job, get a life, become a responsible citizen and make a contribution to your family and society.

  3. baxter says:

    Undeniable privilege? LOL what a load of garbage. The amount of self hatred that we now see by so called woke white people is disgusting. There is no white privilege, there is no systematic racism. Both are garbage terms used to excuse the actions and believes of groups that are unwilling to look at themselves for why they do not succeed in our society.

    All lives do matter and the fire analogy makes no sense. There are no houses on fire with children inside.

    A better analogy would be that there are 10 houses on the block all with children inside but you only want the Firemen to save your children and let the others burn. That is the BLM analogy because they want to create a false narrative where only they have struggles and on they are important, they want you to ignore the other burning children. In fact the BLM people would be happy to see those children burn. Even if the firemen could save all the children they would prefer to see the other children burn as some sort of made up payback they think other deserves because they are utter failures and it is easier to blame others than themselves.

  4. diplomacy works says:

    Nice letter, Scott Crabb, thank you for writing.

    Terribly racist and even sexist and transphobic responses from some, but expected.

    I’m afraid some people will never understand – mostly because their privilege depends on them not understanding this moment in history.

  5. johnny57 says:

    Spot-on Dennis,Citi, and baxter! Others need to repave the same old tired slurs’ that have helped split society down the middle.

  6. biff says:

    i get the urgency of the black lives matter message; and the indigenous lives matter add on; however, is it not curious that it is ok for indigenous to piggy back onto the protests, but not all lives? and curious as well, that the native chief arrested in wood buffalo, who authored a brutal outcome that clearly could have been avoided, seems to have gotten away with several racist utterances: is this because it is not racism when a white is victimised? however, that is not nearly the point of this entry.
    what i am about to say i have also said about the women’s movement/feminism and other protests: if we merely limit the protest to a sub-group, we separate out from the collective, and this diminishes the power and greater reality of the message/movement. as mere parts we fall prey to a kind of a divide and rule problem.
    the message is strongest when we protest as one; the more on board, the better: the human race matters (for that matter, the planet and its cruelly treated life forms matter, but, yes, i will stick to the issue here). hence, all lives matters is a more encompassing, unifying, and therefore more powerful message. it has been sung, perhaps best by solomon burke; give it a listen – a moving, brilliant version: “…None of us are free, one of us is chained. / None of us are free…/ We’ve got to join together in spirit, heart and mind. / So that every soul who’s suffering will know they’re not alone…/ If you just look around you, / Your (sic) gonna see what I say. / Cause the world is getting smaller each passing day. / Now it’s time to start making changes, / And it’s time for us all to realize, / That the truth is shining real bright right before our eyes….” (and they are the blind boys of alabama lending the backup vocals) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBdz4umtoP0
    i feel there is a reflexive/reactive tendency for all lives matter to be taken as a “whitewash”, if you will, of one of many very important and pressing issues regarding prejudice, racism, and bias. and yet i see it as an important and powerful symbol: we all matter – so when you mess with one group of us, you are messing with all of us. unfortunately, given the hostility all too apparent in some of the replies here, one can see the basis upon which each and every marginalised and targeted group demands to be treated justly.

  7. Fescue says:

    White lives don’t matter
    Until black lives matter
    Until indigenous lives matter
    Until queer lives matter
    Until it is recognized
    That bigotry harms all lives.

  8. ewingbt says:

    Childish and damaging!!??

    I disagree, depending on the context. I stand on the fact that ‘all lives matter’, not to take away from the BLM movement, but to state that every life is important.

    Canada is fracturing and most of it is due to separate groups pushing for special status. We should be pushing for unity, not separating into ‘special groups’.

    There is a very old saying, ‘together we stand, divided we fall’ . . . this country is being ripped apart just as homes have been ripped apart by divorce. We are doomed it we do not unite as one.

    All lives matter to me means that we should be treating each other as our brother, sister, mother, father, etc., and if that is wrong by stating all lives matter, then we are all doomed!

    That is not childish . . . it mature!

    We also had a saying growing up. ‘Sticks and stones can hurt my bones, but names will never hurt me’ . . . it suppressed those unwanted verbal attacks, and the attacks ceased.

    Until we all start working together as one, there is no hope and we see this country split.

    One last old saying, ‘ A strong country begins in the home ‘ . . . if that is true . . . we are doomed!

  9. biff says:

    tris – “…black men’s outstanding physical power, beauty and grace being its own intimidation factor for white men…” usually i have an appreciation for your thoughts, but this is off base. certainly, you are entitled to your tastes and perceptions; but, you are nonetheless off the mark trying to support a silly stereotype that white men are intimidated by black men. it presents as sort of a reverse discrimination, and moreover, it is rather offensive…to me, anyway.

  10. biff says:

    hi tris, sorry to see they have removed 2 of your entries and one of mine (i expect the 2 other responses i had to yours to be gone as well). it was a good and i think quite appropriate and essential discussion.

  11. biff says:

    and so now one of my other replies to tris is awaiting moderation. no disrespectful lines, but it now seems useful exchanges are under the beat down called moderation. thanks big brother.

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