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?