Saturday, April 16, 2016

Whose Life Matters?

The Black Lives Matter movement continues, and so do the attacks upon it. What I find most interesting about the attacks upon the Black Lives Matter movement is that they all seem to share one common fallacy. I've been making my usual smart ass remarks in response to postings by those who say, "Yes, Black lives matter, and so do White lives, so what's wrong with you people?" Or, "Black lives matter but we have to support our cops."

I'm going to drop all satire to try to plainly and simply explain what's actually happening here. The problem lies in what comes after the colon.

Once only literature majors and the few people who enjoy 19th century literature understood that the title of the book was only the beginning. You needed to read what came after the colon to get an idea of what the book was about. In fact, what came after the colon in the title was exactly that, a brief description of what the book was about.

For some reason, this practice has returned, and we frequently see this affectation again. For example, the book Political Animals: How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics. You see? With a title like that, it could be about anything, but once you read after the colon, you know exactly what the entire book is about.

So let's look at what comes after the colon in the phrase, Black Lives Matter. It says, "just as much as everyone else's." Conservatives are screaming in rage because they think what comes after the colon is, "but nobody else's does."

This means that conservatives also believe that other lives matter too. On this point, they are in complete agreement with the Black Lives Matter supporters, they just don't know it.

Sadly, some of those for attacking the movement are doing so because they don't think Black lives matter. However, that is not the criticism that is leveled against it, and many of the opponents don't think in that prejudiced manner. Whatever their motives, the criticism is plain and simple. It clearly and directly states that other lives matter too, so Black Lives Matter must be wrong because it thinks only Black lives matter.

This is completely wrong. To repeat the movement is simply saying that Black lives matter just as much as everybody else's. It doesn't put down anyone. It doesn't say any group is superior to others, or more important, or more valuable than others. It says, we are just as valuable as you are. That is all it says.

You can stop being afraid now.

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