The phrase “All Lives Matter”, used in response to the slogan “Black Lives Matter”, has been causing a lot of controversy. The slogan is sometimes used by “colour-blind” people, who do not see colour as a basis of any of their decisions, and when they hear “Black lives Matter”, they want to add white lives to the mix, not understanding that race causes significant differences in what people face with respect to discrimination.
In one of the incidents, a man spray-painted ‘White Lives Matter’ on the statue of Arthur Ashe, an African American Tennis legend, who was the first black Wimbledon men’s singles champion. After the man left, some people spray-painted “Black Lives Matter” over the previous paint. The man returned in a while to wipe off that message, and when asked why he had painted “white lives matter” on the statue. According to the video, the man replied "Don't all lives matter? Why is it okay to spray paint on this statue 'black lives matter,' but not 'white lives matter'? What's the difference? They all matter. Everybody matters, right?"
However, John Hayward on Breitbart throws a different light on the use of the all lives matter slogan. It talks about several instances of how people and organizations have used the phrase, like how the local authorities in Frankton, Indiana tried to have it on the side of the police cars out of general goodwill, and did not realize that the phrase was offensive to the Black Lives Matter movement.
The phrase “All Life Matters” may have been used as a slogan for joining all hands together, and expressing the fundamental right to equality. However it is found to be misguided and offensive by many people because they feel that the phrase invalidates the specific difficulties faced by the black community. For explaining this, they draw a comparison: if there is one house burning, if the other houses call out that they want the water poured on them too, that’s just counterintuitive and ignoring the burning house. Another comparison is that at a dinner table, a child has half a portion and the other has a whole. When giving another half a portion to the child with less food, if the other child demands half a portion too, it is evident that the child with the full portion is ignoring the fact that the other one has only the half.
The intention about the usage of the phrase “All Lives Matter” doesn’t matter; it still negatively affects the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Speaking of “All Lives Matter” in response to someone asserting that “Black Lives Matter” is walking over the struggles that black people specifically face and it is a false equivalence.