As a gradually awakening white person, I would like to address the issue of the “All lives matter” in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
I have seen online postings along the lines of “this is like going to a breast cancer support group and stating that all cancers matter.” Although well-meaning, this still misses the point.
It would be more accurate to depict the “all lives matter” response as being similar to telling a friend who has shared the painful story of being raped that “well I once was swindled out of $100.” Or telling a Holocaust survivor that I know how they feel since “I was once stuck in a traffic jam for four hours.”
Saying “all lives matter” to people who are trying to express the indescribable pain of 400 years of ongoing systemic oppression, rape, murder and discrimination is a deliberate denial that a system that benefits people like me continues to cause catastrophic harm to people deemed by our society to have the “wrong” skin color.
We need to demand systemic change by collectively declaring Black Lives Matter.
Raymond List, La Crosse
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