All Lives Matter

 

I’m not supposed to say this, but: All lives matter.

In my old age, I feel this more keenly, every day. That life is precious, fragile, and finite. And when it’s taken, it’s over. Extinguished. Gone.

Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were killed in police confrontations for, what appears to me, no good reason. And five Dallas officers were killed by a mad man in retaliation for … No good reason.

And now, all of these people are dead. Extinguished. Gone. Their families suffering. And we have no good leadership to guide us through.

We have a President who likes to black-splain to white America why marches and riots are happening. He told a summit of police officers that he is their “best hope.” We have a Republican candidate who promises to make America “safe again.” As if one man can will it into being. Didn’t we just do that? Vote for a man who believed that, by his example, he could will all good things into being?

What we need is each other. To join in solidarity. To recognize that, yes, there is a divide, a disparity, in how citizens are treated by the powers that be. Every black person in America has experienced it, including myself. A new Harvard study confirms that African Americans get roughed up by cops more often. The divide, the disparity, is real.

But if we’re being honest, we also know that many good people, including white people, are friends and champions in the project called “life.”

Last week, I stayed with friends, and spent most of the time playing with their seven year old, red headed twins. A boy and girl. They roughhoused with me, climbed all over me, and made sure to sit next to me, every day, at lunch. They were exhausting! And as they were winding down, getting ready for bed, they each curled up next to me on the couch for just a little bit more love and attention. It never occurred to any of us that we were of different races. We just cuddled. It would break my heart if they were told anything else.

I’m not supposed to say this, but in my heart I believe social equality will only be achieved when we recognize that all lives matter. The kid who does dumb stuff could be your son. Let’s face it, he’s been your son. The cop who suits up for work could be your dad or mom. My dad suited up every day for work. And my mom always had his work shirts cleaned, pressed, and ready to go.

We’re fellow citizens. Neighbors and friends. We’re each other.

Easier said, than lived, I know. But it’s our duty to try.

Our future matters.

Published in Policing, Politics
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  1. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    “social equality will only be achieved when we recognize that all lives matter.”

    God bless you Amy for stating the obvious, which no one dares to admit.

    All Lives Matter.

    This should be the mantra of Conservatives, Liberals, Christians, Atheists and everyone in between.

    • #1
  2. Mate De Inactive
    Mate De
    @MateDe

    I so agree, then will the left please stop having things like White Privilage seminars, and colleges having white privilage classes. Because one day those cute little red headed twins who cuddled up with you will be told that they are secretly racist, just because they are white, cause you know that seems to be the original sin of all those who lack melanin, and all that time they didn’t even know it.

    Or mother’s who write posts like this, I don’t know where this women lives but I have never heard of anyone behaving the way she describes, also there are jerks everywhere, it is best to ignore them.

    All of this highlighting of our differences is dangerous in my opinion. I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s and had friends of all different racial make ups and it was never an issue but then again I wasn’t told to “check my privilege” either.

    • #2
  3. KC Mulville Inactive
    KC Mulville
    @KCMulville

    I find it strange that the question of whose lives matter is being asked in a culture that dares to call itself Judeo-Christian. Which, I think, shows how far we’ve drifted from those principles.

    I’d have thought that we’d all take for granted that all lives matter. But I’m instantly reminded of the abortion culture, which says that even if the fetus is human life, it can still be killed at the “discretion” of the mother. Those lives don’t matter.

    The basis of the Black Lives Matter movement is a basic distrust within the black community that white people actually believe that black lives matter. The reason they don’t want to broaden the scope to all lives is that the black community distrusts the willingness of whites to respect blacks with the same commitment as white lives. It’s that perceived disparity that drives them to emphasize black lives, and to refuse to water it down to all lives.

    In a culture of death, you know, they may have a point. But I don’t think it’s a racial thing, so much as it is a modern, secular abandonment of the value of human life.

    In a culture of death … no lives matter.

    • #3
  4. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Amy Holmes: I’m not supposed to say this, but: All lives matter.

    So says a black woman on the right. Meanwhile, a white male on the left says you’re full of it.

    “Divide et impera” is as old as war and politics.

    • #4
  5. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    It seems such a simple answer that the red headed twins could figure it out. But when our candidates were asked on both sides what matters all life or black lives, most said black lives.  Labels divide – everyone should have instinctively said all lives matter – but that wasn’t the political mantra of the day.  I did not feel this in your face tension prior to Obama – I had hopes that he would make things better for all – but given his background, it was obvious that he did not understand how to unite – and that pitting people against each other solves nothing. The problems are bigger than race – many minorities come from other parts of the world and make it – there is desire to learn and earn.  They don’t have time to worry about skin color or even lack of opportunity – they go and find it. In the inner cities, it never changes – the victim mentality – why not?

    • #5
  6. Trinity Waters Inactive
    Trinity Waters
    @TrinityWaters

    A heartfelt post, I’m sure.  (Color should be irrelevant, and may one day be, if only the hucksters shut up already.)

    But I was struck at the beginning with the strange equivalence drawn.

    “Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were killed in police confrontations for, what appears to me, no good reason. And five Dallas officers were killed by a mad man in retaliation for … No good reason.”

    Again, as the facts emerge, the encounters had reasons, after all.

    • #6
  7. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Amy,

    Thank you so much for this. A Human Life is the basis of all moral systems both religious and purely secular. It is the Matter of Kant’s Categorical Imperative. That anyone should be criticized for actually saying out loud “All Lives Matter” is so stupid as to make one stare in wonderment. How shall we conduct ourselves after we’ve thrown out the fundamental principle of morality? What kind of society can we possibly build without it?

    Your Black-Splaining meme about Obama is very funny. He deserves this big time. You hit it out of the park.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #7
  8. Mister D Member
    Mister D
    @MisterD

    Thank you for the words, as they are good words.

    I don’t take issue with the phrase “black lives matter” because I can see how, to some, it feels that they don’t. Bad things happen when people, for whatever reason, feel marginalized, and if saying black lives matter provides comfort to some, I won’t argue.

    • #8
  9. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Mate De: I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s and had friends of all different racial make ups and it was never an issue

    This is so true and so different from the 1960’s-early 70’s of my youth.  As a kid, my friends were all white, because my town was.  In college I had my first Asian and black friends, including the best man at my first wedding.  Now my 15 year old Asian daughter has best friends who are white, black, brown, Hispanic, Asian…she doesn’t see race, and neither do my older kids.

    Mate De looks to be the age of my oldest son.  He doesn’t see race.

    We have made enormous progress in race relations in America.  Let’s not let the Left polarize us.  All Lives Matter.

    • #9
  10. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Ever notice that in a “free” country where we have a 1st amendment that guarantees and protects our “freedom of speech” that it is getting so we have more and more stuff that we can not say?  Wonder why that is?

    • #10
  11. Typical Anomaly Inactive
    Typical Anomaly
    @TypicalAnomaly

    As we know, BLM is a movement. All lives matter is a principle. We don’t give on principle. Stormy times like these don’t weaken our resolve, they remind us of why we believe in our principles.

    Just think for a moment how foundational this principle is. It informs our convictions on individual civil rights, our collective rights, and our support for the rule of law.

    Thank you @AmyHolmes, for words well written. We also appreciate the courage you display in writing them. And I needed a reminder of how much fun seven year old kids can be.

    • #11
  12. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    Mister D: I don’t take issue with the phrase “black lives matter” because I can see how, to some, it feels that they don’t. Bad things happen when people, for whatever reason, feel marginalized, and if saying black lives matter provides comfort to some, I won’t argue.

    The problem I have with the phrase Black Lives Matters is that it was adopted as a movement on the basis of a pack of lies.  Yes, I get that one is supposed to understand an implicit “too” at the end and not an “only” at the beginning, but the entire movement is based on the lie that cops shoot unarmed blacks in disproportionate numbers and that there are no consequences for doing so because black lives supposedly don’t matter.  But that is a lie.  Others have written at length here about the statistics, so I won’t.

    There is certainly an element of truth to the claim that black lives don’t matter in our society, at least not as much, and to draw attention to those issues.  The media largely ignores the carnage in our largest cities (62 blacks, men, women and children, were murdered in Chicago in June, almost 90 percent of the total number of 72 murders, more than two every day), but addressing those problems requires focusing on the progressive policies that have destroyed the black family and the black community in America.

    (Cont.)

    • #12
  13. Mark Darris Inactive
    Mark Darris
    @MarkDarris

    “I’m not supposed to say this, but: All lives matter.”

    Umm, no, you are certainly supposed to say that. And long before your personal Epiphany of playing with ‘red headed’ (i.e. white) kids, you are supposed to know that…This post has that modernly, yet odd tone, so prevalent among leftist regressives: which is that the acknowledgment of a self-evident truth -in this case the maddeningly, basic “humanity 101” thought, that all lives matter-  is a virtuous personal act of self-discovery; instead of , simply, a basic impulse of human decency.

    Welcome to the human race…next up “La Raza”….

    • #13
  14. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    (Cont.)

    It is so much easier to point the finger of blame at the police with their Sisyphean task of maintaining order in our communities.  But like all progressive ideas, nothing works out quite as planned.  Accused of being racists, cops pull back from aggressive policing and the communities that suffer are not wealthy white communities, but poor black communities that slide into complete chaos.  The end result of the BLM meme is increased violence that will claim more black lives.

    But while this may seem to be racist, it isn’t.  White out-of-wedlock birth rates are nationally around 40% – compare to the 25% figure for blacks that so alarmed Moynihan.  The black community is our canary in the coal mine.  These problems are coming down the tracks at all of us.

    As @kcmulville said: “In a culture of death … no lives matter.”

    • #14
  15. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    Amy, I liked your post very much.

    You are correct that all lives matter – that is a nice sentiment.  But…  If we’re being honest, we need to take the conversation further.

    The perceived problem of police violence against minorities pales in comparison to the astronomically larger problems of civilian-on-civilian crime and dysfunction and hopelessness in inner-city communities.  The actual solutions to these problems are rather simple.  They are also extremely hard.

    Two words:  Education and family.  Adam Carolla on his podcast frequently cites these two simple things.  The problem is that changing the status quo entails cultural changes, and those are exceedingly difficult to effect.

    The police chief in Dallas cited a statistic that 70% of black families are headed by a single mother.  I don’t know offhand if he was talking about Dallas, the state of Texas, or nationwide, and I don’t know if that is the correct percentage, but we do know that the proportion is disturbingly high.

    In addition, inner city government schools are a mess.  Student behavioral problems, corrupt teachers’ unions, parents incapable of controlling their children, the temptations of the street, prejudices against students “acting white”, and countless other factors contribute to low achievement.

    Education and family.  That’s the solution.  Simple but hard.

    And you won’t see anyone protesting in favor of either of them.

    • #15
  16. B. Hugh Mann Inactive
    B. Hugh Mann
    @BHughMann

    Indeed, my Christian faith informs me.

    IMG_0689

    • #16
  17. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Thanks Amy. Yes, all lives matter. Too bad, Time is having none of that racist twaddle.

    • #17
  18. Schwaibold Inactive
    Schwaibold
    @Schwaibold

    Very nice, agree 100%.

    With regard to the BLM response to “All Lives Matter”, BLM interprets All Lives Matter as a rejection of BLM’s grievances. The problem is, what are BLM’s grievances? What do they really hope to accomplish?

    If “Black Lives Matter” implies that I, or most white people, or cops, don’t value black lives, then I reject the premise. BLM would be taken more seriously, if instead of insane hyperbole about racist white cops hunting down young black men for fun, they focused on demanding respect from the police, the right to not be manhandled, to be treated fairly, and equally, and as individuals, not always looked upon with suspicion as a member of a high crime risk group.

    I like to think the difference in treatment from police has more to do with attitude, or even style of clothing, than color of skin – e.g., a sullen teen with baggy pants will be treated differently than one wearing a polo shirt and saying “yes, sir”  or “yes, ma’am”. However, I’ve heard from enough people like Tim Scott to know it’s not just gangsta rappers from the hood who are getting extra scrutiny.

    • #18
  19. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    Johnny Dubya: Education and family. That’s the solution. Simple but hard.

    Both require addressing hard questions aimed at the welfare industry and teachers unions.  I wouldn’t hold my breath expecting any progressives to think BLM that much.

    • #19
  20. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    tigerlily:Thanks Amy. Yes, all lives matter. Too bad, Time is having none of that racist twaddle.

    Fortunately others think more deeply:  http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/07/why_dont_these_blacklivesmatter.html

    • #20
  21. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Interesting thought, but a restaurant is pressured to take down its “all lives matter” sign because that sentiment dehumanizes black people (!?).

    http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/business/2016/07/13/restaurant-owner-apologizes-all-lives-matter-sign/87023758/

    • #21
  22. Jackson Fall Admin
    Jackson Fall
    @JacksonFall

    All lives matter, but I just feel like my white life is much safer than thousands of black lives. There is something to be said about BLM being a “lower level” issue that if we all really believed All Lives Matter, the Black part would suddenly be irrelevant. Problem is that we’re so focused on treating a symptom of a bigger problem.

    Amy Holmes:We’re fellow citizens. Neighbors and friends. We’re each other.

    Thanks for sharing this- it rings true.

    • #22
  23. TG Thatcher
    TG
    @TG

    Trinity Waters:A heartfelt post, I’m sure. (Color should be irrelevant, and may one day be, if only the hucksters shut up already.)

    But I was struck at the beginning with the strange equivalence drawn.

    “Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were killed in police confrontations for, what appears to me, no good reason. And five Dallas officers were killed by a mad man in retaliation for … No good reason.”

    Again, as the facts emerge, the encounters had reasons, after all.

    There is some equivalence:  People died.

    There are some differences:  We don’t have many indisputable facts about what happened with Alton Sterling and Philando Castle, but it is fairly certain (to most people) that the people proximately responsible for those deaths did not begin their respective days thinking:  “I plan to kill, today.”  Not the case in Dallas.

    • #23
  24. Patrickb63 Coolidge
    Patrickb63
    @Patrickb63

    Amy, thanks for the post.  Your thoughts are what I think a lot of citizens of all backgrounds are thinking.  My only quibble is this line ” It never occurred to any of us that we were of different races.”   We are not of different races.  We are all Homo sapiens sapiens.  There is only one human race, since the Neanderthals and Denisovans died out.

    • #24
  25. Isaac Smith Member
    Isaac Smith
    @

    Jackson Fall: All lives matter, but I just feel like my white life is much safer than thousands of black lives.

    Absolutely true; but the reason why black lives are less safe is important.  If you diagnose the problem wrong you have nothing but the luck of the blind squirrel to get you to a solution that makes things better.  Since BLM is based on demonstrable lies, they don’t even have that.

    • #25
  26. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    The thing about BLM is that it is not about black lives.  It is mainly about raising civil disorder to a level that will motivate the electorate to install Democrats to positions of power.  Once the election is over and funding stops then BLM will fade away unless the Democrats can find further use of it.

    • #26
  27. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Jackson Fall: I just feel like my white life is much safer than thousands of black lives.

    Which “thousands”?

    According to this study by Harvard professor Roland G Fryer,

    “Blacks are 23.8 percent less likely to be shot by police, relative to whites”

    Based on ~1500 officer involved shootings between 2000 and 2015.

    • #27
  28. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Instugator:

    Jackson Fall: I just feel like my white life is much safer than thousands of black lives.

    Which “thousands”?

    According to this study by Harvard professor Roland G Fryer,

    “Blacks are 23.8 percent less likely to be shot by police, relative to whites”

    Based on ~1500 officer involved shootings between 2000 and 2015.

    And if a you are white and happen to get shot by a cop.  No one will care, no one will march, no one will investigate, everybody will say you had it coming and the books will be closed before the week is out.

    • #28
  29. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Fake John/Jane Galt: the books will be closed before the week is out.

    If it even takes that long.

    • #29
  30. Jerome Danner Inactive
    Jerome Danner
    @JeromeDanner

    Amy Holmes:”I’m not supposed to say this, but: All lives matter.”

    “We’re each other.”

    “Easier said, than lived, I know. But it’s our duty to try.”

    “Our future matters.”

    Beautiful!

    • #30
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