White lives matterBy Zach Boros | 04/03/2017 8:49pm
CW / Kylie Cowden
While I have your white attention, I would like to amend my title to “Black Lives Matter.” If you think the title was sensationalized so that you would read this article–it was. If you read the article title to now find out you are actually disappointed that this article is not in support of the All/White Lives Matter movement–that’s your problem. If you read this title hoping this article was anti-Black Lives Matter–you’re racist.
Are you getting tired of being called racist? Are you getting tired of people assuming all white people are racist? Sounds tough. Black people don’t get to stop being subjected to racism; there’s no safe word when being judged collectively for violence; they don’t get to be tired of an education system that does nothing. For black people, there’s no off switch for racism. Being tough isn’t an option, it’s the only way of life. To dismiss Black societal problems as not pertinent because “slavery is over,” is to forget that in our current time, slavery has been instilled in American history longer than it has not.
All Lives Matter’s real name is White Lives Matter. White people were the only ones to care when the BLM movement started, and is the reason why the countermovement was created. If ALL lives matter, but you want Trump’s wall to be built, then change “All” to “white.” If ALL lives matter, but refugees shouldn’t be allowed in America, then change “All” to “white.” If ALL lives matter, but you don’t think Black people are disproportionately affected by our criminal justice system, change “All” to “white.”
The interests of the All Lives Matter movement are only in the interests of white people. White lives have mattered since the beginning of time. There was no question about the validity of a white life before the BLM movement made it so profound. White people made sure their lives mattered by selling humans as property. They made sure their lives mattered by segregating Black people in different learning environments, in turn creating an education system not beneficial to poor black people. White people made sure their lives mattered when they elected Donald Trump, despite the blatant racism. They made sure their lives mattered by chanting “Build the wall,” so that a physical manifestation of power and dominance over another race could be constructed.
And finally, white people made sure their lives also mattered when the BLM movement came to be, this time with the disguise of “All Lives Matter.” White lives will forever matter in our society, but it wasn’t until the BLM movement that questioned America’s status quo. America’s status quo is a white status quo, America’s constitution is a white constitution, and America’s institutions were created by white people for white people. This country was founded on benefiting white men, and white men only.
Excusing yourself from racism because “it was my great great great grandfather” that owned slaves is like a slave owner excusing himself because “it was my great great great grandfather” that planted the cotton seeds. Black lives matter more now than ever because for 245 years, Black people weren’t seen as worthy of human life. You see, for 245+ years, white people considered Black humans as animals; they literally took the “lives” out of “Black Lives Matter” and reduced them to Black matter.
That’s why Black lives matter, and if you can’t understand that, it’s not because you think ALL lives actually matter, but because you think your white life matters more.
Zach Boros is a freshman majoring in psychology. His column runs biweekly.