All too often black people are met with incredulous dismissal when we talk about the realities of being black. These realities-- police brutality, extrajudicial executions, public humiliation, etcetera--inform the sentiment behind #BlackLivesMatter. #BlackLivesMatter is a hashtag, a movement and a mantra. It means that black people are suffering. When black people say that our lives matter, when we use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, it denotes recognition of that suffering.
On the contrary, #AllLivesMatter contributes to black suffering. It's the moral equivalent of telling someone who just stubbed their toe, "all toes matter." Like, we know all your untouched toes matter, but can we focus on alleviating the pain of the person with the stubbed toe? #AllLivesMatter has become the rallying cry of those bereft of critical thinking faculties.
Here's a skit that breaks down the canyon between #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter hilariously and creatively, right down to the metaphor of choice. Created by Peace House, a hub for creative and politically thought-provoking comedy, the skit succinctly nails down the frustration of being black in 2016.