‘All lives matter’ shows true face at Trump rally



People who coined the term “black lives matter” in protest of inequality are opposed by people who coined the term “all lives matter.” Many on the “all lives matter” side believe it is unfair to claim only the lives of one minority matter. Many supporters and important figures in the Black Lives Matter movement have made it clear that “black lives matter” is not an effort to say only black lives matter, but rather it is an effort to show there are many instances in this country where black people are not treated the same as white people.

On Nov. 21, the true colors of the All Lives Matter movement became visible. At a rally for Donald Trump in Alabama, Trump supporters attacked a man after he shouted, “black lives matter.” A video showed a black man named Mercutio Southall on the ground surrounded by a group of white males.

Saying “black lives matter” does not mean that white lives, Asian lives, or Latino lives do not matter. The phrase is used to draw light to the fact that many times, the color of one’s skin is enough reason to treat them differently — that there are still people and institutions in this country profiting off abuse of black bodies and, when a black life is taken by law enforcement, there are often few or no repercussions.

In certain ways, “all lives matter” is used as a way to change the conversation, or block out the Black Lives Matter movement, and using “all lives matter” in response to “black lives matter” is wrong and racist.

To top off the situation at the Trump rally, security escorted Southall out once he was freed. Donald Trump responded to Fox News by saying, “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”

Southall did not deserve what happened to him for demanding to be treated fairly, and it is sad to see a presidential candidate endorse violence against someone for declaring that his life matters.

The truth of the matter is that “all lives matter” supporters do not truly believe that all lives matter. If they did, when unarmed 19-year-old Zachary Hammond was fatally shot by a South Carolina police officer, there would have been marches and protests like there were for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and all the other black lives lost to police brutality. There were no protests, but Black Lives Matter activists tweeted Hammond’s story and links to news stories about his death.

African-Americans know that all lives matter. We see it everyday, which is what started the Black Lives Matter movement. It seems that in this country, all lives matter, but black lives matter less.

Savon Gray is a journalism sophomore.