Opinion: All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter

Opinion: All Lives Can't Matter Until Black Lives Matter

Katelyn Benoit, Author

Black Lives Matter. A movement that sped off in 2020 to be a historical and ongoing political and social movement in the world. The protest? Protesting police brutality and all racially motivated violence against people of color. The police system and training programs are not where they should be in present time.  

A picture of a Black Lives Matter protest.
A picture of a Black Lives Matter protest.

This movement was founded in 2013 in response to the release of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old boy from Miami Gardens, Florida. His murderer people may be wondering who? George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch coordinator in his gated community, The Twin Lakes Neighborhood. The watch program that he was a part of was not registered with the “National Neighborhood Watch Program”, but by the local police department in Sanford, Florida. Trayvon did not carry or poses any weapons on him at all when he was fatally shot. 

Travon was shot by Zimmerman because he felt threatened when Martin went to grab some candy from his pocket. “Self-defense” was the reason on why George Zimmerman was released from prison. As the movement skyrocketed, Zimmerman was later taken into custody once again and charged with murder. He would be acquitted of the charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.  

Trayvon Martin next to his murderer, George Zimmerman.
Trayvon Martin next to his murderer, George Zimmerman.

People of color have always been discriminated in this country since the beginning of the country. Racial slurs, slavery, and segregation are ways that have discriminated people of color. All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter. How can all lives matter if one specific group of lives are still being targeted? That slides right into the next topic. Blue Lives Matter.  

Blue Lives Matter flag created by the organization.
Blue Lives Matter flag created by the organization.

Blue Lives Matter was a countermovement against the Black Lives Matter Movement. This movement was started by active and retired law enforcement officers. According to the Blue Lives Matter Organization Website, it states, “In today’s evolving society, an increasing number of citizens fail to accept responsibility for their actions to attempt to escape the consequences through outward blame. Due to the nature of the profession, law enforcement personnel are seen as easy targets and are consequently bullied by slander, illegitimate complaints, frivolous lawsuits, and physical attacks.”  

One thing that really stood out here was when “bullied by slander” was brought up. This is significant because Black Lives Matter started as a movement where people were being racially targeted with racial slurs and attacks against them. The real “slander” is against these people instead of the police. Police officers chose their profession. They aren’t born a police officer.  

Student wearing a shirt that says "Black Lives Matter".
Student wearing a shirt that says “Black Lives Matter”.

The police system needs reform. There needs to be better training enforced. Police officers should do their job without prejudice opinions involved.  

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Well, people might say, “Black Lives Matter protests aren’t peaceful, so why should we listen?” Well, here is some news. Many protests start off peacefully. When they become a riot, it isn’t started by the peaceful protesters. Sometimes, it is started by All Lives Matter protesters, Antifa, or anyone against the Black Lives Matter movement 

I will not sit in a society where people are still being targeted based off the color of their skin. It’s unlawful and disgusting. Racial slurs against these people aren’t right either. If you are white and you think you are “discriminated” against, rethink that whole statement. White people have had privilege in this country since the beginning of the country. White people still have privilege now. All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter.  

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