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All Lives Matter

Entry 2050, on 2020-06-25 at 11:23:35 (Rating 4, Politics)

I recently got involved with a debate over the validity of a blog post made by a New Zealand left-wing blogger. It was concerning the Black Lives Matter movement, and I disagreed with literally every line this person wrote. It's unusual to see so much concentrated misinformation in one short post, so I thought it might be good to write a response to it here. Material from the original post is preceded with "Blog". and my response to it is preceded with "Response". I hope that is clear enough. Anyway, here's my thoughts on this rather contentious subject...

Blog: All lives DON'T matter Ė that's the problem

Response: Well let's have a look at the claims here, and see exactly how much credibility this little politically correct tirade has.

Blog: There are two things that surprise me when someone responds to Black Lives Matter with, "yes, but All Lives Matter".

Response: I'm not sure why this blogger would be surprised that not everyone agrees with him. It should be apparent by now that there is significant opposition to the BLM mob. While this political movement might have started with the best of intentions (despite being factually deficient), it has now has become a major obstacle to rational debate and fairness around the world.

Blog: The first is that the statement, "all lives matter" is actually a lie.

Response: Oh really; so he is saying that objectively all lives don't matter? Well it's good to know where he stands, at least! This is just playing with semantics. There would be very few people who say that any category of lives don't matter; the disagreement occurs because not everyone agrees that we should be concentrating on attacking the rare cases of police violence instead of looking at the deficiencies in black culture which are the underlying cause.

Blog: All Lives DONíT matter, that's why African Americans are being casually murdered on the streets of America by the Police force.

Response: The main source of casual murder of blacks in the US is by other black people. The deaths caused by police are, except in extremely rare cases, neither casual nor murder. And again, blacks are killed by police at a lower rate than their participation in crime wold suggest. If we are going to worry about police violence we should be asking if white lives matter.

Blog: If ALL lives mattered, African Americans wouldn't be dying!

Response: Yes, they would. Even though all lives matter, there is an unfortunate reality that there will be occasions when criminals have to be controlled through force, and there will also be cases where that force is excessive, possibly leading to death. This phenomenon happens to all races, and is actually lower for black people in relation to the number of crimes they commit (and therefore the number of interactions with police).

Blog: The second thing that always surprises me when someone (always a white person) responds to Black Lives Matter with, "yes, but All Lives Matter", is the audacity of it.

Response: Oh no, the horrible white people are offering an opinion. We can't have that, can we? If too many white people offer an opinion we might have too much truth emerging, which is contradictory to the politically correct narrative. Everyone is affected by this (real or alleged) phenomenon, and everyone has a right to an opinion on it.

Blog: It's like the millisecond white people aren't the centered narrative of an issue, EVEN IF that issue is the murder of African Americans, they get their feelings triggered like subjective millennial snowflakes.

Response: It's more a reaction to the utterly irrational, and increasingly dangerous, nonsense being propagated by people like the writer. If I am triggered it is by BS. So it's not a matter of "feelings" here, it is a matter of truth, fairness, and rationality; three traits conspicuously missing in this ridiculous post.

Blog: This shouldn't be about white people feeling defensive, as global citizens...

Response: Well, it's hard no to feel defensive when you are under constant attack from politically motivated fiction like this. Initially we all just had a good laugh at how silly it was, but the silliness has become dangerous. This irrational worldview has now lead to assault, murder, arson, theft, looting, and general destruction around the world. We are starting to think we need to stand up to the left-wing fascist bullies.

Blog: ...as global citizens living in democracies we should all feel disgusted and offended by police brutality that ends in the loss of life...

Response: Most people think police brutality needs to be controlled. But it has very little to do with racism. And the police involved in recent cases of violence have been charged and will be punished if they are found guilty. In the mean time blacks are killing other blacks at a far greater rate, but this is almost totally ignored. If black lives really matter, then stop them killing each other!

Blog: ...particular when that police brutality has a long history of naked racism within the broader socio-political constructs of slavery.

Response: Oh the "socio-political constructs of slavery" is it? That is sufficiently vague to be meaningless. We all know that practically every culture (including black people in Africa, and many Islamic countries, and Maoris here in New Zealand) had traditions of slavery which are arguably worse than what happened in America, right? If we are going to criticise people for their past, we might as well include everyone.

Blog: You can say all lives matter WHEN black lives matter...

Response: Black lives do matter. The police kill less black people than white in relation to the amount of criminal activity those groups are involved in. Studies show police are more hesitant to shoot black people than white. When a police department in the US hired only black cops the number of shootings of black suspects stayed the same. It's not really about racism!

Blog: ...Until that day, constantly saying "All Lives Matter" as a response to "Black Lives Matter" makes you confused at best, or at worst...

Response: This isn't a problem of racism, it is a problem of police being too violent to all suspects. But, given the cultural issues with gun ownership and other violence in the US, in some ways the police there cannot be blamed for responding the way they do. There is one way black people could reduce the number of police-related violent events they are exposed to: do less crime!

Blog: ...actively siding with those causing harm.

Response: No, it is the blogger who is siding with the people causing harm, both in an obvious, physical way as a result of the mindless rioting around the world; but also, possibly more damaging, in perpetuating this false anti-police story that some people are naive enough to believe without checking the facts.

Summary: A common tactic in political propaganda is to "own" a phrase which few people would disagree with, then warp it to support your political view. Few people would disagree that black lives matter, but many people would disagree with the claims of system racism, excessive bias by police, and the other claims of the BLM movement.

Final comment: And before we get into an argument about how to fix systemic racism we should first establish that it exists. There is extensive statistical data to suggest it doesn't. The individual anecdotes, warped to fit a pre-existing view, don't constitute good evidence that black lives are valued less than any others by police. The whole narrative the BLM movement is based on is BS. If we want to deal with police violence, then deal with it, but let's work with the facts, not some crazy fiction from far-left fantasy land.

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Comment 1 (5329) by Derek Ramsey on 2020-06-26 at 11:31:14:

OJB said: "practically every culture (including black people in Africa, and many Islamic countries, and Maoris here in New Zealand) had traditions of slavery which are arguably worse than what happened in America"

This is about the only thing I disagree with in your post, because you didn't go far enough.

First, it isn't arguable. It is fact. Anyone who argues that America is or ever was the worst is not cognizant of history. The largest enslavers in history have been Muslims and Africans. By the numbers, these two groups account for millions of slaves. It is worth noting that for most slaves bought by a white man in Africa, there was a black man selling that slave. I'm not 100% sure, but I think that Muslims have enslaved more white men than white men have enslaved anyone.

Second, though not insignificant, America wasn't the greatest enslaver even within its time frame. In the Americas, the majority of slaves went to central and south America and the Caribbean islands.

Third, slavery still exists: in India, Africa, and other Islamic countries. This slavery is far, far more socially relevant than any of the first two points. Almost none of the race- and slavery-mongers care about this enough to discuss it publicly (if at all).

As you noted, slavery isn't largely a race issue. It is more correctly categorized as a cultural and/or ethnic group issue. To make it about race, you have to cherry-pick which slavery is bad and ignore the rest. This makes those who race-bait on the issue of slavery morally repugnant.

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Comment 2 (5330) by OJB on 2020-06-26 at 11:34:31:

Thanks for your comment. It's not very often that I'm told I didn't go far enough! I usually get criticised for going too far. But yes, you are basically correct. The only counter-arguments might be about the form the slavery took. Many slaves died while being transported to America, and many were treated badly when they got there. That's why I backed off a bit and used the word "arguably".

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