How anti-racism became racist: All lives matter
I keep seeing more and more articles and links to articles like the following:
- Why you should stop saying “all lives matter,” explained in 9 different ways – Vox
- It’s Time You Realize #AllLivesMatter Is Racist | Advocate.com
- The Problem with Saying ‘All Lives Matter’ | RELEVANT Magazine
- ‘All lives matter’ is and always was racist | The Guardian
These headlines are factoids.
A factoid is a lie that is repeated so often in the media that people eventually come to believe it is true.
In reading those articles, I can only think that the people who write them have lost their moral compass, or their sense of logic or both.
If one takes a charitable view of it, one could say that the logical and moral flaw is assuming that if people say the right thing for the wrong reasons, then the right thing becomes wrong.
A less charitable view is that those who maintain that “all lives matter” is wrong really believe that some lives matter more than others.
In either case, the denigration of “all lives matter” is American exceptionalism at its worst.
The logical flaw in this is illustrated in a cartoon that was attached to the first article listed above:
This cartoon is altogether disingenuous, and thoroughly misrepresents the meaning of “all lives matter”.
It would be more accurate if it showed several burning houses, and the “all houses matter” people would be trying to put out the fires in all of them, while that ones who don’t believe “all houses matter” would be spraying water on some houses, and petrol on the others to make them burn faster.
A few months ago there was a terrorist attack in France, and Facebook offered its users a French flag to cover their profile picture to indicate solidarity with the victims. Last week there was a terrorist attack in Iraq, and there were many more victims than in the French attack, but Facebook did not offer its users an Iraqi flag. The people at Facebook clearly believe that French lives matter, but Iraqi lives don’t matter as much. But they are not racist, oh no! It’s believing that all lives matter that is racist. Believing that some lives, like French lives, matter more than other lives, like Iraqi lives, is not racist, according to the arbiters of political correctness who wrote the articles cited above.
But we live in an Orwellian world where nonracism is racism and antiracism is racism.
If believing that all lives matter is racist, then the term “racism” has lost its meaning.
I’ve written about this before: on the American exceptionalism aspect of it here, and in relation to Black Lives Matter here. But it seems to me that it is getting worse, that logic and moral sense have flown out of the window. The meme that believing that all lives matter is racist has become a factoid, and it really needs to be stopped.
So I repeat:
If people say the right thing for the wrong reasons, that does not make the right thing wrong.
Unless, of course, you really do believe that not all lives matter.