Why Didn't #AllLivesMatter When...
Guest post by Michael Washington
I saw a post about being the “Silent Majority” and “All Lives Matter” and we will be silent no more. I found that interesting.
Well thanks....but I wish this “silent majority” would of spoken up about “All lives mattering”.......
In 1787 at the Constitutional Convention when slaves were considered only three fifths a man. Maybe my math is off, but 3/5 doesn’t equate to all.
Or maybe we could of heard from you in 1831, when Indigenous children and elderly were illegally moved off their lands, and died as they were forced thousands of miles in the harsh winter to a new land that would also later be taken. All because Americans wanted to use their property that’s been in their families for thousands of years to farm gold.
Chinese immigrants were not included in "All Lives" during the1882 Chinese Exclusion Act? Even though they more than proved their worth and benefits to our nation as they were the backbone of building the railroads in the west! Where was the cry for all lives then?
Or better yet, where were my “All lives Matter” folks in 1896, during Plessy vs Ferguson when black people were told that we were separate but equal. Which we know makes zero sense. Why didn’t we get the chants of “All lives” are equal and should not be separate back then?
Why didn’t “All Lives Matter” speak up in 1947 when Levittown affordable homes and communities where created in suburbs across the nation with racial covenants to rent and sell to white Americans only, not “All”. Segregating people of color for decades in the opportunities of education and wealth that have impacts in our present day.
Let’s talk about 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The majority was definitely silent when 9 children had to be escorted to school by the military so they wouldn’t be harmed or hurt for wanting a basic right that “All” people in this country are granted.
I didn’t hear your cry for “All Lives Mattering” when it took until 1962, nearly 200 years after the birth of our country for Indigenous people to be allowed to vote in “All” states.
Explain to me on a Mother’s Day in 1985 why didn't the majority decide to end their silence when a bomb was dropped on a black neighborhood in Philadelphia, killing five children, among others. Aren’t those children included in the “All”?
In 2015, not sure I heard from the “All Lives Matter” folks when 31 states denied entry of Syrian Refugees who of course want the same opportunities and lives for their children as us “All”
Were you “All Lives Matter” folks standing by our Gay brothers and sisters when it took until 2017 for them to be granted the same rights of “All” other marriages? Or where you still being silent?
Or how about in 2017 when President Trump sought to end DACA and take away the chance for young people who have been brought here not by their own choosing and are educating themselves and working on a path to citizenship. Where was the shouting for “All lives” then? Or do they not count in the “All”?
So when you tell me that you now won’t be silent, and you tell me “All Lives” matter. You’re not telling me what the Bible told you, the Scripture has been telling you how to treat people equally for thousands of years, but you chose to stay silent, even though you knew “All” people weren’t getting equal treatment. So please don’t hide behind it now.
What you are really saying is, when you say the silent majority says “All”. It's not that you respect the concerns and challenges of many. It's not that you want to fight for people that have faced injustice. What you are saying is that you have a problem with the Oppressed Minority speaking out against the systemic inequalities that have been harvested from the beginning of America’s history and still impact these groups to this day. In fact, that system doesn’t support that oppressed group but does support the “silent majority” and you don’t want to see that change.
You don’t really support all lives because you don’t support the changes that need to be made, that would actually serve “All”.
You want to disregard and drown out groups like Black Lives and other organizations fighting for equality and freedom that hasn’t been experienced by “All”!
So if you really do believe that “All lives matter” and what the Bible has taught you, then Stand with Us, listen to our concerns, issues, goals and fears!
Or do what you’ve been doing for the past 250 years when people have faced injustices in this country.
Michael Washington is a history teacher for the Sacramento City Unified School District