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Updated: Oct 22, 2020


News article: Paul P. Murphy and Elizabeth Joseph. "All Lives Matter Protesters Re-enacted George Floyd's death as a Black Lives Matter March went by." CNN Online. 11 June 2020.

Unacceptable. Infuriating. Disrespectful. Just three of the many words that come to mind regarding some people’s racist reactions to George Floyd’s death and the entire Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

In New Jersey, for instance, people claiming to be supporters of the All Lives Matter (ALM) movement recently re-enacted the pose of the policeman with his knee on George Floyd’s neck -- a pin-down hold that ultimately suffocated Floyd.

This action horrifies me because of the immense disrespect that it not only showed to Floyd and his family, but also to the participants in the BLM movement who were protesting such acts of police brutality that target people of color in particular.

The white counter-protestors to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) marches probably were using the All Lives Matter (ALM) movement as an excuse to perform their racist charade. The way that I first interpreted ALM was admittedly naive, since it made perfect sense, on the surface, that all lives matter no matter one’s race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.

I recognize now, having used this quarantine time to educate myself, that while all lives DO indeed matter, Black Lives Matter must be our focus because it is these lives that have been historically devalued; these bodies that have been objectified and dehumanized; and these citizens who have been long denied the rights of citizenship within their own homeland.

If you can be killed by the Law when you are sleeping peacefully within your own home, or be gunned down simply for jogging in a white neighborhood, or be threatened with false accusations that you have committed a crime, simply because of the color of your skin, your life must be prioritized above those who don’t need to worry about any of this.

When we fight back against our implicit biases and problematic stereotypes about who is or isn't a 'true' American; when we accept that Black Lives Matter and we stop making it about us instead, then perhaps, we can start to change the problematic ways in which we have been socialized to think.

~~ Faythe Schulte (Class of '23. Environmental Science/Global Health)

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