Curious and want your feedback! I’m seeing a lot of push back over the #blacklivesmatter tag line. Usually it’s in the form of an #alllivesmatter response. I’m also reading tons and tons of commentary on this divide.
Openly, when I first heard #blacklivesmatter (long before George Floyd and recent current events) my first reaction was to respond similarly. Wait? Don’t #alllivesmatter? However recently I’ve come to have a different understanding of the intention behind the hashtag.
The best explanations I’ve seen have been this from Manny Arteaga
and this from @giv.sharp
So now…I get it! I want to help put out the fire in my neighbor’s burning house and I’ll run out of mine to do it!
Twice this week I’ve had an opportunity to share these analogies with fellow “white people” when I’ve heard, #alllivesmatter. I’ve explained it’s a misunderstanding of the unspoken acknowledgment all lives matter and the black lives are the ones in danger so they get the attention. I’m happy to report one person even said, “Wow! I never thought of it that way! That makes sense. I’m going to share that with some people.” (I have to say I felt a little happy dance inside! Using my voice was making a positive difference. Now, my voice isn’t changing the world but it did change one…hers.)
So it got me wondering. Maybe it was just poor marketing when initially creating the hashtag? What if it had been #blacklivesmatter2 or #blacklivesmattertoo? I mean, it’s clear no one is saying #blacklivesmattermore #blacklivesaremoreimportantthanallotherlives or #onlyblacklivesmatter. But maybe, just maybe, the marketing hit the wrong target. Maybe, just maybe, #blacklivesmatter2 would have focused on the actual agenda and conveniently bypassed the need for any further explanation.
Then I began to wonder though, would #blacklivesmatter2 have been less powerful? Would it be offensive to the black community? Miss the point altogether?
I openly acknowledge this is an area I know very little about, so I’m genuinely and sincerely in interested in your feedback. Would it have been different for you if the initial movement was #blacklivesmatter2? Would the message have been clearer? Less clear? I’m especially interested in your opinion if you are a member of the black community or person of color.
And I’d love to be able to share comments that are posted in the spirit of kindness, respect and love, that reflect my intentional heart for our community of readers.
So let your voice be heard….
PS If you are curious (as I was) how the #blacklivesmatter started you can find out about the 3 powerful women who created this history making movement HERE (and yes I secretly love that it’s women who started this!)