Why not say "all lives matter"? Because it means not all lives matter

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"All lives matter" as a reply to "black lives matter" is necessarily to be recognised as racism. The assertion that "black lives matter" is in essence the claim that the social system in the US presently (and historically) holds that not all lives do matter. "All lives matter" by contrast is a shallow truism that essentially asserts the absence of systemic devaluation of some life in the US system. To say "all lives matter" in reply to "black lives matter" is to say no one really needs to give special attention to the condition and circumstance of black lives. To say, again and again, that all lives matter, is legitimate only in a system where all lives do matter - and in all other circumstances is an assertion that not all lives do matter. It's an assertion that, though you cry out, you need not be heard.

That it is so popular as a reply is a condemnation of the system within which it exists.

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AMonk

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I've heard it explained this way ~

Your child has died.  You are delivering a eulogy, telling how much your child meant to you, and how special your child was.  Then someone grabs the microphone and announces, "actually, ALL children are special ..."

That is what "all lives matter" feels like.
Moderation....in most things...

Two things are particularly alarming about the current US unrest.

The first is how seemingly intent the various police forces are on punishing civil dissent. I couldn't say for sure without seeing it first hand, but the violence with which the various police forces are meeting civil disobedience seems like suppression. It looks a lot like agencies protecting their purview, and not the rightful one established by law but the one established by years and years of violent practice. The conflation of police violence against all citizens with police response to "rioters" - that's to say, the tendency to justify current violent reaction against all citizens by loud trumpeting of the in principle necessary protection of property rights - seems like a shockingly obvious shell game. By saying all rights are equal - and therefore we must protect property now because property rights are rights too - is the same deal as "all lives matter". They're saying civil rights don't matter.

Second is how so many people - commentators and individuals - want to see this from an individual perspective. *I* don't understand, they say. *I* don't know what to do, they say. The only thing the helplessness of the individual perspective is telling us insofar as it is repeated and repeated again is... we want no systemic change. We expect none. We know our system for what it is, but we shall not target the structures that maintain it. All lives matter, they say. Even the black ones. But we won't be making any better system than this one we have, based on inequality.

The system consumes people.

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Nolefan

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A few things to keep in mind:
1- This is nothing new. The situation in USAnia has been going on for a long time and keeps on showing its ugly head with major unrest once a decade. The rodney king riots in the 90s? same damn thing. The Central Park 5, same damn thing... and the list goes on.

It's not institutional racism as much as they like to use those words IMHO, it's a disconnect between individual freedoms and a police state.. and make no mistake, it is a police state.

When I studied there, in a small town called Tallahassee which mind you is the capital of the great state of Florida, I was shocked at the number of law enforcement agencies in a city with population 100K:

Tallahassee Police Department (PD)
Sheriff's Office
Highway Patrol
State Troopers
Florida State University PD
Florida A&M university PD
Tallahassee Community College PD

Each one with different roles, obligations, jurisdictions and high dislike for the others and each one doing their best to mark their territory by pissing on the proverbial tree. What's the difference between them and gangs? a badge....
 aoaoaoaoao aoaoaoaoao

just food for thoughts
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A study gets cited from time to time:

https://www.pnas.org/content/116/32/15877

We find no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities across shootings, and White officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non-White officers. Instead, race-specific crime strongly predicts civilian race

The other statistic, from some other study, is that in literal terms, police shoot and kill more whites than black.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/

The third statistic is, black people being 12 or so percent of the population, while police are shooting and killing more white people, black people are 2.5 times more likely than white to die that way.

https://www.statista.com/chart/21872/map-of-police-violence-against-black-americans/


Which seems like a lot of interesting statistics but why are police so like an occupying power and why are blacks disproportionately represented among the disadvantaged that they are the ones showing us the true nature of the police? Are these two social conditions so unrelated that the rise of police power should be separated from the general historical condition of the country under which not all lives do matter?

It seems to me that if we do go looking for the origin of current police culture, it'd be strange not to find it, via a long and looping historical story, in a US history of people as property. It'd be bizarre if there were no relationship, if people just did once happen to be property and these days, in a separate social trend, police are violent occupiers.

It seems plausible that if the nation were ever to come to terms with its history - and here when I say the nation I mean the nation, if the nation were to so constitute itself that slavery were no longer, in any terms, a feature of it - then it'd be a sufficiently different place that the police it has now would be gone.



That's to say, I'm taking it for granted that slavery was real and its legacy remains in the society that exists today. The society that exists today remains structurally committed to the ideal that not all lives do matter.

The logic of everything I've claimed here will fold if inspected. Especially if inspected in search of a proof that America is committed to disadvantage.

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Trevor Noah on the subject of lives and contracts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4amCfVbA_c

if you know anything about under-policing and over-policing though you would understand how that comes to be: the police show black people how valuable their lives are considered by the society

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I've heard it explained this way ~

Your child has died.  You are delivering a eulogy, telling how much your child meant to you, and how special your child was.  Then someone grabs the microphone and announces, "actually, ALL children are special ..."

That is what "all lives matter" feels like.

Similar to one I heard.  When everyone was trying to "Support New Orleans" after Katrina devastated the city, that wasn't the time to support all victims of bad weather.  Of course, we want to support all victims of natural disasters, but that was not the current focus.


Regarding police killings vs race, I did hear of one study showing white males had the higher population-adjusted chance of being killed when pulled over in the US.  But, that's only one of many possible ways to find yourself in a bad situation.

Here are some statistics that are a bit broader:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6080222/

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Can soldiers unionise?

If they can't, why can armed police?

If armed police can unionise, can unions truly have any say over those aspects of policing that impact the safety and security of anyone subject to police action?

If police unions can influence decision-making associated with, say, choke holds or weapons handling policy, why can't the public organize against those policies?

If the public can't influence those policies, what kind of democracy do you think this is, really?

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Re: Why not say "all lives matter"? Because it means not all lives matter
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2020, 05:24:52 PM »
Can soldiers unionise?

If they can't, why can armed police?

If armed police can unionise, can unions truly have any say over those aspects of policing that impact the safety and security of anyone subject to police action?

If police unions can influence decision-making associated with, say, choke holds or weapons handling policy, why can't the public organize against those policies?

If the public can't influence those policies, what kind of democracy do you think this is, really?

Unions act for police the same way lobbyists act for industries.  They advocate for everything possible to benefit their members.  Since union members fund the unions, the unions have cash for lawyers and researchers to seek out advantages.

An individual can speak always out against abusive regulation caused by unions or lobbyists, but generally lacks the resources the other side has available.  Even without bribery, the power of money to override the will of the majority is a big problem in what claims to be a democratic system.
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Re: Why not say "all lives matter"? Because it means not all lives matter
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2020, 07:21:25 PM »
Can soldiers unionise?

If they can't, why can armed police?

If armed police can unionise, can unions truly have any say over those aspects of policing that impact the safety and security of anyone subject to police action?

If police unions can influence decision-making associated with, say, choke holds or weapons handling policy, why can't the public organize against those policies?

If the public can't influence those policies, what kind of democracy do you think this is, really?

Unions act for police the same way lobbyists act for industries.  They advocate for everything possible to benefit their members.  Since union members fund the unions, the unions have cash for lawyers and researchers to seek out advantages.

An individual can speak always out against abusive regulation caused by unions or lobbyists, but generally lacks the resources the other side has available.  Even without bribery, the power of money to override the will of the majority is a big problem in what claims to be a democratic system.

Yep. Seems odd that the democratic result of liberal worries over social condition should be union-busting, but....

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Re: Why not say "all lives matter"? Because it means not all lives matter
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2020, 05:37:32 PM »
Yep. Seems odd that the democratic result of liberal worries over social condition should be union-busting, but....

A union should protect its members from abuse, not hide the misconduct of members.

I'm more than a little disturbed by the though of a police union financing a campaign that led to a recall vote of a city council member who was considered to be unfriendly to the union.

https://www.ocregister.com/2020/05/27/santa-ana-voters-silence-needed-truth-teller-on-city-council/

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Re: Why not say "all lives matter"? Because it means not all lives matter
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2020, 10:51:17 PM »
Trump calls Black Lives Matter a 'symbol of hate' as he digs in on race

(CNN)On Monday, President Donald Trump went after attempts to strip the names of racists from buildings.

On Tuesday, it was a federal housing rule meant to combat racial segregation.

By Wednesday, Trump was calling the words "Black Lives Matter" a "symbol of hate" -- a description he's refused to use for Confederate emblems -- that would spoil the "luxury avenue" he once called home.

Navigating a precarious political moment, Trump continues seizing upon widening cultural divisions in a way he believes will appeal to voters concerned about safety and order -- despite polls showing wide disapproval of how he's handling race relations.

As he distributes wanted posters of suspected vandals on his Twitter feed and warns those who splashed red paint on statues of George Washington to turn themselves in, Trump is also stoking racial tensions using language and tropes that harken to the days of segregationist politics and fears of ruined neighborhoods...




It's probably time to stop being astounded at this man's failure to be a unifier and just start recognising that not only is America divided, there isn't anyone who wants it put back together. They want it this way. Which is to say, the "leaders" do. The ones with interests. If there is a populace, a collective of citizens who might prefer to stand up to tyranny and be "American" in the original sense... it might not be the white people.

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Re: Why not say "all lives matter"? Because it means not all lives matter
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2020, 08:05:44 PM »
The Segregation Myth: Richard Rothstein Debunks an American Lie | NowThis

“the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation”

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