OPINION: All lives matter
With the House Bill 999 revising Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at universities, some USF faculty and students are considering leaving the state, according to an April 20 article by The Oracle.
Some professors are considering leaving because HB 999 limits what they can teach at Florida universities. Under this bill, the university would have to remove courses on critical race theory, queer theory, intersectionality and radical gender theory, and they would not be allowed to allocate funds to DEI efforts.
Yet, despite the popular concern for diversity and equality, the phrase “All Lives Matter” is viewed as divisive and wrong, according to a 2020 CBS article. It is, however, socially correct to say “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) despite the organization only creating more division.
Saying “All Lives Matter” should not be demonized when the BLM movement is the one that has caused so much conflict and violence.
The BLM movement started in 2013. After George Floyd, an African American man, was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota during an arrest made in May 2020, BLM grew even bigger, according to a 2020 article by Brookings. On May 28, 2020, the Black Lives Matter hashtag was used 50,000 times. By June 3, that number skyrocketed to 1 million.
With the spike of the BLM movement came the increase in DEI statements by companies across the country. These statements advocate that a particular organization is inclusive, according to an Oct. 4, 2022 article by Diversity Resources.
BLM started in order “to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities,” according to BLM’s page.
The movement has even received support from several organizations at USF like the Humanities Institute.
“We condemn the violence against members of the black community and support the work of organizations like Black Lives Matter,” states the group’s website.
A public university should not be supporting such a divisive group. Even the founder acknowledged that she does not see all races as equal.
“White people are the genetic defects of black people,” BLM co-founder Yusra Khogali stated in a 2016 tweet.
The tweet has been deleted, but not before news outlets like iHeart reported on it and included an archived version of the Tweet.
“Plz Allah give me strength to not cuss/kill these men and white folks out here today. Plz plz plz,” Khogali stated, according to a 2016 article by CBC.
The leader of this organization, which is supposedly focused on equality, suppresses another race by stating they are lesser and casually states her desire to kill them.
Pushing down one race to uplift another only creates division. In order to truly bring justice, leaders and everyday citizens need to uphold the same moral and ethical standards, no matter their race. BLM advocates also need to follow this, as two wrongs don’t make a right.
Creating groups strictly based on the color of one’s skin merely categorizes people by their race and not who they are.
During the George Floyd BLM riots that occurred from May 26 to June 8, 2020, many buildings were destroyed by BLM members. The destruction cost $1-$2 billion dollars in property damages, according to a 2020 article by Axios.
The protest also resulted in 19 deaths which included a police officer being shot down by protesters and a man being run over by a FedEx truck, according to a 2022 article by Forbes.
BLM protests in Tampa also occurred. A total of 40 stores on Fowler Avenue, 15th Street, Busch Boulevard, Nebraska Avenue and 30th Street were looted on May 30, 2020, according to a June 1, 2020 article by the Tampa Bay Times. Hundreds of rioters eventually caused Fowler Avenue to be shut down, according to a May 30, 2020 article by WUSF. Champ’s Sporting Goods was also completely burned down.
Some believe that promoting BLM also means promoting the notion that all lives matter, and by saying “All Lives Matter,” Black lives are excluded, according to a 2020 CBS News article.
“And if we are committed to a world where all lives matter, we are called to support the very movement that inspired and activated so many more. That means supporting and acknowledging Black lives,” said co-founder of the movement, Alicia Garza in a 2014 article she wrote for The Feminist Wire.
However, when one racial group is lifted higher by bringing down another, it clearly shows that all lives do not matter and that some are more important than others.
Even though BLM isn’t the only racial organization and other organizations such as Native Lives Matter, Asian American Pacific Islanders Lives Matter and White Lives Matter stand, creating groups based on the color of one’s skin will only continue to split the country by dividing people based on their race.
People should combat this by simply using “All Lives Matter.” This phrase should not be demonized. Rather, it should be embraced.
If all lives truly matter, then using an inclusive term should not be a bad thing. This type of division leads to violence and death, making no life matter at all.