Black Lives Slogans Matter February 27, 2016Posted by geoff in News.
It seems to me that the “Black Lives Matter” vs. “All Lives Matter” controversy is just a specific case of the general liberal tendency to appropriate and modify language without regard for traditional meaning. The words mean what they want them to mean, regardless of dictionaries, education, or common usage. It’s why the Left and Right continue to drift apart; the Right’s vocabulary doesn’t change much, while the Left continues to change things according to their latest whims.
“Gender,” for instance, no longer means the sex of the subject. At least for progressives. Conservatives have never acknowledged the change. So 20 years of what progressives consider social progress has not touched half the population at all.
But I digress. Back to “Black” vs. “All.”
It’s natural to hear a slogan and decide if you think it’s logical. “Black Lives Matter” has the obvious implication that, since other lives are excluded from the phrase, either other lives don’t matter or Black Lives should enjoy preferential status. It is divisive, not inclusive. So people naturally object.
I’m sure the followers of the movement intended it to be a simple refutation of the contrary statement: “Black Lives Don’t Matter.” But unfortunately this is the English language, and you don’t get to define how people interpret your words. Rather than calling people who object racist, the Black Lives Matter movement should acknowledge their objections, so as to avoid having their message diluted by this silly brouhaha.
Had the Black Lives Matter movement chosen a phrase that was semantically accurate, there would be no controversy at all. For example, if they had selected:
- Black Lives Matter TOO
- Hey, What About Black Lives?
- Did You Forget About Black Lives?
- When Society Prepares Lists of Lives That Matter, We Feel That Black Lives Garner Insufficient Attention
They might want to put some more competent sloganeers on the job, but I think you catch the drift. A slogan that is not as easily misinterpreted is not difficult to come by.
I mean, at this point it almost seems like they willfully picked a badly-phrased slogan just so they’d have one more chance to complain about racism.