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Which Lives Matter? [OPINION]

Photo by Stacey Doud

I am really tired of hearing the phrase “all lives matter.” Because clearly, they don’t.

If all lives really mattered, people wouldn’t have to resort to protests and riots just to ask police officers not to kill them.

If all lives really mattered, George Floyd would still be alive today, so would Breonna and Amaud and Atatlana.

My heart broke over the weekend watching all of the violence, the anger and the hatred that spilled out onto our streets. And trust me when I say that my heart hurts for the business owners just as much as it does for the protesters, especially when you consider that we’re still knee-deep in the middle of a deadly pandemic. A lot of these smaller businesses had just opened their doors after weeks of being closed only to be looted and destroyed and forced to close all over again. It’s gut-wrenching.

But there’s something you need to understand: a lot of the actual rioting and property damage isn’t being done by black protesters. If you take a close look at the videos, you’ll see a large number of white people out there breaking windows and destroying businesses. And the protesters aren’t encouraging the destruction, they are trying to STOP it from happening.

It’s very telling (and honestly, kind of pathetic) that the minute the spotlight is taken off of us and our personal problems, so another group can come forward with a legitimate problem, we immediately try to make it all about us again.

“All lives matter” isn’t a clever slogan, it’s a phrase that attempts to cheapen and silence the people who really need help right now. All those people out there who took the protest as an opportunity to get out of their houses, mask up and cause mayhem, they are destroying not only businesses, but the message as well. When history looks back on these events, they’re not going to see the message of Black Lives Matter, they’re going to see the destruction left in the wake of the riots.

Suppose there’s a row of houses and one of them is one fire. Would you want the firefighters to douse all the houses with water, or just the one that was burning? After all, don’t all houses matter?

Or for you Christians out there, consider Jesus’s parable about the shepherd and the 100 sheep. When one goes missing, he abandoned the other 99 to search for the one. Do the other 99 sheep suddenly not matter anymore? Of course not, but they weren’t the ones who needed help – the one lost sheep did.

That’s why I say the “all lives matter” nonsense is just that – nonsense. It’s not “all lives” that are crying to be heard. It’s not “all lives” that are being forced to protest loudly and public because years of quiet protests were ridiculed and ineffective. It’s not’s “all lives” that are in danger of being killed by police for no good reason.

Black lives matter right now, and we need to listen to them.