It’s been far too long since I’ve updated my website, and I have a lot I need to get off my chest. So please, hear me out.
I am a teacher. Specifically, I am an English teacher. I teach students how to read and write, how to critically analyze a text, and how to put those thoughts and opinions into words. Sometimes, however, it is difficult for me to say what I need to say. But here goes.
My students can read.
Simple, right? Of course.
I can read.
Also simple, right? Obviously.
Have I said anything negative about my students by stating the fact that I can read? Nope. That’s insane, right? To think that? Where in my sentence do I say anything negative? I simply said “I can read.” It follows after the statement “My students can read,” which implies that my sentence means also, in addition, as well. Those words are not necessary because it is understood that I can read as well. If you’d like a simpler word to use, you can use “too.” Example: I can read, too.
So what does this mean? It means that not only are my students able to read, but I am also able to read. No one can argue this, correct?
Now let’s move on to another statement.
Black lives matter.
WHOA, HOLD UP. No, Jennifer! ALL LIVES MATTER!
Yes, I understand all lives matter. I’m just saying black lives matter. I didn’t say anything against every other life. I simply said black lives matter. I did not say anything against any other life. I just said that they matter.
But doesn’t that statement mean only black lives matter?
NO. No more than my statement “I can read” means “Only I can read and my students cannot read.” Just as with my first example, black lives matter has the implied meaning of black lives matter, too.
But Jennifer, the Black Lives Matter movement is violent. Look at the riots! They are horrible people and violent criminals, all of them!
It sure seems that way with the way the media covers some of these events doesn’t it? Guess who else is incredibly violent and have proven themselves to be horrible people, all of them!
No they aren’t! They are not all horrible people! Just because a few cops are bad does not mean all cops are bad.
But all of Black Lives Matter is bad. You said it yourself. You saw the riots. I’ve seen the police footage. All police officers are bad.
That’s not it at all!
Know who else is bad? Who is horrible? Sports fans. When their team wins, damn. I’ve seen those riots. Flipping cars, setting shit on fire. Those are some bad people.
No they aren’t! Some of them got out of control. They aren’t all bad, you sound ridiculous!
I know. I do, don’t I? And guess what, that’s how you sound. Black Lives Matter is not a violent movement because you’ve seen the select footage media shows you about riots. You haven’t seen the peaceful protests because guess what? That makes for boring news coverage. But I have. There was a BLM demonstration on my campus and you know why no one has heard about it? Because it was calm.
Cops are not all bad. I am well aware of this, just as you are. So why can’t that belief be extended to the BLM movement as well?
Similarly, black lives matter. The implied statement is too because let’s face it, no one means only black lives matter. I mean come on. Do you mean only white lives matter? Or only blue lives matter when you say it? If you don’t, then you understand that the word “too” is implied, and therefore you should have no problem saying yes, I understand black lives matter. End story. No need to bring up any other lives because it’s already understood. And if you have a problem saying that, then guess what? Your problem is not with lives itself but with the color of those lives that matter.