'All Lives Matter and 'Blue Lives Matter' supporters miss the point
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The recent murders of Philando Castle and Alton Sterling have brought the issue of police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement, back into the spotlight.  Many people in response have critiqued Black Lives Matter through asserting that All Lives Matter. Others have stated Blue Lives Matter in asserting police officers lives matter too in response to the incident in Dallas, TX.

With these events in mind, I want you to imagine we are at dinner-the only meal we as a group get on a day to day basis. At said dinner, I serve the food to everyone but you-and repeat this every day for a week. By this point your life is in danger because you are starving and I have systematically put it in danger.


So now we serving dinner again and I fail to feed you. You assert "I deserve food" As a group we look at you and say, "We all deserve food" as everyone else continues to eat.

While the latter statement is true, it does not change the fact you and only you are not being fed. Further, that statement was used to silence you in voicing your disdain for your oppression. Finally, that statement is hypocritical. Because while you say it, you allow practices and procedures that deny people something they deserve.

Black Lives Matter! We deserve a world in which that is recognized, acknowledged, and protected, just like your well-being at the dinner party. When you say All Lives Matter, you deny this fact.

If you truly believe All Lives Matter, then you recognize there is no contradiction in saying Black Lives Matter as a matter of formal logic. Thus to mention it as a counter is to state through implication you don't believe black lives matter-and that is the beacon of hypocrisy we as Black people refuse to accept.

Especially when young black men are five times more likely than young white men to be killed by police, and while only 13% of the population, African Americans are 2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by police officers.

Further, what happened in Dallas, TX was tragic and unfortunate. However, the amount of police officers killed on the line of duty pales in comparison to the number of Black deaths at the hands of the police. In 2015, 42 police officers were shot and killed. That was a 14% decline from 2014.

Additionally, recent Blue Life laws, including the Blue Alert law signed by President Obama, provide more systemic support in protecting those who make a commitment to protect and serve the public. This act was passed in response to recent deaths of police officers, such as Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu for the New York Police Department.  

I think it is clear from the practices and protections provided to cops that we show their lives matter by fully protecting them to the fullest extent possible.  It is also clear that when tragedies happen to police, we feel compelled to do more for them.

In 2015, 381 victims of fatal police shootings were Black. The number of slain officers, while tragic, is a fraction of the total amount of Black Americans killed by their fellow officers. When officers were killed, we made a great showing to strengthen the protections we provide to them. This begs the question, what have we done to provide that same showing to Black Americans?    

Even in the face of publicized deaths of too many of my brothers and sisters, what changes have been made to hold those who killed them to account for their actions?  What changes have been made to start lowering the rate at which Black Americans are killed by cops so that we can report declines like we do for the dead officers?  Why are we not compelled as we were when police officers are killed to do more to stop these occurrences from ever occurring again?

Blue Lives do deserve to be protected, but they do not deserve to be shielded from accountability. In contrast, Black Lives are neither protected nor provided justice for their wrongful termination. Our efforts as a society are not needed to further protect those whom are protected and sanctioned by the state.

Our efforts as a society are needed to do two things; first, protect those who cannot protect themselves from the abuses of state sanctioned power. Second, to hold officers accountable for abusing the power granted to them by their sworn oath to protect and serve.

This means we need to, with the same sense of urgency in which society has felt compelled to protect cops, protect Black Lives and hold officers accountable when they slay them.  

Stubblefield is a third year Jacobson Law and Business Fellow at the New York University School of Law. He has worked with Millions March NYC and the National Black Law Students Association in fighting police brutality from assisting with legal support, jail support, and preparing and presenting white papers on racial profiling before members of Congress.