I support the George Floyd protesters and I don't contest the grievances of the Black community about law enforcement. What I have to say here is entirely consistent with that. This instead is about the lack of inclusiveness of other victims with arguably even greater grievances.
First off, I am operating on the assumption that not all White peole are bad and not all bad people are White. If you believe all White people are racist, then all I can say is I disagree and you're not going to like what I say below. If you can accept that not all White people are bad, then please read on.
I was at work a meeting this week and one of the things people are regularly expressing is an overriding fear of saying the wrong thing. It was agreed that everybody no matter how hard we try to say things supportive of the Black Lives movement, we will inevitably say things that members of the movement will tell us was offensive. That is unless we say nothing, and saying nothing has also been taken as offensive. Therefore we agreed that we all have to have the right to be forgiven and to dial back any comments made with good intentions. Unfortunately, this sentiment is not universal as the following incident shows.
This week a sportscaster Grant Napear was asked what he thought about Black Lives Matter. He responded that All Lives Matter. For that transgression he was forced to apologize and throw himself on his sword, then he was fired and his life was destroyed. It was hard to watch. It's not enough that a White person is not racist, if they make an offhand uniformed comment like "all lives matter" that unintentionally offends the Blacks Lives Matter movement, then their lives must be destroyed and nobody need feel sorry for them. This was not a bad racist who deserved to have his life destroyed for his sentiment that all lives matter. Could we perhaps explain to him why that offends Black people and give him a second chance? Apparently not. This was a sportscaster, not an ethics professor, who was simply being human. Does that really help race relations? Sure some Black people may feel good seeing a white person's life destroyed like this. It may feel like justice. But such overreactions feel to me like it's causing more unnecessary divisiveness than anything else. Blacks are oppressed and disadvantaged and abused, but that doesn't mean they are perfect and beyond reproach. In the discussion of race relations in 2020 all people's lives have to be considered to matter at least enough that people like Grant Napear aren't destroyed for a careless comment, or we must have gone too far. Groups must have rights to be human, but so must individuals. If we hold each other to standards none of us can achieve, then we're not going to make progress on unity based on our common ground as humans, and we're just going to be further divided. If it was called Black Lives Also Matter I think this sportscaster would have agreed without hesitation and would still have his job. To destroy lives of people who may not be completely clued in to the semantics of the moment, but are not otherwise racist, feels like a witch-hunt to me. Are Blacks really in a enough of a morally superior position that this is justified? I argue below that the answer is no.
First off, I understand that Blacks are the ones being killed and harassed by cops disproportionately to Whites, and I understand they aren't saying White lives don't matter, they are saying Black Lives also Matter because Whites are already treated like they matter. If the response "All Lives Matter" is meant to discount that sentiment and the fact that Whites are already treated by law enforcement like their lives matter while Blacks are not, then that is offensive and is basically tells the Black Lives Matter movement that they have no point. Did I get that right?
Nonetheless, if I am asked what I think of the Black Lives Matter movement I will also reply All Lives Matter. And here's why.
Because indeed there are obscene injustices of other peoples far worse than the police brutality Blacks face in this country, injustices caused directly by us for the benefit of our economy and outside our borders, that both Blacks and Whites are complicit in as Americans and nobody protests. So to focus on Black Lives Matter can just as easily be taken to discount those people's oppression. I don't mean White American's Lives matter, I mean Guatemalan's lives matter. El Salvadoran's lives matter. Yemeni's lives matter. Palestinian's lives matter. Libyan's lives matter. East Timorese lives matter. Haitan's lives matter. Indonesian's lives matter. Afghanistani's lives matter. Iraqi's lives matter. Iranian's lives matter. Cuban's lives matter. Venezuelan's lives matter. Colombian's lives matter. The list goes on. How many times are we going to sit back and watch our country destroy another one without protesting or even saying a word? How many times are we going to sit back and do nothing while our country maintains puppet military death squad dictatorships where the punishment for even speaking out is death? How many times will we pat ourselves on the backs while our country commits mass murder for profit? Apparently the answer is "many and always". And for eight years we had a Black man as the oppressor in chief, committing crimes against humanity in the Middle East and Latin America and elsewhere, on a daily basis, with no protest by the Black community or anybody else for that matter.
Why should the Black community care about this? Well for one, all good people should care about all oppressed people. But even more because they are on the side of the oppressor in those crimes against humanity. And being so oppressed themselves within the U.S., they should be sensitive to the oppression of others, particularly when they are on the side of the oppressor. Obama seamlessly continued the murder-for-profit industry of his predecessors, literally blowing women and children to bits on a daily basis and continuing the oppression overt and covert of Latin America and elsewhere. The U.S. terrorism that Blacks and Whites didn't ignore completely, they cheered together. There were no protests of Obama's long list of war crimes. What he did to Libya alone deserves life without parole, it was illegal and immoral and ill-intentioned and devastated that country, which was among the best and freest places to live in Africa up to then. What he did in Afghanistan was eight years of pure evil. It had nothing to do with freedom or deomocracy, it had to do with power and subjugation of people's who are in the way of our economic interests of global domination. If we don't care about all people, then we have lost our humanity. We say All Lives Matter, not to include privileged Whites and to discount Black grievances against law inforcement, but to include the citizens of the Third World who are oppressed directly by us, Black and White and everything in between, oppressed so we can plunder their resources and labor for our economy. It benefits the rich disproportionately, but it benefits all of us to some extent. We should have a conscience about this. Part of the reason nobody cares is that nobody knows. But it is not a good excuse not to know something just because the corporate media do not want to report on it. The corporate media serve the interests of coporations. As such, the ugly truth can 100% ignored, no matter how horrific. And if the corporate media ignore it, so do the rest of us. That's not an excuse for inaction, in fact it's shameful. We are far too willing to let the corporate media tell us what we are and are not allowed to care about.
In a nutshell, nobody complains or even becomes informed about our crimes against humanity in the Third World, because the corporate media does not give those issues a voice. And we are guilty of being easily manipulated. If the corporate media do not give us permission to protest an issue, then we don't. And we all benefit from the U.S. economy being driven by looting and plundering. This should make you angry. But you're probably telling yourself that I'm a crackpot who is just making it all up.
So let me give one concrete example. In 1954 Guatemala was a democracy with a popular president who tried to parcel out a tiny bit of land to peasants for subsistence farming. People were literally starving. But this land was owned by the giant fruit conglomerates, even though it wasn't being used for farming at the time. In response, the CIA overthrew the government in a coup and installed a death squad military dictatorship. This led to war between the U.S. and the population of Guatemala, which we fought as a hot war for nearly four decades, murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians for doing nothing more than asking for the most basic rights. It should give you pause that there was a 40 year hot war, not on the other side of the world but right in our backyard, a war that raged right through the 90's and where hundreds of thousands of civilians were mudered and tortured in cold blood, yet it went entirely unreported on by the corporate media. Did you ever hear anything about this war? Research it and you'll find it's true. In fact we even train the terrorists and deathsquads in Fort Benning in Georgia. Why does the U.S. care so much about Guatemala to fight a 40 year war in the first place? Because we grow much of our fruit there and they have tremendously rich natural resources. Read Bridge of Courage by Jennifer Harbury if you don't believe me. And if you can read that without crying, then you have a coal black heart. People would be interested in the horrific events that took place there. But since we were doing the killing, it was strictly taboo to report on. That's how journalists gets marginalized, not how they win Pulitzers.
You can replace Guatemala with any other country in Central America, the story is similar. In El Salvador Jimmy Carter oversaw the mowing down by machine gun of a priest while at the pulpit, father Oscar Romero. A few days before his death he wrote Carter a letter begging him to stop the mass murder of civilians. Carter never replied, Romero was killed along with over 100,000 others. Meanwhile we're taught that Carter was the "human rights president". Nothing could be further from the truth. He in fact oversaw the genocide in East Timor killing over 300,000 civilians in just a few years. He has never come clean on those acts for which he is in fact irredeemable. We use their land for our food and we use the indigenous peoples as practical slave labor, who have no rights whatsoever. That is why in the third world there's nothing we hate more than democracy. We fight it at any turn. Described most elegantly by Major General Smedley Butler after he retired from the U.S. Marines in 1933, but nothing has changed. That is why we are the richest country in the history of the world, because we have all of our resources and so much of the resources that should belong to other people. Not because we stand for freedom and democracy. Those are fine for Americans at home, to a limited extent. But they are not tolerated for anybody in the third world, because too many of them are sitting on top of resources we intend to steal. We can't tolerate even one country setting an example that others might want to follow. So we stamp out democracy in the third world anywhere we can. And our media make sure we are told we're doing the opposite. They tell us this so consistently that most of us truly believe it and are truly proud. That's why what I'm saying may sound crazy to many of you. But the truth is out there, everything I say is easy to validate, should you care to investigate. Pretty much everything I've said in this paragraph can be found on Wikipedia.
When Al Gore and Bill Clinton fought tooth and nail to bully Africa out of making generic AIDS drugs in the 1990's, millions of Black men and women died. That was done by our politicians on behalf of one of our corporations. We are all culpable if we let that happen without a peep. Yet nobody protested. The corporate media did report on it, but scantily. We don't take notice of an issue unless they pound the drum day in and day out, and they know that. So they made sure nobody protested those Democrats maneuvers that led to millions of deaths and made the U.S. millions of dollars. Apparently those Black lives did not matter.
I don't see anybody Black or White standing up for the rights of these people. People who were slaugthered from administration to administration. Obama was no better than Bush. Carter was no better than Reagan. They're all mass murderers. Where's the protest? Do we really have an excuse just because the corporate media don't talk about it? It's the reason, but it's no excuse. Especially in the internet age when information is readily available.
When Black people benefit from the U.S. economy, which is based on murder and neo-slavery, and they do so without a word ever spoken for the victims of those crimes, and they vote for politicians who continue the murder for profit enterprise, then it's difficult for me to want to get out on the streets over the police brutality issue and it's oppressive to me to talk only about Black Lives Matter but nobody speaks up for the rest of the oppressed classes. Black Lives Also Matter, but if you dare say All Lives Matter because you're taking into consideration our mutual victims throughout the Third World, then suddenly you do not matter and you can be targeted for destruction. No context required. I say no.