For the past few months, the Black Lives Matter Movement, an organization created to seek justice for disenfranchised black citizens, has gained global support and traction. The campaign is known to speak out against the continuous cycle of police brutality enforced on the black community. While local and national protests had been enforced, the slogan ‘All Lives Matter’ had emerged to counter and criticize the BLM movement, which fueled tensions and conflict between both movements. However, to understand the intentions between the Black Lives Matter Movement and the All Lives Matter Movement, it comes down to the difference between equality and equity.
According to Merriam-Webster, these are the definitions of equality and equity.
Equality: the quality or state of being equal
Equity: justice according to natural law or right; freedom from bias or favoritism
Although these definitions may seem short and concise, let's break them down to fully understand the meaning of these words. Equality is to have everyone be treated in the same manner. It is a reflection of how every person, regardless their demographic, has an equal starting point. Equity, on the other hand, is to give disadvantaged demographics more resources in order to have the opportunity to be treated equally in the future.
In essence, comparing the ALM and BLM movements are a matter of equality vs. equity. The All Lives Matter Movement emphasizes equality through the idea of “sameness,” where every single life is worthy of equal recognition by everyone. On the other hand, the Black Lives Matter Movement advocates for the idea of “fairness,” where minorities are given more opportunities to be granted justice that has yet to be recognized. It is easy to say that everyone is treated equally against the justice system, but that does not apply toward the accounts of police brutality that the black community faces. When confronted with systemic racism, the principles of equality are not emphasized when certain demographics are discriminated against.
While the All Lives Matter Movement is willing to recognize and prioritize the lives of everyone, the Black Lives Matter Movement is not an organization that wants to dismantle equality and seek for black superiority above all demographics. It simply wants to emphasize that black injustice is a human rights issue that occurs due to the discrimination and ingrained stigma against one’s skin color. The goal for this movement is to seek equality, but providing enough resources and access for them to do so through equity, must first be done.
At this moment, I cannot comfortably say that everyone is treated equally, as systemic racism continues to be an instilled factor within society that heavily targets the black community. However, we all now have the opportunity to bring equity through the Black Lives Matter Movement, and shed light on the enforcements that must be made to go against discrimination. Everyone now has the ability to participate in this movement by joining local protests, signing petitions online, sharing articles on your platform, or even donating. Any effort to support the BLM movement is impactful, and I have made efforts to Until there is equity brought, we cannot be ensured that every single person is equal and free.
Check out these platforms to engage yourself with the Black Lives Matter Movement: