The families of the nine people that lost their lives in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston last Wednesday night walked into a courtroom just two days later to see the man that killed their loved ones.
There they were, able to speak to the man that cut their pastor, brother, sister, mother, father’s life short.
A family member walked to the front of the courtroom and said, “I will never be able to talk to her again I will never be able to hurt her again…I forgive you.”
The bond hearing then moved on with unwelcome statements by Charleston County Magistrate, James Gosnell Jr. After hearing heartfelt statements by grieving families he said, “We also have victims on the other side. There are victims on this young man’s side of the family.”
The judge made it clear why you should remove #ALLLIVESMATTER from your vocabulary, including social media. By injecting the shooter’s family into the conversation, he made this clear–yes, y’all lost nine innocent black lives, but what about these White lives? They matter equally or more- (Even though they are still alive.) This was truly White supremacy on display.
Luckily, the judge was removed from the case, but his words will hang over us nonetheless.
What’s bothersome is that this term has infiltrated the racial profiling and police brutality narrative of black leaders so get cheers from those that may not feel comfortable with them uttering the term black.
Yes. There are black leaders are afraid to say “Black.” That is scary.
Imagine your loved ones in that courtroom after your death, seeing the man that took your life, then hearing the judge that was to represent justice utter those words. He had no respect. This is why conflating the message of how black lives are devalued with white lives is troublesome. There is a racism problem in America. There are disparities between people of color and white people in the criminal justice system. There is a history of black bodies being exterminated, objectified and terrorized in this country. It’s no different from white people responding to the terrors of slavery with, “Black people owned slaves too.”
Dylann Storm Roof made it clear in his racist manifesto that this was an attack on Black people: “I wish with a passion that ni**ers were treated terribly throughout history by Whites…I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight.”
If you’re a decent human being that doesn’t go around killing people, you already observe the fact that all lives matter. Speaking the words “All Lives Matter” is like saying, “Skittles come in different flavors. A fat baby is fat. A cat meows.” But we verbally affirm the Black ones because they are the ones under attack.
Yea, remove those words from your vocabulary. Today.
Brian McCoy is an online personality, digital media strategist and civil rights activist based in Washington, DC. Visit his blog bmccoy.com and follow him across social media, @RightsChamp.