Which Lives Matter

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Black Lives Matter movement and the usual rejoinder that “All Lives Matter”. My response is that all lives don’t matter unless they matter equally.

American culture has historically been one where the lives of people of color, Native Americans, and even women have been seen as mattering less than those of white men.

Much of the current mess comes from that history and the fear by some that other people’s lives mattering more will make their lives matter less. This is part of the zero sum game being played by some in our current politics, where everything that is a gain for someone else is necessarily seen as a loss for them.

If your only definition of success is having more than others, then other people having more threatens your sense of having succeeded. Unfortunately, some of this is baked into our culture.

If we want to truly solve the problems that have been made so painfully visible as of late, we need to retrain ourselves to celebrate each other’s successes instead of merely upholding our own.

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