Wishing to show solidarity with students protesting the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Smith College President Kathleen McCartney sent an email to students stating, “All Lives Matter,” as Chris Lindahl reports for the Daily Hampshire Gazette. McCartney further urged everyone on campus to “work for equality and justice.”
Various students proceeded to criticize McCartney for her phrasing. Her sin? She said “all lives matter” rather than “black lives matter.” As Lindahl summarizes, among the complaints from students was, “while all lives matter, it is not the value of all lives that is being called into question, it is specifically black lives.”
But that criticism makes no sense; conceptually, “all lives” encompasses “black lives.” The complaint against McCartney boils down to the fact that she did not use specifically racial language in calling for equal justice.
Nevertheless, McCartney quickly capitulated. Lindahl reports:
McCartney sent a second email expressing regret that she was unaware the phrase “all lives mater” was used by some on social media as a counter to the “#BlackLivesMatter” movement protesting the grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Aside from the fact that McCartney clearly did not intend to refer to other social media campaigns, it remains the case that “all lives matter” and that white police officers too deserve equal justice under the law. That saying as much is controversial in some quarters points to the racism of the left.
The presumption that a white police officer is always in the wrong, whereas any black man the officer confronts is always in the right, is racist, pure and simple. . . .