The Hypocrisy of “White Lives Matter”


Photo Courtesy of DPG Law

The Black Lives Matter logo shows a fist in solidarity for the movement.

Sofia Cedeño, Junior, Staff Reporter

In the wake of the George Floyd murder, the Black Lives Matter movement has become stronger and more vocal than ever. Millions across the globe are beginning to respond to the call to end police brutality, and eliminate systemic racism. For every person who has joined the movement, however, there’s a person who believes in the “counter-movement” called White Lives Matter. This a response to BLM, stating that it’s not just Black lives that matter, but white lives too. To someone who doesn’t understand the context of the situation, both movements seem to be a perfectly acceptable thing to be a part of, but by becoming educated about each side it is easy to see why saying White Lives Matter is an issue. 

The Black Lives Matter movement was founded in 2013 after the murder of Trayvon Martin, a 17- year-old high school student who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman in 2012. Zimmerman was charged with murder, but was acquitted after claiming self-defense. The Black Lives Matter Foundation is a global organization with a mission to eradicate white supremacy and build up local representation to intervene in violence committed upon Black communities. They work towards eliminating the issue of people of color being systematically targeted. This movement includes the lives of Black and Latinx queer and trans people, the disabled, those who are undocumented, have records, and people of color on the gender spectrum. During the protests, many people are chanting “Black Lives Matter’ and openly supporting the movement. It’s continuing to bring awareness as well as donations to a very necessary cause, showing that people are tired of seeing the same problems repeat themselves and are calling for change. Supporting Black Lives Matter demonstrates the importance of caring and understanding for what is happening to people of color, no matter what race you are. This movement is what is needed to help move our country forward and progress. 

On the flipside of this, the White Lives Matter movement garnered nationwide publicity in 2014 following the death of Michael Brown at the hands of a Furgeson, Missouri police officer. White supremacist groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and the Texas-based Aryan Renaissance Society use this White Lives Matter slogan as a way to promote white supremacy. White Lives Matter is used against the Black Lives Matter movement in order to suppress and prevent any real change when it comes to race. The oppressors use the tactics of those being suppressed in order to dismiss the real issue at hand. Supporting the White Lives Matter movement shows complete disregard for people of color and what they are fighting for.

In an article published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Rebecca Barnette, the co-founder of White Lives Matter, said, What happens to blacks in this country at the hand of law enforcement is none of our concern … other than to prepare to restore order and rebuild our neighborhoods taking back our lands one community at a time. When the enemy destroys … we guard our town borders and make our homes white and great again.” Straight from the mouth of a co-founder, this is what White Lives Matter promotes and encourages. By having a large enough platform, people like this are allowed to be openly racist towards a group of people who are simply asking to be treated fairly and have the right to live. It harms the Black Lives Matter Movement because it distorts what BLM actually seeks: the right to walk outside, play with a toy, have a barbecue, wear a hoodie, go for a jog, or sleep in one’s own home without fear of being gunned down.

Black Lives Matter is not a trend. It is a movement, a concerted effort to make things more fair and equal not only in America, but around the world. Nowadays, it’s very easy to be confused, and there are those who seek to deliberately confuse you. Stay educated. Be aware. Understand that movements like White Lives Matter are destructive and racist by asking why they exist and what they hope to accomplish.Take the first step to making a change and to do what’s right.