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black lives matter
Photo by Kelly Lacy

By Michael G. Salmon

Acknowledging that Black lives matter (too) does not preclude you from valuing White lives, blue lives — or any lives.

“[White] [Blue] [All] Lives Matter” as a response to “Black Lives Matter” and not a standalone philosophy — is a complete and thorough non-sequitur.

As such, it does not even form the flimsiest of foundations for a thoughtful conversation on the existential crisis facing 13 percent of America’s citizens, which might necessitate a #BLM movement.

An examination of American history makes clear that there has never been a macro level reckoning with respect to the value of White lives. In fact, the foundational theory of property rights in this country, Manifest Destiny, sets forth the framework for White lives having a greater value than the lives of the “others” who originally inhabited Parkland — and the rest of America.

We only need to look at the pre-13th Amendment version of the U.S. Constitution (1865) to see that Black lives were explicitly valued forty percent less than white lives.

A cursory knowledge of the Jim Crow Laws or segregationist policies of the American South completes the mosaic of Black lives being “lesser than.” Thus, there’s never been a presumption that Black lives matter to America’s institutions or are equal to White lives.

The reflexive response of “[White] [Blue] [All] Lives Matter” to #BLM is the language of those who steadfastly hold onto a false narrative that their intrinsic value is being called into question or devalued by American society.

The fact of the matter is that [White] [Blue] [All] lives are the gold standard by which life is measured. #BLM simply seeks to have black lives matter as much as the “gold standard” lives.

If you still feel the need to use “[White] [Blue] [All] Lives Matter” to confront or respond to #BLM, you have made clear that you are not open to reasonable dialogue about what’s happening in America to your Black neighbors.

You have come to the debate table not having done your homework to inform yourself about America, its institutions, or the lives of its Black citizens.

Michael G. Salmon lives in Parkland and is a business and real estate attorney in Coral Springs. He graduated from the University of Miami and received his law degree from Harvard Law School and his master’s degree from Yale University. Current events have inspired him to become more politically active and vocal. You can find him on Twitter at @michaelgsalmon.

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