You have very likely seen the hashtag ‘Black Lives Matter’ circulating in relation to an increasingly worrying amounts of events which have racial undertones. I want to make the proposition that it is really unhelpful when someone wants to put a disclaimer in there that ‘all lives matter’.
Yes, all lives do matter. In Genesis 1.26 we read what should be the foundation of the Christians worldview, that God created all humankind with His image. This concept leads us to understand that we all came from the same humans. We all contain within us the ‘image’ of God. Christians take this to mean we all have the capacity to experience the love of God, and express it to others. As this event occurred at a time before we had races, ethnicities and different shades of colour, the idea that all lives matter should be deeply ingrained within us. There is no question of this foundational truth.
What is apparent to me is that at this time we need reminding that ‘black lives matter’. It appears quite clearly that in both Australia and other parts of the world there is serious discrimination and mistreatment of people because of the colour of their skin. A perception that somehow the shade of the pigment found means the person can be pre-judged, not trusted and perceptions agreed upon about how they will behave.
In fact I wish to say that as a Christian, how our nation has expressed racism towards our original inhabitants is something we continue to need to address. We need to bring focus to it. It is also clear that other nations of the world also need to address discrimination on the basis of skin colour. To highlight one issue or one need, does not disparage another. To me, it’s just common sense and completely uncomplicated to say Black Lives Matter. Because they do. That does not mean that all lives don’t matter. It is just that at this distressing point in our history we need to focus on Black Lives. Because they matter.