All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter

by Julia Genkinger

inspired by Marta A. O’Brien’s mini-lesson

Black Lives Matter.
Yes, all lives matter but they cannot all matter until
Black Lives Matter.  


Black Lives.
Have been oppressed for 250 years.
Your ancestors have created the ghettos
we lived in.
Your media has painted the black man as
violent, the black woman as crazy.
If you are not helping us
You are part of the problem.




It’s more than one or two bad apples.
It’s many police officers throughout these
departments that choose to ignore and incite racism in one another.
One rotten apple spoils the bunch.  




Just as teachers have to start each HOUR
fresh with a student, police officers have to start each interaction with a fresh, clean state.
We are scared.   



We are not equipped to deal with this.
We want to feel safe and loved.
We want all lives to matter.
But all lives cannot matter until
Black Lives Matter. 
We remain divided. 


My house is on fire.
Please help us.
All Lives Matter.
 
All Lives Matter.
You’re isolating yourselves. We aren’t
racist, we just care about
All Lives. 






I don’t see what the problem is.
People don’t get beaten in my town.
We have lots of black cops.
Heck, my neighbor is black!
Most of these cops aren’t that bad.
You can’t get mad about one or two bad apples.  



One rotten apple spoils the bunch.
Black people run and frequently respond
to cops with violence. Maybe that’s why
they’re so defensive.
Black people are repeat offenders.    



Cops are scared.
They deal with criminals all day never knowing when someone could try to harm them. 

We are not equipped to deal with this.
We want to feel safe and loved.
We want all lives to matter.
But all lives cannot matter until
Cop Lives Matter.
Why can’t we be united?
Why are we so separated?

The world is on fire.
Please help us.
Uncategorized

Written by tbawproject

We are an affiliate with the National Writing Project and a partner with the University of South Florida. Please address correspondence to co-directors, Dr. Michael B. Sherry, mbsherry@usf.edu, and Mari Aviles, aviles2375@gmail.com

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