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The USA: Home of #AllLivesMatter

Following Trayvon Martin’s disgusting murder at the hands of a now-free man and the trail of unjust murders of other African Americans by those who work to “protect and serve,” the Black Lives Matter movement was created. Nay-sayers justify these murders and counteract the movement by claiming, “all lives matter.”

By making this claim, attention is taken away from the movement and the issues of violence on the black community. “What about black-on-black crime?” What about white-on-white crime, Hispanic-on-Hispanic crime, Asian-on-Asian crime, and so on and so forth? Crime within communities does not justify violence on anyone. “What about the person’s criminal history?” “Why didn’t the person just do what the cop said?”

Why was the person confronted to begin with? Why was the person murdered rather than detained? How was the person who actually was detained end up dead? Often times, the wrong input is being said and the wrong questions being asked.

Colin Kaepernick has recently been the subject of much debate. His opting to kneel during the national anthem has spurred other athletes to do the same as a way of protest against police brutality. The American public (or rather a portion of it) became enraged… how dare he kneel and disrespect his country when people are dying for his freedom?

How dare anyone send death threats to someone who is making a silent protest on a valid issue? How dare anyone become more enraged about someone kneeling by choice than being killed for… Killed for what, exactly? Stop adding value to a flag, a song, and whatever else symbolizes American history, while detracting value from Americans themselves. How can one have sympathy for a flag, but not for a human being… yet claim that all lives matter?

For each person you witnessed voice his or her outrage at Kaepernick, how many times did they voice their outrage for the videos and images of lifeless brown bodies that have infiltrated our media outlets this week? If all lives matter, don’t be silent now.

My name is Kristal and I am currently a senior at UAB. As a business major and hopeful journalist, I hope to use my gifts and knowledge to reach across the world. I have interests in all things related to society-- hisory, social justice issues, man-made societal "norms." In my spare time, I enjoy working out, watching documentaries, viewing fashion blogs and magazines, and dreaming of the possibilities of my future. Would I forget to mention the importance of "Clueless" references in my life? Ugh, as if!               
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