The debate between what type of lives matter has grown tremendously over the past few months. What started with the black lives matter movement has expanded to include other groups including white lives and blue lives.
All three groups have one main idea in common: that lives matter. How this is so divisive is confusing. It makes sense in a large scale; specifically the mainstream news and politicians have a great deal of self-interest in creating tension, anger, and frustration. Even in the small groups it makes sense as it leads to more attention and access to funds.
But it's harder to understand when speaking to friends and family about the subject. Friendships stop. People are blocked, disliked and debate shuts down. How anyone can be against lives just does not make any sense.
What's even more interesting is the fact that there is even a bigger picture at play. It's not black lives matter or blue lives matter or even all lives matter. It's that no lives matter.
Today, there are millions of individuals in jail in the United States. Most of these people are in jail due to non-violent crimes. Even more millions are unable to access drugs that could benefit them in some way.
Since the nation's founding, over 600,000 Americans have been killed in US wars. Many additional millions of people worldwide have been either murdered or displaced as a result of American intervention overseas. The U.S. government is the only state worldwide to ever use nuclear weapons - and two at that!
The United States spends trillions of dollars every year on policies that either don't work or don't even need to exist in the first place. Each dollar spent is time Americans could spend on themselves or family. Each dollar wasted is time that Americans could have used more likely to a better effect. I'm reminded of this on an almost daily basis when I drive to work and see ten vehicles speeding one moment and one lucky person is chosen to pay a fine of a few hundred dollars; at minimum wage that could equal a few days work...This could be the catalyst for numerous negative consequences including divorce, loss of a job, etc.
It's not that a certain group's lives matter more than another group. It's really that no lives matter. When a problem exists in America, people ask for government to intervene and it generally leads to even more problems. These problems have real effects on people lives. And that fact that we don't think about this - or worst yet, we don't care - shows that it's really that no lives matter. When that person speeding is pulled over, we drive by feeling a little lucky that it wasn't us; but we give no other thought to what just happened. We give no real thought to why that person was chosen or whether they even need to be chosen.
If lives mattered, individual rights would be respected. Aggression in the form of violence against another would be disparaged and disdained. Laws would be created with this in mind. And these laws would be maintained on the principle of non-aggression. They would not be expanded because people would reflect and remember that lives are effected by the passage of laws. That lives do, in fact, matter.
Moreover, if lives mattered, we would love one another just as we love ourselves. We would be open to ideas - even if we disagree with those ideas. We would think about what we - as individuals - could do to "fix" any given "problem". Most of all, we would treat others they way we would want to be treated. And these actions, specifically without the use of aggression, would support the firm and undoubtful conclusion that all lives matter.
A few interesting articles for this week:
The newest CTIR Reflection podcast. Is there such a thing as a wasted vote? Or is it a myth?
A few articles you may find interesting for this week (really last week, I'm a little late):
Hello. My name is James. And I am a critical thinker. [Hello James]. Well, at least I think I am. Let me think about it some more.