To begin, this isn’t going to be an article about the Black Lives Matters movement versus the All Lives Matter movement. I am simply asking you, as the reader, do all lives matter? I will also look to the answers in the Christian Bible, as well as in American society.
Depending on who you ask, whether it be someone of a different political party than you are, someone of different socioeconomic background, different, race, gender, etc. you will find different answers in today’s society on whether or not folks are treated fairly, or equally. Unless you ask the top 2% of Americans, most, I would like to believe, would say not everyone is treated equally.
Please refer to the above diagram throughout this post for the definitions of the rhetoric I will be using.
In my belief, if everyone was treated equally, as Americans, each individual would have universal healthcare, everyone would receive universal basic income (UBI), folks would make the same amount of money regardless of profession; imagine a socialist society and you will witness large quantities of equality regardless of potentially discriminating factors.
A first world nation such as the U.S. has no ability to cater to an equal society. There are nearly 1 out of every 100 Americans who are currently in jail or prison. Depending on offense, your rights as a citizen may slowly or all at once be stripped from you such as your right to vote or you are forced to register where you reside because you are a potential threat to society. Those who have committed crimes, regardless of severity, are simply not treated equally compared to someone in an esteemed profession such as nursing or being in the military.
It is not fair to those who went through 7-8 years of college to get paid the same as someone who only has a high school diploma. It is not fair or equal for a type 1 diabetic to have to pay thousands for insulin with decent insurance and then have drug addicts get Narcan, an overdose reversal medication, in the ER for free.
Then we look at creating an equitable society, which is what the U.S. more or less does. The government provides food stamps who can’t afford groceries based on their lack of income, there is WIC, there is state and federal tuition assistance for those who are in financial need and wish to go to college, there is housing assistance programs, the list goes on.
Providing that extra “boost” allows those of lower economic status to have an even playing field to someone who can afford schooling, food, housing, and basic necessities on one income or have help from wealthy family.
Notice in the last paragraph, I did not use the term socio-economic status, I used the term “economic status”.
Racial bias is still very prevalent when making decisions to either help or hinder the growth of minorities in America. Folks are still getting discriminated against for the color of their skin and that becomes the deciding factor on if that family will receive government assistance rather than their annual gross income and other deciding factors. This system is not equal nor equitable.
Until Americans and other first world nations address racial issues such as bias, inequality, and inequity, we cannot achieve the third concept being justice.
How To Achieve Justice
Each and every person faces adversity of some sort. You have debt of some sort, you have a substance addiction, you have a mental health issue, you are a victim/survivor of domestic violence, you are a victim/survivior of police brutality, the list goes on. Your adversity does not define you, but as a society, we must recognize that adversity does affect us. Sometimes we can pull ourselves up by our boot straps and move on. Often times we need help. And that’s okay.
By removing the barrier or in this case, removing the privacy fence, we are acknowledging the systemic weights that affects society. Yes, drugs can lead to addiction, but by removing the war on drugs and fixing the crisis of addiction itself with certified mental health counselors and drug rehabilitation, we aren’t feeding into our systemic issues such as overpopulated prisons, police brutality, etc.
This Brings Us Back to The ‘All Lives Matter” Debate…
In order to achieve justice in American society, we must have the mindset that all lives matter. This includes everything that encompasses the Black Lives Matter Movement. Because Black lives are a stake, it is now the time (and has been for a very long time) to address systemic racism to achieve not equality, not equity, but justice.
But when you address the bible, it certainly does say to love another as God has loved you, which brings me to my main question that I am truly struggling with in society today and as a Christian…:
How do you love your rapists? How do you love your murderers? How do you love those who have committed ultimate crimes against society?
I am all for loving the fallen and loving those who are willing to repent and ask for forgiveness. But for those who live freely? For those who see they have done no wrong? Then what?
For me personally, I know I make mistakes; I am a sinner. Yet all sin to God is equal. He has a bird’s eye view of Earth and only sees the tops of our heads with every individual hair that He numbered. With that being said, He knows every mistake and every fault that we have committed or could ever do. He sees sin like the tops of our heads; no different than the rest. Yet from a human point of view, when you look someone in the eye, we begin to justify their actions, sin or otherwise. We see the diversity and complexity’s that encompass every human choice and decision.
But so does God.
And whether you rape someone or tell a white lie does not matter. You are a sinner and deserve to rot in Hell. Unless you repent and ask Jesus for forgiveness, that is when you shall be granted eternal life in Heaven after your physical death.
So my next question to you is how do you love the unlovable? Or do you not?
Comment below your thoughts on this or the concept of justice!