I was naive enough to be surprised by the "All Lives Matter" reaction to "Black Lives Matter". I believed that people would notice that racism is passé as they live further + further outside of it...that we will all come to recognize that love feels better than hate. Embarrassingly naive + privileged, I know.
When a local DJ made the comparison of BLM/ALM to when people say, "save the whales". He said that no one reacts by saying: but what about the sharks. Shark lives matter. I think this comparison breaks down quickly when we realize that sharks can't make signs. It is when people feel that they themselves will feel the effects of "acceptance" of the "other" or "progress"...that the call to love becomes colored by fear...and love becomes negotiable. Fear not only throws a wrench in the upward trajectory, but the weight of it throws the whole thing into reverse.
And yet, when I go searching with all my might for hope, I still believe it can be found in the realization that we are not naturally moving toward better...that we cannot just depend on love always winning in the end...that our better angels won't just naturally prevail.
It is precisely because of this that we can recognize that individuals have to choose love...that they often do choose love...and that a sort of general consensus can follow. The civil rights movement did happen. An elected black man is now an elected party leader in the House of Representatives in this country built by enslaved people.
And maybe this is an even greater hope. A hope that makes effort not only necessary, but fruitful. A hope that has the power to break the chains of fear + bring waves of freedom to love.
Hope may be an inconstant companion...but a visitor worth the effort of inviting again + again.