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All Lives Matter On Facebook

I had a friend over recently who wondered why there hadn’t been any new Siary entries for a while and had missed them. I’d love to say he was one of many but the truth is he was one of a much smaller number than many. He was one of two. The other person was myself. I have missed writing them.

In the meantime I have attempted some YouTube videos but one, they just aren’t quite good enough and two, after doing a few music-related content videos I realised I didn’t have anything that interesting to say. Considering how long they took to make I decided to come back to Siary’s as I am better at them and derive more satisfaction from writing. If I’m going to get hardly any views somewhere I might as well get them doing the thing I enjoy. This is a conversation I could have had in my head as I already told the mate who came over I was going to write these again and can tell myself without writing it down. I must be watching too much reality TV as they always have to speak to us the viewer about how they are feeling.

In the time I have not been writing these Facebook had gone through a phase that is worth talking about. For the whole time I have been on it up until a few months ago people had been posting about cats, what they have had for dinner and if they were eating out, where that dinner was. Sometimes people would post memes about how that because their name was Pauline and they were born in April it meant they were a kind caring person and they realised it was #true #amazing. Also having put their details into another site it had been revealed that their famous look-a-like was Kim Kardashian #omg #justanotherday! and sometimes they’d post memes about how you only need true friends and to copy and paste if you agree #dontneedfakepeopleinmylife. The common theme to all of this was it was always about them and contained pointless hashtags because I don’t think they understand the purpose of them.

However all this changed for about three weeks when the hashtag #blakclivesmatter actually took off. For the first time these people went from posting about their own lives to a political topic and it reminded me of Heart FM running up to Christmas. For a whole year at work I have to listen to the same ten crap songs on repeat on that god awful station until about November time when it finally gets changed up and they add the Christmas playlist. This is a welcome relief until I realise that the Christmas playlist on repeat is no better. In fact it’s probably worse and it turns out that most people when they attempt to go political are too.

The blacklivesmatter hashtag to be fair was shared by some of my friends but they were already posting political and social stuff anyway, it was the ‘cat posting, what I ate for dinner’ people that were the worrying ones. Having had their lives completely not turned upside-down because they had seen a few posts about #blacklivesmatter they now had to respond and #alllivesmatter became a thing.

Why don’t all lives matter? It was a common question amongst those on my Facebook wall whose lives hadn’t been affected adversely by being white at all. Generally they were older, well off and systematically hadn’t been oppressed in any way what so ever. The closest they had come to any sort of systematic oppression was the fact that #blacklivesmatter had appeared on their Facebook timeline once because one of their friend’s children had posted something about it.

It was as though they had been personally slighted because for the first time on Facebook there was a post that didn’t include them in it and boy did they feel oppressed. In one way this was good because they now felt what being oppressed was like, albeit in the smallest, most meaningless and not actually oppressed way. However depressingly that didn’t cause them to relate to those that actually endure oppression but just amplified to them that they were being oppressed. All the posts showed no empathy, no what-about-thems but were all what-about-mes. Rather than try to understand that #blacklivesmatter was actually about black lives also mattering the defence immediately went up, I’m white, don’t I count? You have always counted…

Out of all the memes and bollocks being posted this one friend of a friend managed to go above and beyond.

Get over yourself? Wow. How can you see the video that started all of this off and respond with ‘get over yourself’? All lives matter but stop talking about yours you cunt because I’m bored of people not talking about mine.

Amazingly it got worse, ‘Put your race card away and grow up.’ I mean where do you go with that? People posting about a legitimate issue stemming from a guy getting knelt to death by a cop being told to put their race card away by a woman who as far as I can see has never been oppressed because of her race, throwing a tantrum on Facebook like a small child because something wasn’t about them.

The award for the biggest irony came from a guy on my wall who posted a meme that contained the phrase Anyone who is on my fb that thinks its ok to fuck with Winston Churchills statue. please kindly remove yourself from my fb and take a fucking history lesson!! Fucktards

Aside from the fact this post needs an English lesson as capital letters usually follow a full stop and Churchill is missing an apostrophe, this guy I can guarantee you is not Mr History and certainly wouldn’t be up for taking lessons. I did consider replying with a few of Winton’s funny quotes as he could be amusing but also evidence that Winston was a tad racist because he was but knew it would be pointless because he didn’t actually want to take a ‘fucking history lesson!!’ himself. Instead because I haven’t seen or talked to him in years I quietly removed him based roughly on his advice. About three weeks later I got a friend request…

This brings us nicely to the issue of statues and fucking or not fucking with them. The guy who isn’t a ‘fucktard’, if you asked him wouldn’t be able to tell you where that statue of Winston is without using a search engine. The last time he consciously went out of his way to view it was never. All of the #alllivesmatter brigade that became upset about the statue in Bristol being taken down had never heard of the guy or even known the statue was there. There is a good chance they had gone to Bristol and walked past it numerous times and not noticed. I bet if you asked them now they still couldn’t tell you who the guy was or where in Bristol it was and yet, it really upset them that this statue had been pulled down.

Those that had wanted it removed had protested, signed permissions and campaigned for years but little Johnny Fucktard had become just as upset because he saw a post about it once on Facebook. A statue to reiterate he didn’t know existed; had not consciously visited and didn’t give two shits about one way or the other for all of his life bar that week but had somehow felt oppressed because of it.

The most depressing thing about all of this though is that like any hashtag, campaign or cause it has quickly become forgotten by most people. Of all the people that felt oppressed because ‘all lives should matter’ not one of them carried on their cause for more than a week. It turned out that either fighting oppression was too hard a cause for them or they just had more important things to share with the world like what their cat had done or where they were eating dinner. Of course the ‘black lives matter’ issue is still an issue but it stopped appearing as much on Facebook and so thankfully a middle-aged white person could get back to carrying on with their lives in peace.

I will end by saying that a mixed race friend of mine remembers at school being told often ‘to go back on the banana boat to where you came from’ and a friend of her dad’s telling her in the pub that ‘your dad’s alright for a black man’. These are two things that the poor #alllivesmatter Facebook brigade I am sure have never had to deal with.