But are we having a misunderstanding? Tom Schade wrote recently on the power of banners. And the Standing on the Side of Love Campaign also speaks to the power of these banners. One power that Black Lives Matter banners are having is to make it clear there is no misunderstanding here at all.
|Banner at River Road UU Congregation from http://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2015/08/black-lives-matters-sign-vandalized-in-bethesda-again/|
Lake Country UU Church in Wisconsin also had the word “Black” cut out.
|Banner at Lake Country UU Church from http://www.lakecountrynow.com/news/lakecountryreporter/black-lives-matter-banner-slashed-outside-hartland-church-b99554790z1-321419621.html|
|Sign at UU Congregation of the South Jersey Shore, photo by Betsy courtesy of Rev. Cynthia Cain.|
When you cross off "Black" with "All," you’re again not saying "All." You’re saying “Not black—all other.” It is saying "All" -- it's saying "All except what I just deleted: Black." If there was really just a desire to clarify, it would be as simple to put a little caret in that said “And ALL” after "Black," without the violent reaction to the word "Black."
But just in case it’s still not really clear, in Reno Nevada they made it really clear. The UU Fellowship of Northern Nevada’s Black Lives Matter banner had the world “Black” written over with the word “White.”
|UU Fellowship of Northen Nevada from https://www.facebook.com/127715653920432/photos/pcb.1063832856975369/1063831016975553/?type=1&theater|
On the Facebook page of the UU Congregation of the South Jersey Shore where people were writing “All Lives Matter” and Unitarian Universalists have been responding with clarification and engagement, the response has gotten as extreme as one person threatening to shoot a Unitarian Universalist minister for saying that "Black Lives Matter." There's simply no way that people can simultaneously be truly believing that all lives matter and at the same time be threatening to kill someone.
The banners have made it clear. There’s no confusion here what we mean when we say, “Black Lives Matter.” This push-back of “All Lives Matter” isn’t about clarification of a misunderstanding. It’s about an angry response to anti-racism challenging the white cultural supremacy. It’s as simple as that.