View all Articles
Commentary By Tal Fortgang

The Left Conveniently Embraces ‘All Lives Matter’

Culture, Education Culture & Society, Higher Ed

Why are public figures so reluctant to denounce antisemitism without lumping it in among other hatreds?

In 2016, when the Black Lives Matter movement was in its infancy, Vox published an article called “Why you should stop saying ‘all lives matter,’ explained in 9 different ways.” The argument, expressed in prose, comic-strip, and video form, would soon become a platitude on the progressive left: The incantation “black lives matter” distinguishes that group from all others, asserting “that black people’s lives are relatively undervalued in the US. . . . The country needs to recognize that inequity to bring an end to it.” Consequently, the phrase “all lives matter” was not as innocuous as it sounded. It was deemed a denial of the special suffering of black Americans; one Black Lives Matter activist even called it a racial slur.

In offices and campuses across the country, it quickly became common knowledge that appealing to universal principles when a particular group is suffering was not acceptable — and probably a sign of latent bigotry.

Add the taboo against saying “all lives matter” to the growing list of hypocrisies revealed in the aftermath of Hamas’s atrocities in Israel. Even with throngs shouting “Gas the Jews” in Australia, Stars of David graffitied on Jewish homes in Europe, and spiking anti-Jewish hate crimes in the United States, prominent liberals and progressives have been unable to say that Jews deserve particular concern because they are particularly threatened.

Continue reading the entire piece here at the National Review Online (paywall)


Tal Fortgang is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a fellow at SAPIR: Ideas for a Thriving Jewish Future.

Photo by Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images