I’m sure by this point, just about everybody has heard something about various “movements” stating that “(fill in the blank) Lives Matter.” The ones that come pretty immediately to mind are, “Black Lives Matter,” “Blue (or Police) Lives Matter,” and “All Lives Matter.”
To be entirely fair and clear, I’m pretty sure all of these “movements” piggyback off the “Black Lives Matter” movement, and that’s fine.
I want to make it crystal clear, that I’m not trying to “take the wind out of the sails of” any such movement. At the same time, I want to clearly state that none of these movements has my “unwavering support.”
I’m sure some of them were intended to replace, subvert, usurp, or do some other thing to one or more of the others. I’m equally sure that folks are “doing things in the name(s) of” one or more such movements, the like of which I cannot in good conscience support. As such, I choose to “stand aloof of” all such movements.
That being said, I think it important to plainly state where I stand on “what lives matter.” This is not intended to start a “movement”—though I readily acknowledge, that it would not hurt my feelings in the least if it did. My intent is to state my belief on this matter, and maybe, to see if others who read this “resonate with” what I’m saying.
It would be fair to say that I believe all lives matter, I don’t say that because at present—as I have already indicated—a movement is attached to that idea. But the point is no less a valid one for the expression being used.
Put simply, I cannot come up with a “life that does not matter.” I can’t conceive of such a thing.
In my view, all people’s lives matter.
Does this mean nobody will ever die—for example—at the hands of police officers? Sadly, no, it does not. If a person chooses a course of action that causes a law enforcement officer to take that person’s life, the only question is, “Did the law enforcement officer do what he or she did according to the rules and policies that govern his or her interactions?”
Law enforcement, like pretty much everybody is liable for breaking the law they are sworn to serve.
Does the fact that somebody died at the hands of another person who killed them in self defense, or the defense of others, mean the life of the person killed “didn’t matter?” Certainly not. Their life still mattered.
Are people killed in various ways for reasons considered to be justifiable, always hardened criminals, or even necessarily (at least intentionally) criminals at all? Assuredly, the answer is in the negative.
Does law enforcement always only harm or kill people it ought? Again, of course not.
And without doubt, the same applies to those killed by folks defending themselves or others.
You may be able to come up with more reasons for people to “legally” kill others, and I’m equally sure the same things apply in those situations. It’s not always reasonable, proper or correct.
The fact is though, even if people were killed by others in scenarios where it was considered legal, even where it was considered reasonable, much less where it was considered morally correct, that does not mean the lives of the people in question were of no worth—that their lives didn’t matter.
It should be obvious, based on my statements, that I don’t consider whether “peoples’ lives matter” to be the “real question.” If they all matter, how can it be that this is what we should be asking?
Further, I don’t think it unreasonable to clearly voice the idea that I would have no other human being die in “ideal circumstances.” Unfortunately, we’re generally not in ideal circumstances.
Folks will do things they ought not do, and though I would would rather not see them die even in such circumstances, it’s considered entirely reasonable that they do. I’m not saying I consider it so, but then again, I have never killed, and hope to never kill, another human being.
As I have already stated, by no means is it true that everyone who claims even reasonable cause for the death of another, is or should be considered correct in his or her assessment.
Part of the point though, is if there are circumstances considered reasonable, it should not be a standing assumption that a person having killed another could have had no justification for so doing.
In a country that professes a belief in the idea of, “innocence until guilt is proven,” this is in fact, directly counter to such a presumption; that totally ignores other circumstances, situations and pertinent facts and considerations.
Put simply, without a “fair hearing,” where guilt is not assumed on anybody’s part, it is far less likely that the truth will be reached.
I well understand that folks out there have emotional attachments to the ones about whom they care, whether it be a loved one, a casual acquaintance, or someone “in between” these. I get that people come to believe things about others that make it hard at best, to assume they have taken an action that could reasonably result in their own death (barring heroic circumstances and accidents).
I also entirely realize that my emotions “lie to me,” and that my beliefs may be wrong. And of course, this applies to others just as to myself, like it or not.
I know that not all investigations and discoveries are fair, and even when fairness is strived for, that facts are missed or ignored that ought not be. To not investigate and to not presume innocence in that investigation is not the “answer” to such failures. Yes, it’s a reason to take greater care. True, sometimes a new investigation is necessary to correct the failures of one already performed.
And if investigation—if “standing back” and dispassionately looking over a given matter, situation or circumstance is called for, how can we assume judging without knowledge is acceptable or proper?
I know people can feel “robbed” of the presence of loved ones, friends and acquaintances. I’m aware this can result in a great deal of pain. Nonetheless, judging others and finding them wanting without proper consideration and actions perpetuates ill will, and really accomplishes little else. What if you’re incorrect?
Final word? Let us work to improve our investigation and consideration of events where precious life is lost. Let us strive—even where emotion gets the better of us—to refuse to find others “guilty” before such investigation occurs.
As usual, thanks for reading, and may your time be good.