After the cascade of African Americans being killed at the hands of white police officers, chants of "Black Lives Matter!" started to echo in the streets and on social media. Now the "Black Lives Matter!" group is taking their campaign to the politicians, specifically targeting those running for office. They started with the Dems in their own camp, who they felt should have and still can do more for the black community. Most recently they have turned their attention to candidates on the right.
Last week at a rally for Jeb Bush in Nevada, chants of "Black Lives Matter!" derailed a campaign event. At once, some in the crowd erupted in "White Lives Matter!" and others chanted "All Lives Matter!"
I have heard numerous conservatives making this statement, whether on the campaign trail, on radio programs, in blogs and tweets online or on one of the talking head programs on television. But that statement, "All Lives Matter!" has me scratching my head.
Do "all lives" really matter to the GOP? Let's take a look at some "lives" the GOP seems to forget have a pulse:
1) Undocumented Immigrants
The majority of conservatives running for office do not support a pathway to citizenship, they want clearly marked borders. Trump goes as far as proposing to close our border by building a great wall (remember how well that worked out for China?) and says we can do it all on Mexico's dime. To hear Trump and the others talk, it's as if this group of more than 11 million people, who are overwhelmingly law abiding citizens and who contribute to our economy, just came on the scene, took all American jobs and began raping our women and killing our children! Speaking of children, you know the ones born in the U.S. to undocumented parents? Trump and others want to strip them of their constitutional birthright as U.S. citizens. Outrageous! And interesting that those same conservatives will fight to the death (pun intended) to protect the lives of unborn fetuses; yet when it's an infant born to undocumented parents, all bets are off.
2) The LGBT Community
Conservatives, and these GOP presidential candidates, don't support marriage equality, and in some states have gone so far as to defy the Supreme Court of the United States on the subject of issuing marriage licenses to same sex partners. This is the same group that did not want gay leaders in the Boy Scouts. And they don't want the LGBT community to be protected by the Civil Rights Act.
If I were a Muslim in America today, it would be hard to believe that my life mattered based on the statements of conservatives. Right-wingers frequently repeat the false statement that "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim." Then there are the outrageous statements by GOP candidates, including Sen. Rand Paul, who said he wants to reinstate the National Security Exit Registry System, which was used after 9/11 to round up boys and men who were legal residents of the United States and threaten them with deportation if they refused to submit to hostile interrogations, fingerprinting and photographing. Donald Trump stated on "The O'Reilly Factor" that there's a "Muslim problem" in the world. Marco Rubio wants to deny visas to foreign students who are Muslims. And there's Ben Carson, who falsely stated that Muslims are responsible for the majority of terrorist attacks worldwide. In fact, non-Muslims are responsible for more than 90 percent of terrorists attacks in the U.S.!
State by conservative state, there is more being done to strip women of their reproductive rights. That includes making it harder to access a clinic, and making it more difficult for clinics to remain open to provide medical services for women. On a federal level, most of the conservative candidates want to defund Planned Parenthood, making it out to be a body part-selling factory of death, when in reality, abortions are 3 percent of the services rendered at that organization.
5) The Poor
Conservatives portray this group of Americans as those with their hand out. The GOP constantly proposes slashing Welfare, Medicaid and other programs which the poor need to survive.
So at a glance, do ALL lives really matter to the GOP? To the conservatives in America today? Sure they do -- as long as you're not black, Muslim, LGBT, poor, female or an undocumented immigrant.