American girl group TLC respond to a question about Black Lives Matter by saying “all lives matter”. pic.twitter.com/y2wv48NJei
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) May 9, 2017
In a vacuum, All Lives Matter is a nice sentiment. But given the way that it’s been used to silence the voices of African-Americans protesting police brutality via the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s pretty much an irredeemable phrase. “All Lives Matter” is always said in response to someone saying “Black Lives Matter” with the tone and the added baggage that makes the phrase come across as “No, they don’t.” If you’re famous, it’s so easy to come down on the right side of this. Just agree with the concept of Black lives having inherent value. But TLC’s Chilli didn’t get the memo.
In an interview promoting their fan-funded new album, the singer was asked how she felt about the Black Lives Matter movement. And instead of knocking the stuffing out of this softball lob, she opted to set the diamond on fire.
“I personally didn’t go into any marches, or anything like that, but for me, all lives matter, you know what I mean?” she said. “Because there is a time when different groups are targeted for different things, you know what I’m saying? So, I just think that, just the whole –what happened, police brutality, against these young black boys, all of that kind of stuff is wrong, even if it was a Caucasian teen kid that this was happening to or whatever. It’s just not right, and some people take that authoritative position, and go crazy with it obviously. I think that before people are higher in these positions, they need to do some kind of better background check on them, or mental stability check to see if they can really handle being in a position like that.”
There are some solid points in there. Mental health screenings and more accountability on police departments for the hires that they make is definitely a good thing. And she’s on target saying that police brutality is wrong. But before we can finish polishing this turd, T-Boz jumps in with a tone-deaf answer about Donald Trump and how she isn’t worried about the very real effects his presidency can have.
“I don’t care about Donald Trump, so, I mean, God is my president,” she said. “I just feel sorry for the people it affects, but I don’t care about him.”
I mean, they can’t help the questions that they’re asked. But maybe TLC should take their own advice vis a vis familiar rivers and lakes before wading into tense political discussions.