The civil rights activist and Baptist minister Al Sharpton has given a definitive answer on why slogans like 'white lives matter' and 'all lives matter' are so offensive and categorically wrong.
During an appearance on Good Morning Britain, the 65-year-old reverend was asked by Piers Morgan what is the correct response to people who use those phrases in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Sharpton gave a short but completely accurate response which summed the entire argument up in less than a minute. He said:
The correct response to that is that there has never been any argument that White Lives Matter. There has never been any debate and when a white life is taken it is mitigated, prosecuted and, if convicted, incarcerated. The problem has been that it has not been equal on the other side. So, there has been no equal need to say 'white lives matter.' That has been a given and the system has worked that way. It has not worked that way around white lives. So, we're not saying 'Black Lives Matter more'. We are saying Black Lives Matter as much, equally and should be treated the same.
The Black Lives Matter movement, which was founded in 2013, has gained extra focus this year following the worldwide protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The backlash to this movement from racists, who oppose the movement, which has seen the statues of problematic figures from the past to be removed from public places has been to say things like 'white lives matter' or 'Black lives matter.'
Recently, there was a incident at the Premier League football match between Manchester City and Burnley where a plane carrying a banner reading 'White Lives Matter - Burnley' was flown over the Etihad Stadium, where the fixture was taking place. This lead to Burnley and the team's captain, Ben Mee condemning the stunt stating that those responsible are no longer welcome at the club.