“A Shared Fury”: Smith College President Apologizes For Saying “All Lives Matter”

YouTube Screenshoot
YouTube Screenshoot
Kathleen McCartney, the president of prestigious Smith College, has had to apologize for what she has described as language that offended minority students. The language? McCartney wrote email supporting students protesting the grand jury decisions in Missouri and New York that said that “all lives matter.” She was immediately criticized for being too inclusive and not saying “Black lives matter.” McCartney agreed that she was wrong and apologized to the whole school.

McCartney was trying to show support for the protesters when she wrote to the student body that “We are united in our insistence that all lives matter” and criticized the grand jury decisions as causing “a shared fury . . . . We gather in vigil, we raise our voices in protest.”

The backlash was quick and . . . furious for not limiting the expression of concern to “black lives.” On Smith sophomore, Cecelia Lim, complained to the school newspaper that McCartner’s deviation form “black lives matter” was taken as “invalidating the experience of black lives.” Another wrote “It minimizes the anti-blackness of this the current situation; yes, all lives matter, but not all lives are being targeted for police brutality. The black students at this school deserve to have their specific struggles and pain recognized, not dissolved into the larger student body.”

This view is shared by commentators who have insisted that the failure to speak exclusively of Black lives makes people part of the problem. On HuffPost in a column entitled Please Stop Telling Me That All Lives Matter, Julia Craven insisted that “Saying “all lives matter” is nothing more than you centering and inserting yourself within a very emotional and personal situation without any empathy or respect.”

McCartney apologized profusely and said that “I regret that I was unaware the phrase/hashtag “all lives matter” has been used by some to draw attention away from the focus on institutional violence against Black people.”

While “all lives matters” may not convey the specific message of “institutional violence against Black people” it did strive (as college presidents and academics are want to do) to be inclusive in the valuation of all lives. It conveyed that all lives — regardless of color — must be valued and protected equally. There will be an ongoing debate over the alleged “institutional violence against Black people” and it is a debate that may be long overdue. While I understand the point being made, McCartney’s original statement valuing all lives equally is hardly a matter for public apology in my view. Indeed, the remainder of her statement makes clear that she shared the “fury” of those who disagree with the grand jury decisions in Missouri and New York.

Here are the messages to the campus.

Source: Higher Education

60 thoughts on ““A Shared Fury”: Smith College President Apologizes For Saying “All Lives Matter”

  1. WARNING! AVISO! Deeply Profound Philosophical Comment Alert!

    This is like that story a few days ago on here about “Stolen Valor.” IMHO, what is far more common and insidious, is “Stolen Virtue.” This is where somebody puts on a “uniform”, say like that of a Democrat or a Minority Activist, and then proceeds to act like that “uniform” magically imbues them with mega-virtues. Just like the people who falsely wear military uniforms, the people with the “liberal uniform” don’t actually have to do anything good, or worthy of praise. They can even do destructive stuff. But, they just have to priss around in their “uniform” and they get unwarranted respect.

    The activists who object to “all lives matter” are such Virtue Stealers.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  2. Michael Haz:

    Since Smith College is a women’s school, it is unlikely that you will find a male of any color in the student body.

    That being said, Ms. McCartney’s initial comment was uninformed, but her apology was unnecessary.

    Nevertheless, I’m happy to see student demonstrations once in awhile. College campuses have become entirely too docile.

  3. Mike Appleton:

    I am aware that Smith College is a women’s school. Hence the wonderful irony of Smith students claiming that black (male) lives matter, but not enough to actually, you know, be admitted to Smith College.

    • Pogo – you might have been on the right track since they had the furry convention where all the furrys had to evacuate.

  4. The guy on the plane was discussing this topic too and he came up with a quote that makes no sense. He quoted a guy named Wallace who said: Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever.
    Who is this Wallace guy and why do women want to be segregated?

    • Beldar said who is Wallace who said “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever.” and he also said “Why do women want to be segregated?”

      These schools are for the very well to do and are modeled after the English Finishing schools. They are segregated by sex and not by color. Hampden-Sydney and Wabash are Men’s Only undergraduate Liberal arts schools.

      Wallace was the Racist Governor of Alabama who was shot and paralyzed on his third presidential run in 1972 (he ran in – 1964, 1968, 1972, and 1976.)

  5. “All lives matter” is a phrase often used by pro life people in the abortion debate. Maybe that’s why leftists jumped on her?

  6. What’s worse is our hometown paper (Smith is located here) ran an article after the fact talking about how it had been necessary for her to apologize for her insensitivity. Kind of like: “she’s offensive, but at least she’s willing to learn how not to be offensive”.

  7. She shouldn’t have apologized for ‘speaking’ like a human. And ‘Smith’ students objecting? Really? Suffering much in that little oasis from the ‘real’ world? Sounds like they’re spoiling the children way too much here.

  8. To the “progressive” or revolutionary collectivist the only lives that matter are those which can be used to advance the agenda of our “fundamental transformation” into a collectivized society. At the moment, that means exploiting African American angst. The shaming of Ms. McCartney into submission is just that day’s application of Alinsky’s Rule #12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)”

  9. Until young people learn to obey the law and learn how to respect its enforcers, the casualties will continue. If Mr. Garner complied with the police orders to submit peacefully, he would still be with us today. ( In our politically correct Hell Hole that we call home)

  10. […] I really didn’t want to weigh in on this at first, but in March for two weeks in a row, Maher used his show to criticize those who criticized the Italian high end fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana because the two made disparaging remarks about in-vitro fertilization and, by extension, same-sex parenting of kids; Maher said that those criticizing D&G were practicing some sort of version of political correctness run amok (Maher used this story as an opportunity to criticize those who, for example, criticized Kathleen McCartney, the president of prestigious Smith College, for saying “all lives matter” instead of “black lives matter” here). […]

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