We have been following the controversy over people declaring “All Lives Matter,” which is now viewed as racially insensitive and a “micro aggression” against the black community. We recently discussed the heartfelt apology given by Kathleen McCartney, the president of prestigious Smith College after she said “all lives matters” rather than ‘Black lives matter.” Now Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley has followed suit with his own apology for saying that “all lives matter” in a speech, which he was interrupted by black audience members booing and protesting.
The protesters had been chanting that “Black lives matter!” and O’Malley simply responded: “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.” There was a time when that would have been viewed as a true and uplifting sentiment to express. It is now viewed as insensitive and audience members booed O’Malley.
O’Malley later made a public apology and said “I meant no disrespect. That was a mistake on my part and I meant no disrespect. I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue.”
Ironically, O’Malley’s opponent Hillary Clinton was also called out for saying “all lives matter.” Clinton used the phrase while telling a story from her grandmother: “I asked her, ‘What kept you going?’ Her answer was very simple. Kindness along the way from someone who believed she mattered. All lives matter.”
That produced an outcry with Renita Lamkin, a pastor at the St. John AME Church in St. Charles, stating “With her statement that all lives matter, that blew a lot of support that she may have been able to engender here.” The Clinton campaign rushed out a statement that Clinton used “All Black Lives Matter” the year before.