Social Question

josie's avatar

Why do you suppose Martin O'Malley was booed for saying "All lives matter"?

Asked by josie (30926points) July 22nd, 2015

At a recent conference, a group of mostly black demonstrators began chanting “Black lives matter” while O’Malley occupied the stage.

O’Malley, a pretty solid Democrat, presidential candidate, former Maryland governor and champion of gay rights and gun control, responded that…“all lives matter.”

He was roundly booed. In fact he apparently was so intimidated by the booing that he later apologized for imagining and saying that all lives matter.

Why do you suppose he was booed?

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4 Answers

Zaku's avatar

I am only guessing based on what you wrote, since I’ve not heard of this event, but since this is a Social question…

My thought is that they may have responded from feeling that O’Malley was detracting, side-stepping, belittling, disagreeing, or not getting their message.

It reminds me of when I have been worked up about something that I care very much about, and feel that others in general do not care about nearly as much as I wish they would, and I am trying to passionately express my point of view, and then they make a counterpoint or sideways remark or other one-line statement that seems to not acknowledge where I am coming from. It tends to be quite frustrating, and attract at least some of my passion into anger against them.

Me: “Did you know that there are only about 3000 wild tigers left on Earth? People keep destroying more and more of the places where they can live.”
Herp: “Yeah, well, but people gotta live too.”
Me: “I dunno. I’m imagining a tiger eating you alive, and I can’t say I’d be too concerned.”

Darth_Algar's avatar

Because it comes across as dismissive. It’s like telling a cancer patient “yeah sure, everybody gets sick”.

syz's avatar

The phrase “Black lives matter” does not mean that other lives do not (just as “Save the rainforest” does not mean “Screw all other types of forest” and “Save the whales” does not mean “Kill all of the other mammals”). His comment that all lives matters diminishes the importance of what’s been happening and the movement that has arisen to try to address the issue.

bossob's avatar

The same crowd gave Bernie Sanders a hard time too, despite his established long time record of fighting for civil rights.

Part of the learning process this early in a campaign is to determine ‘how’ to relate a message. Just like in a one-on-one conversation, ‘how’ one says something is just as important as ‘what’ is being said.

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