The phrase "Black Lives Matter" responds to specific wrongs, historical and contemporary, committed against black bodies. The words are spoken from particular places of pain, trauma, and loss. When "All Lives Matter" is suggested as an alternative, it usually represents a silencing of those specific wrongs, as well as those places of pain, trauma, and loss. Activist DeRay McKesson described the problem with "All Lives Matter" this way: "I would never go to a breast cancer rally and yell out 'colon cancer matters.' And that's what people are doing here."
Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza addresses "All Lives Matter" in this way: "When Black people get free, everybody gets free. This is why we call on Black people and our allies to take up the call that Black lives matter. We’re not saying Black lives are more important than other lives, or that other lives are not criminalized and oppressed in various ways. We remain in active solidarity with all oppressed people who are fighting for their liberation and we know that our destinies are intertwined."