There have been a few popular posts about why saying white lives matter is considered racist. What I am asking is if saying “minority lives matter” would be considered racist.

This doesn’t detract from BLM (but it might be considered as distracting from it), as African Americans are a minority in the United States, and it also highlights the problems other minorities face. (I’m not here to argue about whether other minorities face problems, but if you really want to do so, provide a link to chat in the comments)

So, would it be considered racist to say “minority lives matter” in the US?

  • 4
    Considered racist by who? You may need to narrow it down to ask about the views of a specific group, or find someone who says it is or isn't racist and ask why they think that way.
    – Giter
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 14:29
  • @Giter anybody in the US Commented May 12, 2021 at 17:50
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    Asking if at least one person in a country would consider a phrase to be racist isn't really a question about politics, and would probably be a trivial 'yes' for anything remotely controversial.
    – Giter
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


Full disclosure, I am a white dude.

As a statement in a vacuum, no it would almost certainly not be considered racist per se.

"All lives matter," in a vacuum, is not a racist statement - it's a moral postulate.


If someone says, "Black lives matter," and you respond with "minority lives matter," then you're still performing the erasive, silencing act that "all lives matter" has come to represent: refuting a claim by attacking its syntax.

The problem is with the use case, not the wording - attacking the syntax is still an attempt to refute the claim.

For Black communities this is especially sharp because enforcement of "proper" rules of English and debate have a long history of being tools of discrimination in forms usch as literacy tests for voter registration, or more recently SAT scoring (I used to work for The Princeton Review as an SAT prep instructor).

Basically the rule is this: if someone opens a conversation with you by saying "Black lives matter," then the topic of conversation is Black lives. Any linguistic maneuvering to try and alter that scope is, necessarily, an attempt to deflect attention away from the issue the person who started the conversation came to discuss. Eliding racism is racism, so in that case it doesn't matter what words you use.

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    Depends on context. If you show up at a BLM rally with that exact sign? I'd say yes. If you showed up at another rally with that sign? I'd say no, but wouldn't be surprised if you caught flak for it from Black liberation folk. I would recommend focusing on signage that speaks to your ethnicity, experience, or issues of concern, and generally staying away from the "%n lives matter" construction. At this point it's been thoroughly turned into a minefield by the ALM crowd. Commented May 12, 2021 at 14:28
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    How about showing up on a white supremacy gathering with a MLM sign, is that considered "eliding racism is racism", so the owner of the sign is a racist?
    – r13
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 17:55
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    @r13 I'm not sure that you're asking the question in good faith, but in case you are: No. Insofar as a white supremacy gathering's thesis statement is "Only white lives matter" or something to that effect - overtly racist in its first principle - showing up with a sign that directly confronts that claim is anti-racist. Commented May 12, 2021 at 18:00
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    @r13 I'm having trouble parsing your question, but I suspect the answer is "no." Either way the question is closed now. Commented May 12, 2021 at 19:17
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    Thanks for your patience with me. For the record, I'm a doubter of the prevalent belief that "Racism is a one-way street". It runs both ways.
    – r13
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 19:37

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