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The Canadian Tenor, All Lives Matter, And People Who Just Don’t Get It

Most of us are still in the emotional aftershock of last week, a week that saw the deaths of two innocent Black men at the hands of local law enforcement, followed by a gun battle between police officers and an assailant alleged to have been a Black Nationalist.

Most of us are still in the emotional aftershock of last week, a week that saw the deaths of two innocent Black men at the hands of local law enforcement, followed by a gun battle between police officers and an assailant alleged to have been a Black Nationalist.

Earlier this week, America turned its eyes to the Major League Baseball All-Star game taking place in San Diego, California as a sort of a reprieve. As the group, The Tenors, marched out on the field, the crowd cheered out of respect and admiration for the multi-platinum selling quartet that would be singing the national anthem of our northern neighbors, O’ Canada – a neighbor who traditionally has been seen as accommodating and polite.

But what took place was neither accommodating or polite toward the memories of those who lost their lives in police encounters that would have otherwise been mundane and peaceful had the individuals not been black.

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O’ Canada can be sung in french or English. Neither of them mention anything about life or lives. So, imagine the looks on the faces of the three other group members, as well as the faces of those in the crowd who were familiar with the song, when Remigo Pereira sang; “We’re all brothers and sisters. All lives matter to the great,” instead of “With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free.”


And, just in case you didn’t hear his remix on the fly, Remigo held up a sign saying ‘All Lives Matter’ as well.


Saying Black Lives Matter is a declaration of Black humanity outside of the realm of politics and cable news shows. However, the All Lives Matter credo incorrectly supposes that Black Lives Matter is somehow saying ‘Black Lives Matter More Than Others’ when it is clearly not the case. The sheer narcissism and disingenuousness of the All Lives Matter crooner is bizarre to say the least.

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Realizing how bad a look this was, the rest of The Tenors took to Twitter to issue an apology for the actions of their rouge member.

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Remigo himself took to Twitter as well to justify his actions. 


“I’ve been so moved lately by the tragic loss of life and I hoped for a positive statement that would bring us ALL together. ONE LOVE,” he wrote on Twitter.

“That was my singular motivation when I said all lives matter,” he said.


This scenario is indicative of a phenomenon where those within an unaffected majority somehow see it as their duty to tell individuals within a disenfranchised minority what they feel is not racist or prejudicial.

Um, sorry Remigo, but you don’t get to do that.  If all lives truly mattered, nobody would ever have to say Black Lives Matter.

Starting his career as lead writer for EURweb.com back in 1998, Ricardo A Hazell has served as Senior Contributor with The Shadow League since coming to the company in 2013. His byline has appeared in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the South China Sea Morning Post, the Root and many other publications. At TSL he is charged with exploring black cultural angles where they intersect with the mainstream.