Staff Writer
Garden City Telegram

The two biggest lies being spread are these: All lives matter, and we are all in this together.

Some people gain some sort of comfort from saying them and believing they are true.

They say all lives matter because they don’t understand, believe or want to take the time to understand the Black Lives Matter movement.

Nobody is saying everyone’s life isn’t valuable, but not everyone’s life is treated equally. Black lives are the ones in trouble.

Black Lives Matter is about treating Black people as equals. If all people actually were treated as equal, if racism and hatred did not exist, there would be no need for people to protest the unjust and treatment of Black people.

That is not reality. Racism exists.

There are those who hate based on skin color, ethnicity, race, creed, religion and these days even differences of political opinions.

Those who hate are no longer living in the shadows, they walk amongst us, heads held up high and proud. They have a platform and are not afraid to use it.

Racism has always been around us. The great basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said racism is like dust, it’s always around us, but we don’t notice it until someone shines a light on it.

The light is now on racism and those who live it. It should wake up all of us to try and do better.

I received a note anonymously that echoed the perfect sentiment: “We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.”

We are all in the same box, so let’s respect one another.

The other lie is we are all in this together, and it is said in relation to the coronavirus, as in we are all working together in this fight against the virus.

Well, not all of us are fighting, at least not all of us are fighting on the same side.

All the credible scientists and health care professionals have said over and over again masks save lives and should be worn, and we need to follow all the other safety protocols.

However, there are those without scientific and medical authenticity, who claim masks don’t help, and those people do not follow health guidelines.

Sadly, people follow them because they do not want to wear a mask or they do not want to miss out on a family event or going to parties.

Every day my wife comes home from work at the hospital more stressed out than the last time she worked, and her story is being told millions of times over around the world by health care professionals. People are not taking care to avoid catching and spreading the virus.

People do not care. We are not all in this together. If we were all in this together, masks would be worn by everyone because we would want to keep our neighbors safe, and our neighbors would want to keep us safe. We would wear masks and follow health guidelines for our loved ones and for a family hundreds of miles away, and that family hundreds of miles away would wear masks for strangers another continent away.

That is not happening. It is not happening because our unity is fractured.

Like racism, the fracture has always been there to some degree, but it is now more noticeable.

This cannot be the best we can do. This cannot define us. We should all strive to be better, to really care about one another regardless of how we look and where are politics lands.

We are all crayons sharing the same box.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.