Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Five police officers in Dallas, Texas. Anyone who has been following the news since last week is familiar with those names, with those individuals, with the reason why we have been discussing them, and especially why the Black Lives Matter movement has been an important part of this discussion.
One name that we didn’t expect (or need or want) to be inserted into this discussion is that of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
During an interview he had with FOX News last week, Huckabee claimed that “more White people had been shot by police officers this past year than minorities.” Going off data that had been compiled by the Washington Post, data which stated that “…of the 990 people shot in 2015, 948 people were male, 494 were White, and 258 were Black.” However, as the Post pointed out, when taking into consideration where all of these shootings occurred, the data told a different story…
“Over the past year, the Post found that the vast majority of those shot and killed by police were armed and half of them were White. Still, police killed Blacks at three times the rate of Whites when adjusted for the populations where these shootings occurred. And although Black men represent 6 percent of the U.S. population, they made up nearly 40 percent of those who were killed while unarmed.”
When The Post spoke to Huckabee about his inaccurate usage of their data, he (via his spokesperson) responded with: “It’s not me that needs to be ‘fact checked.’ It’s The Post - I only said exactly what YOU reported. My comments were 100% factual. The pure facts also reveal that 94% of those killed by police are men, so by your ‘proportional’ standards, the real movement in America should be ‘Male Lives Matter.’”
“Male Lives Matter.” Uh…huh.
Let’s give Huckabee and/or his spokesperson the benefit of the doubt for just a brief moment and assume that “Male Lives Matter” was just a poor attempt at sarcasm and is not exactly something that even he believes in. That this was just something he spit out at the heat of the moment to get the Washington Post off of his back.
On the other hand, considering that Mike Huckabee attempted to shame a pregnant and unmarried Natalie Portman by saying, “It’s unfortunate we glorify and glamorize the idea of out-of-wedlock children,” started a Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day in defense of the CEO of Chick Fil-A against “vicious hate speech and intolerable bigotry” for speaking out against gay marriage, accused Jay-Z of “crossing the line from husband to pimp by exploiting his wife as a sex object” while also stating that Beyoncé “can sing and is a terrific dancer - without the explicit moves best left for the privacy of the bedroom,” and also excused his then-17-year-old son and his friend for killing a dog by hanging it to death while at a Boy Scout camp by saying that the dog was mangy, in poor health, and was simply being put out of its misery. Him saying that Male Lives Matter is not the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth stupid thing to ever come out of the mouth of Mike Huckabee, so maybe we shouldn’t be all that surprised that he would say something this stupid to help boost the egos of Men’s Rights Activists everywhere.
And considering how much we men have to deal with, especially when it comes to being incredibly well-paid in the workplace, three-dimensional characterization and representation in the media that we create and expose the world to, not having to deal with misogynistic trolls on the Internet because we are the misogynistic trolls on the Internet, not being sent home by our teachers and principals for violating the dress code by wearing clothes that could distract our fellow students as well as our teachers, not having to worry about sexual harassment or street harassment or the possibility of being raped and murdered if we choose not to respond to street harassment because we’re too busy inflicting all of that on both women and young girls, and having the biggest thing that we complain about in the year 2016 be four women appearing in a reboot of the flawless comedic masterpiece that is Ghostbusters …
…yes, it’s about time that we remind the rest of the world that Male Lives Matter. And that we keep saying it loudly and constantly so that they never forget.
Thank you, Mike Huckabee, for helping give men the voice they need to speak up and speak out.