Keep Politics Out of It

What not taking a stand says about you and your business

Diane Aoki
8 min readJun 6, 2020


Photo Credit: Patricia Rae on iPhone Academy Facebook Page

Show of Support for Black Lives Matter

I get a lot of email. I am on various lists that reflect my interests and politics. Of course, all my political groups were quick to send out denunciation messages concerning the George Floyd and other recent racist occurrences. Because I am a liberal, thatʻs not surprising. What I didnʻt expect was so many of my other interest groups that I would consider a-political, were also sending me messages. I wondered what it said about the groups who hadnʻt.

For example:

When the protests started last week a “radical” (in air quotes on purpose) post appeared on a Facebook group I belong to, iPhone Photography Academy. The radical post was — a photo of the phrase Black Lives Matter scrawled on the sidewalk in blue chalk (above). Of course, there had to be someone (actually two) who had to reply: All Lives Matter. I felt compelled to educate — “If all lives matter, then black lives should matter TOO!”

She called me a racist. Yes, I guess that is the way they “think” (also air quotes). Identifying race is racist. I appealed to her to have empathy, to live in their skin. She replied: “Then why do we have to point out black lives?”

I was not the only one trying to educate this woman, she was definitely in the minority but hung on to her view like white on rice. (Sorry — not sorry — for weak idiom, but couldnʻt resist.) Samples from the thread:

“Youʻre part of the problem, unfortunately.”

“I think the overall consensus would agree that your oblivious demeanor and failure to comprehend the real issue at hand … our black brothers and sisters are not treated with the same respect and dignity as you.”

“… saying “All lives matter” as a response to “black lives matter” is like saying the fire dept. should spray down all the houses in the neighborhood even though only one house is on fire… because all houses matter. Yes, your house matters too, but your house is not on fire. ”

There were other commenters who had to tell us to not talk about politics on this forum, asking for the administrators to intervene. Soon…



Diane Aoki

Playwright, essayist, teacher, artist, songwriter, poet. Creativity Activist. Learn more: