Appendix to Vlog #11 – The Semiotics of #BlackLivesMatter vs #AllLivesMatter

Hey so this week’s vlog post is about semiotics and Roland Barthes’ theory about mythical signification applied to #BlackLivesMatter and the reactionary hashtag #AllLivesMatter. The video is below, but given some of the response I got, I figured it would be good to post an “appendix” of sorts with some links to other resources, particularly some of the ones I’ve been reading ahead of making this.

Because my video is neither intended nor equipped to make the case for #BlackLivesMatter, please check out the material below by people and organizations much better equipped materially and epistemically to make that case and also speak to objections to the ethical and social case BLM is making.


The following appendix is, to be honest, inadequate at best, to give a full picture of any one issue involved behind the topics I discuss in this video. BUT, hopefully they can provide some perspective if you want it, space for critical thought if you need it.

Black Lives Matter

On Systemic Racism

Context for Black Lives Matter,” Vi Hart, YouTube

Aren’t more white people than black people killed by police? Yes, but no.” Wesley Lowery, Washington Post

Seeing Through Police,” Mark Greif, N+1

Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination,” Marianne Bertrand, Sendhil Mullainathan, The National Bureau of Economic Research

The 12 key highlights from the DOJ’s scathing Ferguson report,” Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery, Washington Post

Blue Lives Matter,” Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic

On the Problems with #AllLivesMatter

What’s Wrong With ‘All Lives Matter’?”, George Yancey interviewing Judith Butler, New York Times

How Did “All Lives Matter” Come to Oppose “Black Lives Matter”? A Philosopher of Language Weighs In.” Ian Olasov, Slate


Photo: Black Lives Matter, Gerry Lauzon, CC-BY-2.0 (


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