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Lee Rigby’s Mum Sends Message To Those Using His Image Against Black Lives Matter

by : Emily Brown on : 04 Jun 2020 14:11
Lee Rigby's Mum Sends Message To Those Using His Image Against Black Lives MatterLee Rigby's Mum Sends Message To Those Using His Image Against Black Lives MatterThe Lee Rigby Foundation/Facebook/PA

The mother of soldier Lee Rigby has opposed people using his image to argue against the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Rigby served as a soldier in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, and lost his life aged 25 to two men in a terrorist attack.

The crime took place in 2013, just 200 yards away from Rigby’s Army barracks in Woolwich, southeast London. His attackers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, are now both serving life sentences.

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Mourners at Lee Rigby's barracksMourners at Lee Rigby's barracksPA Images

Over the past week, protests have been taking place across the globe to demand justice for George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck.

For years, activists have used the phrase Black Lives Matter to highlight injustice towards black people, but some members of the public are hitting back with the argument that ‘all lives matter’, using Rigby’s picture to support their views.

Rigby’s mother, Lyn, condemned the use of her son’s image in a post on The Lee Rigby Foundation’s Facebook page, the charity she and her husband set up in Rigby’s name.

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Please share xx#leerigbyfoundation #leerigbyfoundationwebsite

Posted by The Lee Rigby Foundation on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Lyn said the family were aware the image was being used in a ‘divisive way to fuel arguments against the Black Lives Matter movement’, which is the ‘complete opposition’ of what Rigby stood for.

She wrote:

Lee proudly served his country to protect the rights and freedoms of all members of this great melting pot of a nation. Seeing his image used to cause hate of any kind, especially for those exercising their freedoms in protest against this issue, hurts.

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Lyn went on to say the family found the use of Rigby’s image ‘extremely heartbreaking and distressing’ and asked people to stop using his image, as he was ‘a lover of all humanity’.

The post continued:

Seeing such use of his name harms not only his family but his legacy and memory.

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Many people have condemned the phrase ‘all lives matter’, arguing that to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ does not mean the lives of non-black people don’t. The phrase is simply used to draw attention to the unjust treatment faced by black people every day.

A number of social media users have tried to explain the premise with a metaphor, pointing out that if one house was on fire, you wouldn’t say ‘all houses matter’ and spray water on an unaffected building. You’d focus on the house in trouble, because that’s the one that needs help.

In the same way, the focus needs to be on the black community, because they are the ones consistently suffering, and in need of allies, support and change.

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Rigby’s death is undoubtedly tragic; there’s no arguing that. However, his death should not be used to draw attention away from the fact that black people are losing their lives to police officers, people who should be helping communities rather than hurting them.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Black Lives Matter, George Floyd, Lee Rigby, Now, Protest, Racism

Credits

The Lee Rigby Foundation/Facebook
  1. The Lee Rigby Foundation/Facebook

    @theleerigbyfoundation