Does one life Matter more than another? That is the question that many South Africans have been grappling with in light of the call for people to wear black on Monday 30 October in memory of all the farmers that have been murdered this year.

Chris Loubser, a farm manager on a well-known Franschoek farming estate, made an appeal for all South Africans to wear black to honor Conradie Joubert, who was murdered on a nearby farm. The video went viral and started being posted all over social media with the tags #BlackMonday and #SupportOurFarmers helping gather support.

While many South Africans felt like this was a great cause to get involved with, there was also substantial pushback from many who felt like many other murders were being overlooked on a regular basis and had the sense that this was related to the race of the people involved.

For example, South Africa has an average of 19,016 murders a year with a comparatively small number of 74 farmers making up that number.

All deaths matter vs. All lives matter

The response of those supporting #BlackMonday was to suggest that anyone having an issue with the March was doing a bit of an #AllLivesMatter on the movement.

When the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter started in the United States, it was quickly met with many white people posting #AllLivesMatter.

The point black people were trying to make though was that white lives have always mattered but black lives have often mattered less and thus needed a special tag to help draw concern.

When it comes to the #BlackMonday march though, it feels like just the opposite of that. No one is suggesting that the farm murders do not matter.

They were tragic and needed a response immediately.

But many people feel like the deaths that happen regularly in the townships or gangsterism attacks on the Cape Flats don't ever seem to get this kind of attention and so it feels as if they matter less.

How do we find each other?

I think the way forward is for us to be able to acknowledge that all murders are horrific and need to be acknowledged and mourned as communities and even collectively as a nation.

As we take a moment to pause for the farmers who have lost their lives and the trauma their families are facing, let us also pause to remember those who have lost lives in the townships, on the flats and in various other places around the country.

Let us commit to building relationships with people who do not look like us so that when these things happen, they do not polarise, but rather help bring us together.

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