By Shawn Rice
A protestor seen in a photograph holding an “All Holidays Matter” sign next to another man with a sign reading “We must stop the war on Christmas” is a hoax. Rather, an image was altered to show two protestors holding signs reading “We must stop the war on Christmas” and “All holidays matter.”
Where did this hoax originate? Entering the holiday season in 2017, an old image allegedly showing two men involved in the War on Christmas with protest signs appeared once again on social media.
The idea of a “War on Christmas” has turned things like holiday greetings and decorations into potentially divisive political statements. People who believe Christmas is under attack point to inclusive phrases like “Happy Holidays” as (liberal) insults to Christianity. For over a decade, these debates have taken place mainly on conservative talk radio and cable programs.
While the photograph is real to the extent it does show two men holding signs, Snopes reported that the slogans have been altered from their original content.
The “All holidays matter” sign is a play on “all lives matter,” which is a slogan arising out of a reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement. The original photograph the above digital manipulation was based on was taken during a 2014 protest against police violence.
The original image was taken in Los Angeles in 2014, when hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the death of Ezell Ford, who was killed by Los Angeles Police Department officers.
A crowd of nearly a thousand gathered outside the headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on Sunday, August 17, 2014 to express their outrage the excessive use of deadly force against an unarmed citizen population.
Snopes further noted that a second image of the protesters was taken by Robert Stuart Lowden of Los Angeles Indymedia. The doctored image was posted by the Facebook group “Speak for Yourself” on Dec. 3, 2016, along with the message: “it’s that time of year… #AllHolidaysMatter.”
The Black Lives Matter Global Network is a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission is to build local power and to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. The movement is a collective of liberators who believe in an inclusive and spacious movement. The movement also believes that in order to win and bring as many people within its organization along the way, members must move beyond the narrow nationalism that is all too prevalent in black communities. The movement is seeking to bring all of people to the front.
What did you think of the hoax showing a protester holding an “All Holidays Matter” sign? Did you believe the hoax or see people sharing it falsely on social media? Let us know in the comments section.
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