Stop killing us. This is what the millions of people across the country were shouting in hopes of getting their voices heard. #BlackLivesMatter trended on twitter in the peak highlight moments of this movement. The Black Lives matter movement started in the wake of the violence and systematic racism against people of color. This organization works directly to create ¨a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise¨. In 2016, a protest to our protest was formed. They called it “All Lives Matter” in such a way that implied that BLM was discrediting the fact that every human life is equally as valuable as any other. The play on words implies that these counter protesters believe that BLM protesters are dismissing the importance of everyone’s lives. The matter of the case is that the BLM movement was formed to raise awareness about a specific cause. There is no comparison needed in these cicumstances just like there is no need to compare cancer awareness. No one is protesting against breast cancer awareness because it´s not ´inclusive of all cancer types.´ Their highlighted non-discriminatory mission statement ¨affirm[s] the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum.¨ Not only are they working to fight for African American protection, they are also very inclusive of who they want to protect. The black Lives Matter movement wasn´t made to say that ONLY black lives matter but to call attention to the hundreds of Africans Americans that are being wrongfully murder everyday in this country.
The founders of BLM movement have been working since 2013 to bring social justice to people of color in America. This organization was especially enlarged in the wake of people being “enraged by the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer.” In a shocking turn of events, their biggest opposers were noticed by media. The goals of BLM organization were hindered by counter movements such as ¨All Lives Matter¨ and ¨Blue Lives Matter¨.
It is no mystery that African Americans are disprotionatlly killed more by police officers than any other race for any age group. Organizations like ¨Black Lives Matter are largely focused on the police use of lethal force on unarmed blacks.¨ The graph and chart below display this claim in comparison to other races/ages. According to the Washington Post, there have been 199 African Americans shot by police in 2018. Dating all the way to 1968, this graph shows us that African American under the age of 25 are more trageted that anyone else. ¨While the number of unarmed Blacks killed by police dropped by half between 2015 and 2016¨, it didn´t seem to continue that trend in 2018. The Police force is to have the training and skill to resolve issues with a non-cooperative or fleeing citizen by means other than lethal force. This is not to say that rebellious citizens shouldn´t face consequences, but this should be a matter of whether they will keep their life or not. Most people have, and for good reason, overlooked ¨Blue Lives Matter¨. 99% of cases involving an officer have resulted in no conviction of the officer. In modren society, you can be both Pro-black and pro-police. The pro-police crusade calls out violence against Officers. After the killing of 2 police officers by rioters in the BLM protest, Blue Lives Matter was an established cause that caught massive media and global attention. In response to this, New york was quick to pass a ¨a law that makes offenses against police and first responders a hate crime.¨ The reason that BLM is such an outrage is because even after all the years of attempting to get their voices heard, there is no law that was passed to the equivilant of this.
Taking closer look at ¨All Lives Matter¨, I think it is important to consider that the intentions of the BLM movement were twisted. The word ¨matter¨ was recieved wrongly on the end of counter protesters. It was interperted as others saying ¨black live matter MORE¨. What they believe (that BLM is a malicious force trying to bring forth black superiority) is nowhere close to the values of the founders of BLM. The All Live Matter movement is a key component in understanding that majority of American still don´t value the given right of life and liberty for everyone. Their ¨all lives¨ is every life except those of African Americans.
The benefits of these counter arguments are the media exposure they brought and hence, the extra outrage from people that were silent before. As soon as the All Lives Matter movement caught some attention, it was evident that Black Lives Matter was aslo put back under the spotlight of media platforms. After being noticed by many celebrities, there was lot of hate against this group. The sudden reincarnation of the BLM movement was gaining more and more support. This may not mean very much though. Even with all the newly found attention and backing, law makers are in no rush to make change happen. There have been no drastic reforms in favor of BLM. Although change isn´t happening quickly or efficiently, Black Lives Matter organizers have driven ¨police departments (in locales of protest or distant police departments wanting to avoid the same lethal errors) to adopt new policies seek out new training, or more widely distribute less lethal tools like Tasers.¨
The hard work that has been put in to make BLM effective shouldn´t be overlooked. It is time for Americans to come to an understanding that everyone is equal. The efforts of this organization should not only be praised but also given further attention and work. With passion and ethic like this, we may be well on our way to a brighter future for all.
- Kramer, R., Remster, B., & Charles, C. (2017, November 08). Black lives and police tactics matter. Retrieved December 5, 2018, from http://www.asanet.org/news-events/asa-news/black-lives-and-police-tactics-matter
- Lee, T. (2016, August 1). Black Lives Matter Releases Policy Agenda. Retrieved December 5, 2018, from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/black-lives-matter-releases-policy-agenda-n620966
- Males, M. (2014, August 26). Who Are Police Killing? – Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. Retrieved December 5, 2018, from http://www.cjcj.org/news/8113
- Meyerson, C. (2017, May 24). The Case Against ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Bills. Retrieved December 5, 2018, from https://www.thenation.com/article/case-blue-lives-matter-bills/
- Pages, T. S. (2018, August 24). POLICE KILLING OF BLACKS: Data for 2015, 2016, 2017, and first half of 2018 – Sociology Toolbox. Retrieved December 5, 2018, from https://thesocietypages.org/toolbox/police-killing-of-blacks/