What is Black Lives Matter? What does it mean and what is it about? Today we’re going to answer these questions.
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is a grassroots campaign to try and fix the problem of police unjustly killing black people in America. It began in earnest in 2014 after Michael Brown, a black teen, was killed in Ferguson, Missouri, by police. He was unarmed at the time, and his death sparked outrage across America because it was so blatantly unlawful – giving rise to a movement that was born from the minds of three people: Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors.
Today we’re further going to look at what Black Lives Matter is; please share with friends if useful.
What Is Black Lives Matter About, And How Did It Gain Momentum?
Since Michael Brown’s death, over 140 unarmed black people have been killed by police. With every new report of a police shooting, Black Lives Matter has added fuel to their message, and with protests sparking across the country, their members have grown as fast as the unrest and disappointment.
It’s important to note that Black Lives matter is a good thing. It’s not a movement created to suppress any race’s voice – it’s meant to draw attention to a race that has historically faced the kinds of hardships no one should have to go through; which continue today.
Black Lives Matter In History
Black Lives Matter recalls, in part, the Black Power Movement of the 60s and 70s. The Black Power movement was much more radical and aggressive in terms of promoting protests and violence – because it had to be; at the time white supremacy and racism were obvious, rampant issues in everyday America that needed an even more hostile response.
Black Lives Matter though is a movement born from a more subtle kind of racism – something that can be passed off as “just the way things are”. Black Lives Matter wants to tackle problems like systemic injustice and implicit bias, mostly from police but also in the legal system, because it’s a rapidly growing problem.
Basically, America is in the midst of a second Civil Rights movement. This may seem like a strange claim to make, because a lot of people associate Civil Rights with Martin Luther King Jr, segregation and Jim Crow. They’re concepts that seem radical to us in today’s society given that many people believe they live side by side with African Americans. But you have to remember that when Martin Luther King Jr was leading protests and campaigning for black people during the 60s, most people were not supportive of him and his message.
Separating Fact From Fiction
Black Lives Matter is simply a clever slogan to cover everything that is going on beneath the term – it’s not a proclamation that means “black people are more important than any other race”, it’s saying that right now, in the American (as well as global) climate, black lives are not considered as important as white lives.
There are plenty of articles on the internet – available with a quick google search of “Black Lives Matter stats” – that have set out to debunk and point out the apparent lies that BLM puts forth. You’re free to make up your own opinions about them, but it’s also important to consider why people are going through so much trouble to write the articles in the first place. If you feel uncomfortable with the ideas that BLM believes in, think about why that is. Often, these feelings are totally subconscious and simply a product of society’s warped idea of who is important and who is not.
It’s tough to make a call on what is true and what isn’t, because both sides of the debate – police and the larger black community in America, have their points, and there are radical views on both sides that don’t help either party. Take, for example, the counter-movements to BLM: All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter. While certainly some people mean well by the ideas, saying “all lives matter” in a society where it’s (unfortunately) obvious that isn’t the case is somewhat redundant, and muddles the overall cause of Black Lives Matter. It just gives rise to the idea that Black Lives Matter is trying to promote black lives above all the other races. It’s not, it’s saying all lives are equal.