The Black Lives Matter movement is now in full swing and some in the media cannot grasp the fact that the black community has come together on some level in an effort to get change in this country. Either from sheer ignorance or from complete disregard some of the conservative media see the Black Lives Matter call as some sort of stain on American progress. They have even come up with their own rebuttal to the movement, a slap in the face with “All Lives Matter.” Now for the record, Black people and the folks supporting this movement are not attempting to say that not all lives matter, or that somehow Black lives are suddenly superior. The premise behind the movement is just that we are concerned about our lives meaning something in this country.
The facts are startling. Every 18 hours in America a Black American is shot by police. The unemployment rate among Black Americans is twice that of White Americans. It is even to the point now that is our black women are getting the same treatment that for a time was directed almost solely toward Black men. This Summer at least 5 Black women were found dead in police custody. Those are the facts that have launched the Black Lives Matter movement.
Black Lives Matter began as way to protest against some injustices that were occurring all too often to Blacks. It was an awakening of sorts and started raising the consciousness among the community. The Black Lives Matter movement did something that the Civil Rights Movement could not and that’s due to the technology of today. It took social media organization and blended it with the old-school civil disobedience. Before with the Civil Rights Movement, you had the marches, sit-ins, confrontations with police and singular demonstrations. Technology has allowed a broader audience to get involved and the movement is able to gain traction through tweets and Facebook messages. The messages are able to reach people almost instantly and Black people could speak to and about things minute by minute, helping to grow the movement rapidly.
With the movement growing at such a fast pace and having such a profound effect on the youth and the older generation, it has helped to force authorities to acknowledge disproportionate police misconduct against Blacks and minorities. It also forced the same authority to look at the justice system in our country. There are ills in this country that have gone unnoticed by the powers that be but not by the people who wear the brunt of these injustices on their backs. The thing with the Black Lives Matter movement is that some people want to drive its narrative instead of facing the fact that our system is broken. They want to take away from the fact that blacks are far more mistreated than any other race on a consistent level.
The movement is structured in such a fashion that some are having a great deal of frustration trying to reel it in and find out how to guide the movement. However, that is not the agenda of the movement; it is not meant to be used as a political ploy for others to springboard off.
This movement has been building over the years since the Civil Rights Movement. When we look at the news, young men are killed, and their murderers are so easily acquitted. Cops are not even charged and when they do get charged, it’s almost like it is just an appeasement to the black community because they never are convicted. Trials have become jokes that cannot be taken seriously by those in the Black community anymore because we already know the outcome. The movement has been in the works for years, it just took off on a level that the mainstream could not keep up with.
The movement has now begun to face an assortment of challenges, as some in the conservative media would have you believe that the Black Lives Matter movement is comprised of hate group factions. They seem to think that because Blacks have the gumption to stand together and focus on a single view that this somehow makes them a threat to the rest of America. There are even prominent Black in positions of leadership who seem to denounce the movement. However, this would come from a place of misguided emotion because for so many years it has been the same message and the same outcome. Now that the Black community has adopted a different mantra and method, a few of the old leaders see this as some sort of mutiny. They are no longer able to take the reins of the message and massage it into the usual march or political comeuppance.
Past fights against the injustice that has plagued the Black community have put people in positions of power and allowed them certain comforts that made spearheading a real movement the second agenda. Nevertheless, the way the Black Lives Matter movement has taken off with a more youth driven infrastructure will not allow the past to repeat itself.
When the tea party was at it’s height there were cries of we want our country back. What brought on these cries? There was not any injustice that had befallen these folks or seeing the youth from their community shot down in the streets, it came from the fact that a lack man was elected president. But when the Black community comes out and says that, our lives matter we are vilified and cast as anarchist. This is why the movement has to continue because it is so easy to trivialize our conditions in this country and then be asked why you are mad? And what do you want?
Movements have their difficulties and there is no way to predict where this one is going and how it will end. The Civil Rights Movement had upsurges and mass demonstrations followed by periods of clam. People second-guessed it the same way they are now second-guessing the Black Lives Matter movement. In the end, the movement must and always has to be bigger than the individuals within the movement so that the message can stay the same. The fact that it’s become too acceptable for Blacks to be slaughtered like animals and harassed by police without any recourse by the justice system has to stay at the forefront of the minds of Americans. Yes, we know that all lives matter but right now our lives are what are important to the Black community.
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