Black Lives Matter

How Black Lives Matter hash-tag (#BlackLivesMatter) came into Existence:

  • Black Lives Matter hash-tag (#BlackLivesMatter) came into existence after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager killed in Florida in July 2013; Three Black organizers, Alicia Garza, Patrice Cullors and Opal Tomsett, were discussing on Facebook the acquittal of a man who killed Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old black teenager in Florida. “Our Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter,” Ms. Garza wrote on Facebook. Ms. Cullors replied: “#BlackLivesMatter”. Ms. Tometi joined in and the hashtag spread its digital wing. All three founders are women, Ms. Garza, and Ms. Cullors’ identity as queer. They say their motto is also to touch black people who are marginalized by African American politics itself. The BLM website says its “mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on black communities by the state and vigilantes”.
  • The hash-tag became more widely known and popularized after two high-profile deaths in 2014 of unarmed African-American men (Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY and Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO). On August 15—almost a full week after Michael Brown was shot—the police department released the name of the officer who allegedly shot him.

How Black Lives Matter Movement Started:

  • Black Lives Matter is a movement “whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy”.
  • Black Lives Matter is an activist movement which began as a hash-tag (#BlackLivesMatter) in July 2013, On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black teenager who was about to start college, was allegedly shot multiple times and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Following the shooting, hundreds of people gathered at the scene of the shooting to organize vigils to remember Michael Brown as well as a protest to demand answers as to why he was shot.
  • There are a larger context and history of African American men and boys who were killed at the hands of the police, many of whom, like George Floyd (2020), was unarmed. Since 2014, other high-profile deaths include Tamir Rice (2014), Laquan McDonald (2014), John Crawford (2014) Freddie Gray (2015), Walter Scott (2015), Alton Sterling (2016), Philando Castile (2016), Terence Crutcher (2016), Antwon Rose (2018) and others.
  • Black women and girls are also targets of police violence, a reality that sparked the “Say Her Name” movement to highlight how this violence often goes unnoticed. Women who have died as a result of police interactions include Sandra Bland (2015), Deborah Danner (2016), Atatiana Jefferson (2019), and Breonna Taylor (2020).

Why Black Lives Matter Movement Required:

  • Project 1619 (400 years ago) was buying 20 workers as slaves to work, these are black African slaves. The United States has a law to purchase or buy laborers for work (more black slaves). Make them work from farms to industries. And 1662 Virginia law states of hereditary slavery. That means the child of the mother slave will be counted as a slave. Declaration of Independence states about equality but not for black slaves.
  • The only race of people brought to the US as slaves. They were bought and sold like a commodity, not valued for being human but for the work we produced. The Constitution of the United States defined us as three-fifths of a person. Not only were we enslaved, but educating a slave was against the law. We could not own land and we could not vote.
  • Evolution of Movement against slavery came into existence in 1865 and after years of fight 1960 black African Americans got their right to equality. But still, a large number of white people are having the same thought for them. From the last 40 years, these black African Americans got their space, equality according to the law but not practically. Most of the black people are treated the same as slaves and not equal. The reason behind this are unemployment, Housing issues, less Income, fewer health care facilities, less political representation and special one is less education.
  • The 36 million blacks in the U.S. are mostly descendants of around 400,000 African slaves brought to land by British colonizers. Started to control slave riots, racism is foundational to policing in the U.S.  In 2019, the police killed 1,004 people — 376 of them white, 236, black. African Americans are 13% of the population, but they are a quarter of those who die in police shootings. Only in 127 cases, the officers were known to have body cameras. Chauvin had 18 complaints against him but never faced action — police rarely face the consequence.

How George Floyd case relates to Black Lives Matter Movement:

  • The death of 46-year-old African American George Floyd choking under the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25 triggered waves of protests that continue to wash over the U.S.
  • George Floyd, an African American man, was killed On May 25, 2020, while being arrested by the police. A video recording of the incident showed that a white police officer pinned Floyd to the ground while he was handcuffed. The police officer’s knee pressed into the back of Floyd’s neck and was pinned down for eight minutes and 46 seconds, even after Floyd lost consciousness. In the video, Floyd was heard saying, “Please, I can’t breathe. My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. … (I need) water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. … I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.” In a statement, the Minneapolis Police Department said that officers had responded to a call about a man suspected of forgery. 
  • The incident was shared widely on social media. This directed community and national outrage, an F.B.I. civil rights investigation and the firing of the officer, Derek Chauvin, and three other officers who were also at the scene. On May 29, Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. On June 3, the charges against Chauvin were upgraded to second-degree murder and the three other officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder.

How Racial Bias relates to Movement:

  • These protests are focusing on Black Lives Matter, racial injustice in the criminal justice system, and countering systemic racism in society at large. Black Lives Matter is an activist movement which began when White civilian George Zimmerman was acquitted for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin, when he encountered the African American teenager who was walking to his relatives’ home. Despite having video recordings of many of these deaths, it is very rare for police officers to get arrested, prosecuted or convicted for excessive use of force. This perceived lack of accountability has led to a public outcry for justice. This movement is to acknowledge that African Americans are often targeted unfairly (witness the number of African Americans accosted daily for no reason.
  • This protest is about the racial bias of government, police even jurisdiction.  Let’s talk about some facts as according to people who support this movement says that police are bias towards black people as they are more killed more as compare to white people, According to the ratio of white people and black people population. To which People who is in oppose say blacks committing crimes more than the reason for getting jail or killed more. And in the response to that people in favor of Black lives Matter says the higher population of behind the bars and death is because of the wrongful conviction and ratio of releasing people because they found innocent is much more. This Racial basis is Systematic, it’s because of the population of black are not educated, had facilities like housing, healthcare, less income.
  • Racism is defined as: “the marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people.”  Racism shows up in all aspects of our lives and society: in interpersonal communication, through discriminatory policies and practices, in biased language, and in our laws and institutions (e.g., education, media, employment, government, and the criminal justice system). 

The objective of the Black Lives Matter Movement:

  • Ms. Tometi told the New Yorker in an interview this week: “We want a divestment from the police and investment in black communities. We are demanding immediate relief for our communities. We want community control.” BLM identifies itself as a human rights movement more than a civil rights one.
  • The Black Lives Matter (BLM), a movement for racial justice that many thoughts had begun to ebb after its dramatic rise since 2013. Black Lives Matter is against racism and systemic injustices against the Black community, and it works for equality for everyone.
  • The BLM website says that the movement is committed “to imagining and creating a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive”.

Things against Black Lives Matter Movement:

  • ‘White Lives Matter’ or ‘All Lives Matter’ reactions miss the point because the Black Lives Matter movement is not about denigrating the worth of other ethnic groups; it is about highlighting a specific problem.
  • They are trying to fight racism by using the word black which in its self is selecting an ethnic group of people who fit into that category and isolating them from anyone else! It’s making it sound like only black people suffer racism and no matter how many people of any color who riot, loot, and attack under that banner, it will be blamed on black people.
  • The protest started as a non-violence movement but turned out to be violent at many places and because of a few people and groups, it got miss-lead from what it all about. The violence took place people started fighting, doing the robbery, and making harm to public property and people.

Conclusion:

  • George’s Floyd’s murder in May 2020 by the police, raise the protests and blow up across the United States. In a recent poll, 74% of Americans said they support the protests that have taken place since Floyd’s killing. The impact of the protests is already evident in several cities where steps are being taken toward a broader set of law enforcement reforms.
  • Saying that Black Lives Matter doesn’t mean that other lives are valued less, it just means that there is a group of people who for years have been undervalued and exploited and its time we stop. If there was an epidemic of elderly people in nursing homes being abused in Louisiana and we put up a sign on our church that said “Senior Citizens Matter” it doesn’t mean that we don’t think children matter.
  • In the end, Social justice does find its roots in good theology. In this regard, I would maintain that it is precise because all lives matter to God that we should currently join the chorus and boldly assert, “Black lives matter!” We need to admit that cops need to attend to the violent elements to society, as such, they need to be funded, but don’t need them to get violent themselves, especially not over a fake currency (twenty-dollar bill), not over a kid with a plastic gun, and not to respond to people sleeping in their beds, with a hail of gunfire on a no-knock warrant.

Author: Soniya