The BLM movement was triggered by the verdict of a judge who acquitted George Zimmerman of murdering Trayvon Martin in summer of 2013. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, three women among the huge numbers of outraged citizens, reacted by circulating #BlackLivesMatter on social media. Suddenly the ignorant, post –racism, egalitarian façade that America had adopted and obstinately perpetuated was shattered as a race who endure daily injustices united and demanded equality in a social movement that will be historical. Sounds rather beautiful, doesn’t it? Trust Americans to turn into an attack on white people.
The Black Lives Matter movement has actually been criticised for being racist. Yes, you heard right. Their slogan was deemed anti-white and instead, people have started insisting that it should instead be replaced with ‘All Lives Matter’. Evidently, there is both a lack of education and sensitivity to this counter argument. History taught in American schools is censored, omitting its atrocities. America’s racial relations has eternally been under strain and presently in the 21st century, white, middle-class people take it for granted that African Americans have equivalent rights as them and with the emergence of a movement exclusively promoting the equality for a race that has long been denied, they are affronted. By supporting All Lives Matter, you are participating in the oppression of people of colour. This is because throughout American history, it is has been glaringly apparent that black welfare has been neglected and purposefully disregarded. BLM is not a movement that is intent on imposing black power that will effectively persecute white people. It is about finally attaining equality and pleading America to end the senseless, brutal murder of innocent black lives that are committed by police due to racial profiling. The excessive force employed by police against people of colour is a gross misconduct that if often overlooked (Mic, The Guardian, AOL and The Huffington Post provide some startling figures).
Secondly, the constant comparison of BLM with the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King is tiring. The civil rights movement doubtlessly had a major impact on African American rights and participating protestors conducted themselves with the utmost sophistication and dignity, however, these movements are both occurring in different time periods and have embraced less traditional methods. We need to stop pitting them against each other, that’s not the point. BLM is a modern social movement that is and has never been in conjunction with the church. This idea that BLM protestors need to wear their ‘Sunday best’ and act with decorum and grace is out-dated. For a movement unrelated to a church, why would they want to signify religion? Why should they wear things they don’t normally wear even if it consists of saggy trousers? Isn’t this the point of countering racial profiling? Who cares what you wear, you should be considered on equal grounds as white Americans. African- Americans have the right to express themselves too. Additionally, BLM has far more intersectionality, supporting queer and trans-African Americans in ways that the civil rights movement never did. They have a group leadership and are far more inclusive to black women some of whom ignited the social movement. The civil rights movement was, of course, paramount to the procurement of some rights but where times have changed, progressiveness is vital. There have been incidents that have tainted the movement’s intentions and that republican politicians exploit in order to denote BLM but they have been carried out by a small group of individuals of their own accord rather than being sanctioned by Black Lives Matter themselves. You shouldn’t let them cloud your judgement. Where the BLM movement has caused disruption, it is only a tactic for attention because the world wouldn’t take them seriously if they protested politely against such extreme savagery against their own people. The Black Lives Matter and the Civil Rights Movement shouldn’t be compared, they are both accustomed to their own times and circumstances. Instead, we should rejoice in the continuation of a movement who are demanding that African Americans be unencumbered by racism and the loss of a black life be taken as seriously as the death of a white man.