What You Need to Know About the Black Lives Matter Movement
BY: Samiha Mozammel
In the days after the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a Minneapolis police officer, the world has seen a vast amount of protests demanding that the officers responsible for his killing be held accountable for their actions. All 50 states in the USA saw protests in the weeks following Floyd’s death, and the demand for justice reached far and wide as Black Lives Matter protests were reaching cities around the world, like Berlin, Paris, London, Sydney, and Toronto.
The four officers responsible for Floyd’s murder were arrested, but protests are still happening and they do not seem to be dying down. As the Black Lives Matter movement gains the public spotlight, here are the things you need to know.
Black Lives Matter is an international human rights movement. It began on social media with the hashtag of the same name after George Zimmerman, a man who fatally shot teenager Trayvon Martin in his Florida community, was acquitted of all charges regarding this case. Black Lives Matter gained national recognition for their public protests in the year 2014 after the death of two other African-Americans, Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Since then, the Black Lives Matter movement has gone worldwide in hopes to change and get rid of the roots of racism and violence against black people.
Black Lives Matter speaks out against police brutality. A notable case of police brutality against African-Americans is that of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was shot fatally by a Cleveland Police officer after he spotted Rice holding a toy gun. This case has been said to spark the movement.
Black Lives Matter does not mean all lives don’t. A common rebuttal to the Black Lives Matter movement is the phrase “all lives matter”. Black Lives Matter does not mean that all lives do not matter, but it means that black lives have mattered less than those of other races today and in the past. Black Lives Matter is not a movement pushing for racial superiority, but is a movement that fights for racial equality.
Black Lives Matter benefits everyone. Black Lives Matter pushes for equality. They call for an end to police brutality and racial discrimination. Many races have benefited from the laws that African-American people have fought for. For example, people of colour have benefited from the Civil Rights Movement; a movement that African-Americans were at the front of.
Historically, black people have been fighting for basic rights that not only benefited them, but benefited coloured and immigrant communities as well.
As protests continue to take place, it is important to understand why they are happening, and what the message behind each movement is. Black Lives Matter has fought and will continue to fight for an end to police brutality and equality between races until a solution is delivered. This movement pushes for permanent change in the foundations of what the United States and Canada were built on, as a broken foundation will never hold a fair, stable society.
*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.
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