African American’s have always had a long history with America, but yet, they continued to find ways to be resilient to end institutionalized racism within the United States. Race targeting has been an ongoing challenge for many decades, but as of lately, the excessive volume of violence against blacks have triggered a social stir creating another movement to end the Black injustice called the Black Lives Matter Movement, also known as BLM for short. Black Lives Matter is about the unlawful deaths of women and men of color who have died at the hands of police and the law. That is only one of the many aspects that birthed that statement. Although civil rights movements are not a new concept to our American history, the Black Lives Matter movement remains to fight against the wrongs and inequalities on Black Americans and those who continue to be disregarded and oppressed by the law. Black Lives Matter exposes the injustices suffered by communities of color.
To begin, race is what divides our nation. Our nation was brought upon by a white society that created “race” as a way to categorize those who were deemed “inferior.” Anyone that wasn’t Caucasian, including Natives, African Americans, Asians, Latinos, and much more, could be treated poorly and disregarded because they were different. Laws and rules were written to side with the “superior” race. If anything, race was another approach to disregard Black individuals and other people of color their rights and powers they deserved. Race allowed injustices and inequalities to occur, hence, race continues to “be an issue” as the white radical frame stayed for centuries to create racial inequality (Lane, 805). Many people don’t know the harsh true as to why race was created. These are things we don’t learn in school. These are underlying factors that create more systemic racism within our nation.
We don’t learn enough about the truth about race and how it truly affects the lives of others. Let alone, our textbooks do not tell students the hard history of African Americans. Our textbooks only show so much about black history because those in charge of our education system in states get to select what should be taught (COININTELPRO, 2). This is why there is a clear absence of American history when it comes to the many diverse cultures and different social justice movements in the United States. In the United States, race and racism are subjects that are heavily studied on within this country, but it is the least understood subject (Ted, 2016). Race and racism have become such a difficult and sensitive topic to speak about, it makes it hard for people to admit it’s a real issue.
The issue with police brutality is nothing new to America, especially police brutality against African Americans in the United States. But with the recent slayings and killings of black folks by police officers in America, the conversation of police brutality has been a ridiculously scorching topic. Due to the numerous amounts of killings of black people, there have been several demonstrations and riots against those police officers who were not prosecuted for killing those vulnerable, innocent African American individuals. In the case of Trayvon Martin, the nation experienced many emotions. Trayvon Martin was just a 17-year-old teenager who was gunned down on the way to a local gas station. His killer, George Zimmerman, a man who was a neighborhood watchman, killed the innocent teenager for no reason. The police told George Zimmerman to not to pursue Martin, he still did and managed to killed Martin. Not only did he kill Trayvon Martin, but he was acquitted of murder of the 17-year-old boy (Lane, 791). This birthed the Black Lives Matter Movement and spurred demonstrations across America to end police brutality against Black folks.
The idea of the Black Lives Matter movement became larger than life. Incident after incident since Trayvon Martin’s horrific death, violence against Black Americans continued. We hear and know the names of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, and many more individuals whose lives were taken away too quickly due to the hands of our law enforcement. Therefore, the best way to spread awareness and to humanize black lives is to be political in our current society. Black lives matter just as much as any life. That phrase is used and supported by many because our nation continues to ignore the fact that Black lives are systematically oppressed.
We continue to live in a society that still desires its whiteness, but in a more “sugar-coated” form, as folks are still fighting to gain the same rights and liberties as those who are given the privileges without having to do anything but be white. Because of these stereotypes, these injustices, and these issues not being resolved correctly and responsibly, people of all races, genders, classes, and ages are forced to mobilize together to help fight the complex realities this nation still holds. These particular times embarked a new meaning of freedom of movement. Although we have conquered and face many difficulties to get where we are today to gain and earn the respect and justice we need, to separate race, class, and gender, will always be a difficult task, as many people will continue to face oppression. If all lives mattered, then nobody would continue this hard to ask for justice, but when the day African American lives are given the same rights and value of lives as other in America, then, all lives will start to matter. But not all lives matter, that’s why “race” is a thing. When some raise the false equivalence of “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter” to push back against Black Lives Matter, they ignore all of this. Whether through willful or actual ignorance of history and reality does not matter.