Black Lives Matter
‘Black Lives Matter’ is an ideological tendency that aims at confronting the persistent discrimination against Black people by security personnel. Whenever reference is made to this phrase, three issues that characterize social cohesiveness in the U.S. emerge: race, minorities, and equality. Race simply refers to a group of people with similar physical characteristics, such as the Hispanics, Whites, or Blacks. On the other hand, minorities are the people belonging to small races that differ from others in religion, language, or political persuasion. Lastly, equality refers to the principle of similar enjoyment of human rights in spite of the varied differences visible in people. The creators of Black Lives Matter were mainly disturbed by the wake of unjustifiable executions of Blacks by police officers. As a result, they deliberately coined the term to air the grievances of a disenfranchised race, and also to raise awareness about the decaying morality of an institution supposed to protect the safety of every citizen.
The slogan “Black Lives Matter” first gained prominence after the extrajudicial murders of Eric Garner, an unarmed Black man strangled by a police officer in Staten Island, and Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot dead by a policeman in Ferguson (Jee-Lyn García and Sharif 27). The two killings confirmed an incessant suspicion about the fairness of security personnel in dealing with people of color. Hence, not all protests that engulfed the country after the two unethical acts were spontaneous. Instead, some of the protestors were lining up to express their long-term displeasure about the prejudice of law enforcers. Historically, statistics indicate that African Americans are more vulnerable to police abuse more than any other group (Harrell 1). Hence, when the Black Movement arose, many people felt it was a reprieve to their silent suffering.
There is no doubt that race is an emotive issue in the U.S, and over decades, the country has made immense strides to contain negativity associated with certain minorities. Unless the entire nation realizes that race was a socially constructed concept meant to enslave people with African origin, then the fragile social fabric that holds the country together can easily be torn apart by the mistakes of a few deviant people (Lebron et al. 10). More especially during this electioneering period, the electorate should be weary of egocentric politicians and organizations that want to divide them on the basis of their background.
It is apparent that the security department is lagging behind in enacting reforms supposed to enhance equality. Apparently, other agencies of the American society have embraced the inclusion of all minorities, and it is disheartening to witness licensed officers committing felonies on these critical members of the community. Therefore, the concerned department administrators should learn from other sections of the society, such as the civil society organizations and schools that have risen above racial hatred and are now trying to empower the Black people. One of the ways to do so is to encourage accountability. Interestingly, neither the New York officer who choked Garner, nor the shooter of Brown has been indicted up to date in spite of the presence of video evidence to demonstrate their involvement. Such an error only emboldens intolerant officers to continue perpetrating their wrongful acts.
However, one big lesson learned from this movement is that during tragedies, it is very easy to mobilize the citizenry to a certain cause. Indeed, most persons undergoing stressful situations tend to find solidarity when they realize that other individuals are experiencing similar or worse troubles. On the whole, its agitators know the fact that is easy to thwart the spirit of a single human being, but breaking the unified spirit of an entire race is indomitable. Hence, as long as the lobbyists of this bandwagon remain faithful to their quest of championing for equal rights for the Black population, or in calling for police reforms, there is no harm in allowing their activities during this tense campaign period. However, if they get misused by deceitful power brokers, they should be reprimanded and be advised to adopt nationalistic political ideologies.
Harrell, Erika. Black Victims of Violent Crime. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2007.
Jee-Lyn García, Jennifer and Mienah Zulfacar Sharif. “Black Lives Matter: A Commentary on Racism and Public Health.” American Journal of Public Health105.8 (2015): 27-30.
Lebron, Dottie, Laura Morrison, Dan Ferris…and Mary McKay. “Facts Matter! Black Lives Matter! The Trauma of Racism.” 2015. Web.
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