Black Lives Matter July protest on the Memphis bridge. / Photo Credits to Aaron Baggett
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) is not meant to exclude a certain group of people. Instead, the movement works to include a group of people who feel oppressed at the moment. The “too” is implied when one mentions BLM because essentially people are saying that while all lives matter, black lives matter too.
“People feel like if you say black lives matter then you’re saying like all the other lives don’t matter and it’s like yes, all the other lives do matter, but they’re not the ones being attacked at the moment. It’s the black lives being attacked,” Destiny Sears said, “We are saying that we matter just like the rest of them do.”
“It means ‘my life matters.'”
The goal of BLM is clear: to stop police brutality towards minorities, specifically blacks.
“… to bring attention to police brutality and all the things that are happening to us, not just black men and black women,” Sears said,” [to stop] racial profiling and just all that is negative towards black people, but not just black[s], like everybody. ”
However, as history illustrates, for every social movement, there is an opposing view; In this case, BLM has ALM, All Lives Matter.
“[Those who say “All Lives Matter”] do not understand Black Lives Matter, or they are trying to minimize a black life,” Pamela Moses, the founder of the Black Lives Matter chapter in Memphis, said.
This July, people from all races protested at the Memphis Bridge in order to call for more attention to the pressing issue. BLM is bringing people from all races together as well as gaining support from countries worldwide. The current presidential election atmosphere is adding momentum to the movement since more people are becoming involved in America’s current situation.
“BLM does not call upon just one race,” Moses said, “It wants all races to unite and realize that there is injustice when it comes to the treatment of African Americans by police. The name simply means that, in a country where all lives should matter, black lives obviously do not [matter] to [the] police.”
The movement brings light to issues regarding minorities overall since it is creating a platform for awareness, conversation and change. Not only that, but BLM also is uniting minority communities towards a common cause, as well as establishing identity.
“…A Hispanic would read up on the topic of Black Lives Matter and he or she would be like’ Oh, well Hispanic lives matter too, so since the people who are black are sticking up for themselves, then we should stick up for ourselves too,” Earnest Chism said.
There are many misconceptions with the movement, but one thing is for sure. The movement is part of history. We are witnessing history. The Black Lives Matter movement means much to the American people since it allows for a discussion regarding what our country was originally built upon- freedom and inclusion.
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