BY: VAIBHAVI MENON
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”- Nelson Mandela
Racism has always existed and still is an ongoing struggle for a lot of us. Discrimination on the basis of color is very frequently experienced where the “whites” are considered on the higher scale of an hierarchy and the “colored” and “blacks” are considered on the lower scales. The black lives matter moment began after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin 17 months earlier in February 2012.The overall Black Lives Matter movement is a decentralized network of activists with no formal hierarchy. he movement returned to national headlines and gained further international attention during the global George Floyd protests in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. An estimated 15 million to 26 million people participated in the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, making it one of the largest movements in the country’s history. The movement comprises many views and a broad array of demands but they center on criminal justice reform. The popularity of Black Lives Matter has rapidly shifted over time. Whereas public opinion on Black Lives Matter was net negative in 2018, it grew increasingly popular through 2019 and 2020. A later poll conducted in September 2020 showed that support among American adults had dropped to 55%, with notable declines among whites and Hispanics, while support remained widespread among black adults.
The phrase “Black Lives Matter” can refer to a Twitter hashtag, a slogan, a social movement, a political action committee, or a loose confederation of groups advocating for racial justice. Activist DeRay McKesson has commented that the movement “encompasses all who publicly declare that black lives matter and devote their time and energy accordingly.” BLM generally engages in direct action tactics that make people uncomfortable enough that they must address the issue. BLM has been known to build power through protest and rallies. BLM has also staged die-ins and held one during the 2015 Twin Cities Marathon. Black Lives Matter demonstration in Oakland, California, December 2014. Political slogans used during demonstrations include the eponymous “Black Lives Matter”, “Hands up, don’t shoot” (a later discredited reference attributed to Michael Brown), “I can’t breathe” (referring to Eric Garner and later George Floyd), “White silence is violence”, “No justice, no peace”, and “Is my son next?”, among others. According to a 2018 study, “Black Lives Matter protests are more likely to occur in localities where more black people have previously been killed by police.” The phrase “All Lives Matter” sprang up as response to the Black Lives Matter movement, shortly after the movement gained national attention. Several notable individuals have supported All Lives Matter. Its proponents include Senator Tim Scott. NFL cornerback Richard Sherman supports the All Lives Matter message, saying “I stand by what I said that All Lives Matter and that we are human beings.” According to an August 2015 telephone poll, 78% of likely American voters said that the statement “all lives matter” was closest to their own personal views when compared to “black lives matter” or neither. Only 11% said that the statement “black lives matter” was closest. Nine percent said that neither statement reflected their own personal point of view. According to professor David Theo Goldberg, “All Lives Matter” reflects a view of “racial dismissal, ignoring, and denial”. Professor Charles “Chip” Linscott said that “All Lives Matter” promotes the “erasure of structural anti-black racism and black social death in the name of formal and ideological equality and post-racial colorblindness”. Founders have responded to criticism of the movement’s exclusivity, saying, “#BlackLivesMatter doesn’t mean your life isn’t important – it means that Black lives, which are seen without value within White supremacy, are important to your liberation.” President Barack Obama spoke to the debate between Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter. Obama said, “I think that the reason that the organizers used the phrase Black Lives Matter was not because they were suggesting that no one else’s lives matter rather what they were suggesting was there is a specific problem that is happening in the African American community that’s not happening in other communities.” He also said “that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address.”
To conclude this, the Black lives matter movement was never a way to discriminate the others(whites). The whites were always placed on a superior level and it was the colored who were continuously bashed because of their color. they were killed because of this difference and because of this they definitely deserve to have the title that ” Blacks lives matter.”