Black Lives Matter
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Back in 2012, nationwide outrage over the death of 18 year-old TrayVon Martin spawned the Black Lives Matter movement in spite of neglect and apparent police brutality towards Black citizens and communities. Nearly overnight, frantic Twitter users turned to the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter to raise awareness about the controversy and travesty looming over the Black community during such foreboding times.
The point of #BlackLivesMatter is simple, and the point is this: this movement is more than the statistics. Every police brutality cry can be met with a different view, or a different side of the story, and therefore we cannot confine the movement to this alone. Both sides of the argument, Black Lives Matter, and for the most part, All Lives Matter, seem respectably unwavering in their position on the matter. And while of course it’s true that ‘all lives matter,’ I don’t believe this is relevant to the issue we are faced with.
Racism is evil. This is unarguable, and to say it plainly, those who are racist embody and host evil in their hearts. And while a large percentage of us refuse to admit it, racism still exists in the world. True, we have abolished public slavery and the explicit rejection of the black community as equals, there is still a distinct difference between the African American community and others. It is important to realize that the point of the movement is not to belittle the White, Hispanic, or Asian communities to anything less than human; the point is strictly to bring into light the fact that black lives matter just as much as any other race, and perhaps are not being treated as so. Similarly, the Unborn Lives Matter movement is not one to say that those living have any smaller of a value, it is only trying to remind the world that there is another group who might be neglected in a way we do not understand.
So then what do we do? This is where a lot of controversy comes to surface. Is there anything we can do? To this I say, there is always something we can do. First things first, we all must rid our hearts of racist thoughts, tendencies, or bias’. Second, it is crucial that we act peacefully upon any acts of racism that we see in our society, and drive out the hate. Remind everyone of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Third, we show compassion and sympathy to those who have faced racist trials in their lives. We remind those who have been discriminated against that they are more than the color of their skin.
In the years between 1954 and 1968, the United States saw an uprising of the Civil Rights movement. Since then, I believe the fight for equality has never ended, and the sprout of #BlackLivesMatter approximately three years ago simply gave it a name. Black Lives Matter is not a hateful movement, and it should not be viewed as such. And though social media may highlight the extremists on both sides, holding signs reading, “kill all the white people,” or on the other hand, “black doesn’t look good on anyone,” this is not the focus of the movement. This revolution is important to everyone, and we should all see it as an opportunity to come together and lift one another up as oppose to breaking one another down.