As we know black people are treated differently in a lot of situations. We see it in movies, the news, and even in real life. It can be from being followed in stores to being shot and killed by a police officer. Racism is still a big problem in the world today. That is why the Black Lives Matter Movement was created in 2012. To this day many people ask the question, Why is racism still a big problem?
Nobody actually know the answer to the question. Many people don’t understand why black lives are treated differently. This is why Alicia Garza the Co-founder of Black Lives Matter believes as I do. She believes that black lives are very frowned upon. Alicia made a post the day after she and her friends found out George Zimmerman was not guilty for killing an innocent black teen, Trayvon Martin.(Parks 4) She said“We GOTTA get it together y’all. I continue to be surprised at how little Black Lives Matter, And I will continue that. Stop giving up on Black life… Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.”(Parks 5) Once she posted it her post started receiving a lot of attention on Facebook (Parks 5). A close friend of Alicia, Patrisse Cullors noticed her inspiring post and shared it with her friends under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Opal Tometi, immigration rights organizer saw the hashtag and was instantly amazed by it. (Parks 5) Garza, Cullors, and Tometi got together and thought of a way to get people of color together and fix racism in some way.
This is when they created the Black Lives Matter movement. The reason they wanted to do this is because their experience from racism and noticing other people suffer with it. The Black Lives Matter Movement soon became very popular in many cities in the United States. Several famous celebrities support the movement.(Parks 6) Getting all these famous influencers together will help other people understand that racism is serious and they need to get together and make a change. These celebrities consist of musicians such as Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Jay Z and Kendrick Lamar. Basketball stars which include LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and many more famous influencers.
Former President, Barack Obama addressed a movement police officers began. This movement was called Blue Lives Matter. He then said “The purpose of Black Lives Matter was never to place a higher value on black people’s lives than any other lives, including those of police officers. The point of the movement is to emphasize that black lives matter equally. This isn’t a matter of us comparing the value of lives. This is recognizing that there is a particular burden that is being placed on a group of our fellow citizens, and we should care about that – and we can’t dismiss it.” (Parks 7)
The Black Lives Matter Movement is very important and I hope people continue to support it. There are many ways why it is meaningful. It’s meaningful because it bring awareness to racial profiling, police brutality, suppression, systematic, white supremacy and many more forms of racism. Rather than being equal to a certain race some people are racist just because they think they are better or they are more privileged than them. Some people don’t realize what kind of world we live in, and some people just don’t care but for this movement to make a huge change, black lives need to matter to as many people as possible. A significant part of the movement was to demonstrate how prevailing racism is in America.
Many Black people have been killed by police such as Tamir Rice, Micheal Brown, Freddie Gray, Laquan Mcdonald and several more people. (Dandes) We can’t ignore the fact that many black people have lost their lives due to racism or police officers pulling someone over that is “driving while black”, but we are trying to stop it by participating in the Black Lives Matter Movement. A video surfaced the internet of a white police officer, Lieutenant Abbott, telling a white woman she didn’t have anything to worry about and that they only kill black people. She was afraid to reach down and get her phone because she said she had “seen way too many videos” about the way police act when pulling someone over. The police officer then proceeded to say “But you’re not black, Remember we only kill black people. Yeah. We only kill black people, right?” (Hauser and Fortin) How do you feel living in a world where a certain race is viewed in a negative way?
On July 10, 2017, I went to a Black Lives Matter Rally. I was younger and not as educated with how poorly black people are treated. I would love to visit another rally now that I am more educated and understand what kind of world we live in. What I learned during the Black Lives Matter Rally was that it’s not a violent rally, everyone was calm and understanding of each other. They were encouraging us to believe in what we wanted and not let anyone stop us. They encouraged us to vote on someone who believes in the cause, get more involved within the community, and become police officers because we would understand how it feels being in the other person’s shoes. At the end of the day, we just need to realize that black people are humans and people need to treat us equally. As Alicia Garza said “… Black People. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.”