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It will always be a tragic day when a member of youth loses their life, as it was in February of 2012 when Trevoyn Martin was shot and killed in Florida. Trevoyn Martin was described as a suspicious looking figure and was shot by a neighborhood watch patrolmen George Zimmerman. After months of trials and riots to avenge the young teen’s life, a movement began known as #BlackLivesMatter. This movement was founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Omal Tometi. “Black Lives Matter began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Our intention from the very beginning was to connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act together in their communities. The impetus for that commitment was, and still is, the rampant and deliberate violence inflicted on us by the state”. This may be the reason that the movement began, and they couldn’t have been expected to know the damage this movement was going to bring with it.
#BlackLivesMatter is not a movement in favor of social unity and equality, it is a hate group molding the minds of America and its youth into believing that by following them, they are following a movement in support of change for the better. #BlackLivesMatter and modern-day civil rights advocates are unraveling the work of civil rights legends such as Martin Luther King Jr. and setting society back in terms of interracial unity, since the originating of this movement with its support there have been a rise in the number and severity of violent rallies and protests, a rise in retaliation and a negative stigmas against law enforcement officers, and a rise in millennials and communities has American more divided than before. It has been said a million times, but has it really sunk in?
All lives matter, regardless of gender, age, sex, race, tax bracket. Race isn’t the issue that is dividing society or preventing lives from mattering, it is the hate groups that gain support by disguising themselves as social activist movements for advancement. This can be seen because in movements such as #BlackLivesMatter there are people of all races coming together into this group and supporting the same cause, fighting for what is right. This shows that unity can be accomplished, differences can be set aside, peaceful tactics just need to be established. During the riots that took place in Ferguson in 2014, Natalie Dubose a black female had her bakery burnt and destroyed. These protests and actions were in response to yet another tragic shooting of a black male by a law enforcement officer. The irony is not that Americans were upset about the death of Michael Brown, that within itself is extremely justified and he deserves justice, what is ironic is that a hard-working black woman would get her livelihood destroyed in protests to prove that #BlackLivesMatter.
Why didn’t her life matter? It is instances such as these that prove the movement does not care about promoting anything more than violence and havoc and will destroy anything in the path even if it is negatively affecting a “black life” that should matter. “DuBose left her home and headed down to the store, only to find a scene that she describes as being out of the film Independence Day. Decorations the community had worked to put up were strewn in the street, together with shards of broken glass. On her right, a police car burned; to her left a store was on fire. When she got close to her shop, she saw the furniture from the neighboring law office sticking out of her front window. ” (Baehr) A community already hurting, grieving over the loss of one of their own was also forced to grieve over the loss of the community itself due to the actions of a group who prides themselves on helping to make the world a better place. Something needs to be done, it needs to be stopped. Innocent people are being hurt and effected by these protests of all races, what is expected to gain from destroying communities? Justice? Respect? “The Charlotte Riot of 2016 was a protest that lasted for three days and came in the wake of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting. Beginning on September 20, the riot resulted in violence with one protester killed and numerous injured police officers. ”
Why are we blaming all law enforcement for the malicious actions of one officer? Why is a movement who wants to support the advancement of society, supporting the bantering of all officers? “They shouted “black lives matter” and “hands up; don’t shoot” while cursing at officers with bicycles blocking intersections. As the protesters approached the Omni hotel, officers in riot gear lined up outside arm in arm and a few marchers threw bottles and clods of dirt. ” Members of the #BlackLivesMatter movement were proudly supporting the disrespect of cops. Blaming these cops who are just doing their job for the actions of someone else. Due to the negative stigma #BlackLivesMatter has attached to police officers, and the unwavering support they give their protesters when disrespecting them, it is very common for supporters of the movement to have a subconscious distain for law enforcement officers. A study done by Criminal Justice Professor Richard Johnson’s, he shows that many race involved murders, are black on black murders. When was the last time that was an opening news headline? Somehow social media misses the memo to tweet about and cause a rise with those. “As reported by the U. S. Census Bureau, black men and women make up about 13 percent of the U. S. population, but according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, they commit about 47 percent of all murders. The FBI also reports that 90 percent of black people murdered were murdered by other black people. ”
However, unless it is a case such a Treyvon Martin or Jordan Edwards then it isn’t rioted or protested. In Lincolnton, North Carolina a man who was known by the name of Nuke (black male) was shot by another black male in the middle of the street in cold blood. There were no riots, there was no fires, there wasn’t anything more than a few FaceBook posts and an open investigation. This is where all lives should matter, as well as the fact that he wasn’t shot by a white male. Social media has marketed this movement into being about black individuals against law enforcement and if America continues believing that way then what direction is there to go but down? Death is death, regardless of and physical or mental characteristics of the person pulling the trigger. America can not be illiterate and blind to the fact that today many deaths are still caused by unsettled racial issues, and that is an issue that deserves the upmost attention and respect. However, creating groups that breed so much hate an animosity towards others, is a hate group. Teaching your members to retaliate against and supporting the bashing of law enforcement are characteristics portrayed by hate groups. One could say that no amount of research on the topic matters because the entire reason behind the organization is supporting black lives, especially in the instance of racially motivated shootings by law enforcement officers. Many black teens are seen being shot by cops without any valid reason and it cannot be denied that many shootings such as these did involve racial profiling or just racial intent in general.
How can that be something that all cops are blamed for? They don’t deserve to be discriminated against due to the actions of someone else, just as much as a black person can’t be assumed to be ghetto just because they are black, or a white person can’t be assumed racist, just because they are white. “The probability of being killed by a police officer is almost the same as being struck by lightning. In 2016, there were 266 black people killed by police officers, as reported by The Guardian’s database of people killed by the police in the U. S. With the use of FBI data and The Guardian’s database, it can be calculated that it would take almost 10 years for the number of black people killed by police officers to equal the number of black people killed by other black people in one year. ”
Looking at numbers all day doesn’t change the fact that murder is murder, however it does show that one can not be so misinformed about a topic to the extent of just believing what is shown on the news or in the spotlight. America should be a place where a death is a death regardless of the race of the individual being shot or the one doing the shooting. New York Times describes #BlackLivesMatter as “Radical Democracy in Action” and says that “The idea behind the model is that when people on the ground make decisions, articulate problems and come up with the answers, the results are more likely to meet real needs. ” Referring back to Natalie Dubose, and her bakery… how were her needs met? She is a prime example to use because as an African American woman, she should without a doubt only benefit from #BlackLivesMatter yet she was faced with turmoil and debt due to the actions of #BlackLivesMatter members. The movement has the potential to be something more, something great, but the way that it presents itself now is nothing more than a hate group. USA today says that 77% of Americans believe that social networks can distracts us from issues that are really important and that “social media makes people think they are making a difference when they really aren’t”. “We have to act as if our actions can push us together in the direction of freedom, ” Davis said, emphasizing the necessity of mobilizing to “shed the vestiges of slavery”.
Instead of creating and following organizations such as #BlackLivesMatter which just adds fuel to the fire, a more effective method would be how to put a stop to the hiring of corrupt officials, how to bring communities together more as one, America needs to be proactive in fixing the issue not just masking it. Professor Daniel Nagin expert in criminology and policing thinks that actions to minimize racially based shootings have already been underway and says “Police executives are talking about the importance of training police to interact with people in the community, and about using other methods to try and defuse tense situations. ” The mindset of America must be molded and altered to understand the negative and dangerous effects of racial profiling from all standpoints and daily one must be reminded not to fall into those stereotypes. Civil rights activist and hero Martin Luther King Jr. said “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word”. One can only wonder if Mr. King was around today, would he support the movements of #BlackLivesMatter. As a man of integrity and with great belief in social unity one can only imagine that he would not be in favor of a organization that drives a wedge further in between races then was there before.
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