Black Lives Matter: A Mini Deconstruction
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Politics and Activism

Black Lives Matter: A Mini Deconstruction

Black Lives Matter myths debunked.

Black Lives Matter: A Mini Deconstruction

The year of 2015 has been a racially tumultuous year, and it is nearly impossible to ignore the tensions that exist and continue to make headlines. The Black Lives Matter movement has been one of the most talked about activist campaigns that advocates for progression toward racial equity. The movement began in 2012 and has blossomed ever since. Created after the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the Black Lives Matter movement calls for action against anti-black racism and has in turn stirred up conversation all across the nation about the deplorable and ever-existent racism that has plagued our nation for decades. However when it comes to constructive and progressive conversation, words often get twisted, information is misconstrued, and the movement’s goal is ultimately demonized because of these misconceptions. With heightened awareness happening at college campuses as we have seen at Yale and Mizzou, it is time for the air to be cleared. It is only with clarity and solidarity that Black Lives Matter can truly take off, and it is essential to be educated on exactly what the movement is and is not about.

Why black lives matter.

The most common complaint I have heard or read about the BLM movement is that it is not inclusive of all races. People often label the movement racist because of its exclusion, and are quick to feel offended, as if saying that black lives matter means their lives do not. Just as you would never go to a breast cancer event and protest that all forms of cancer should be included, advocating that all lives matter should be the focus is just as unnecessary. It is more than common sense to the average person that all lives matter. The reason why this movement specifically focuses on the value of black lives is because America has quite the history of viewing black people as inferior. Though we have progressed from the days of slavery and the Jim Crow era, people often forget that those days were a mere 150 years ago. As a nation, we are so insanely desensitized to the ruthless killing of black men and women at the hands of corrupt cops that instead of wondering “why did the cop overreact, did this person have to die?” we jump to “they should have listened, they were probably a criminal anyway." Black lives matter because for ages we have been taught and reminded that they do not, that they are disposable because of the disgusting stereotypes we are made to believe.

Even if you care not to dig into America’s past and present with racism, if you truly believed that all lives matter, how is it that you have such a hard time supporting the fact that black lives matter too?

BLM is NOT an anti-white movement.

It is true that the problems that the BLM movement desires to correct and address are often those imposed and created by white people, the movement itself is absolutely not anti-white. Just because it is called “Black lives matter,” in no way, shape, or form, does it imply that white lives do not. Another common complaint is that the BLM movement labels all white people as racist. This could not be further from the truth. There is no hate involved in the BLM movement. Acknowledging that black people as an entire race are systematically oppressed is not synonymous with “hey, every single white person ever, you are the problem.” The goal is not to bring down the white population, but rather to uplift the black community.

When we live in a time where police brutality is a weekly problem, equal opportunity is a mere facade, or simply when black history is hardly included within American history, it is essential to acknowledge that black lives have suffered for years and are in dire need of validation from its oppressors. BLM wants your support and solidarity. Rather than taking its acknowledgment of past and present racism as a personal attack, one must recognize the larger picture. Though there are indeed racist white people in America, there are just as many non-racist and progressive ones who are essential to establishing racial equality.

By joining the black lives matter movement or by simply attending a BLM event, the journey toward racial equality for the average black American is made more possible. To be in opposition of the movement is to perpetuate the devaluation of black lives, and further ingrain racist thought, traditions, and behaviors in American soil. Just like you, my life matters. I want to feel equal to my peers, I want to feel empowered and more than anything, I want change. The color of my skin should not determine how I am treated, what opportunities become available to me, nor should it ever determine the value of my life. Though I may only be a junior in college, the Black Lives Matter movement reminds me of the extreme power within every single person. With the unification of people of all skin colors, change is possible, and change is inevitable.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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