My news feed constantly bombards me with justifications for shooting an unarmed man, an unarmed child, or an unarmed woman. It bombards me with the police being put on paid administrative leave when the video evidence is more than enough to say their action was not necessary, that their force was not necessary, that the untimely death and someone's last sight being concrete or a gun pointed at them was not necessary. I constantly see people speaking about the Civil Rights Movement having "peaceful protests", or who speak about Black Lives Matter and how out of hand it has gotten. The protests may have been peaceful, the authorities reaction, however, were not.
Martin Luther King Jr. only organized peaceful protests, and he was still shot. Men and women sat in "Whites Only" restaurants and were ridiculed, beaten, and fumigated with insecticide for doing so.
Do not forget that four little girls, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins, and Cynthia Wesley died in a bombing of a church, simply because of their skin color, and the need and right for equality. They were not involved a protest at the time, and still paid the price. Similar to the Charleston Shooting.
The Civil Rights Movement combined both peaceful and non-peaceful protests, and both were met with violence.
This is why when I see the phrase, "The civil rights movement was different! People weren't blocking traffic and disrupting our so important daily lives like those BLM protesters do!" I feel the need to remind those people that, yes, they did, and no it's not different.
Read the story behind this picture here.
Both movements are for an equally righteous cause, equality. Either separated for their race and being met with unnecessary brutality. When a twelve year old child is shot for "looking suspicious", from seven feet away, and left on the pavement to die waiting for the ambulance, there is no more justification or "split second decisions" made by police. A six million dollar settlement is not a replacement for a young boys life. Paid administrative leave does not comfort a family who lost a mother, father, daughter, or son. Similar to Emmett Till, whose killers admitted their doing, but were found not guilty in trial.
Violence is met with shootings, tear gas, rubber bullets, dogs, mace, fire hoses, and tasers. Peace was not much different.
Looking back at the Civil Rights movement, what they were doing is not much different than what is going on with the Black Lives Matter movement. They disrupted normal lives, by causing the bus companies to lose several thousand dollars. They interrupted freeways, diners, overflowed prisons, picketed, and marched. When children are taught that protests are only meaningful when they don't cause disruption, they are taught that the Montgomery Bus Boycott was wrong, that sit ins were wrong, that the march from Selma to Montgomery were wrong.
Racism is still alive, even now.
The only difference is the public's reaction and failure to notice the similarities in both the cause for the movements, and the similarities in response, and how history is now repeating itself. Perhaps it would offer clarity to both sides of the conflict to look at the predecessors in order to understand each other better, instead of killing each other.