It's a movement that's been sweeping our nation, and no matter what your stand on police brutality is, you've heard about it: Black Lives Matter, and all of the controversy and violence that it's been stirring in its wake.
I'm going to start off this article by stating that everything that is said in the remainder of this article is my opinion, and my opinion only. You don't have to agree with me -- or you can. It doesn't change my opinion any which way. I'm here today to talk about what I see as the flaws in this movement, and the opinions expressed in this article are nobody's but my own. If you're the type of person that can't handle listening to anybody's opinion that doesn't meld with yours, feel free to click away now.
It was 2013 when the Black Lives Matter movement started to gain significant headway, after a series of deaths of young black men (and eventually women) splashed across media pages. The media, in its typical fashion, skewed these deaths as something that was "horribly unjust, and totally undeserved." Were some of them? Maybe. But here's the part that so many Black Lives Matter activists refuse to acknowledge: Were all of them? Absolutely not.
We all know that the media skews things. It's what they do best -- telling one specific aspect of a story without giving all of the information, in order to meld a story to fit their pitch. It isn't lying, they argue, because the parts that are presented are accurate. Yes, somebody died. Yes, a police officer killed him. But did they tell you that Eric Garner had to be brought to the ground because he refused to comply with his arrest? Nope. Did they tell you that Mike Brown charged at the officer before he was shot? Of course they left that part out. The media picks and chooses which parts of a story to tell, and to that, I say shame on them. Misinformation was what gave rise to such a violent wave of protests, and the media is chiefly to blame.
One of my biggest issues with the Black Lives Matter movement is how hypocritical it can be. "It's wrong for you to just assume that all black people behave the same way, as violent criminals," protesters argue, while declaring that all police officers behave the same way, as vicious murderers. You can call me biased because my father is a New York City detective, but I've been exposed to the police department from very early on, and I have met some very kind, respectable, honorable officers. My father is one of them. All of his various work partners throughout the years are some of them, too. My father has always been proud of his profession, and he's done some very incredible things. He keeps the streets of Manhattan safe every single day. He was one of the bravest first responders on September 11th. He works the most awful, exhausting hours and has to see some terrible, gut-wrenching things that come with the territory of keeping everyone safe. He isn't just a good person -- he's a great person. But the Black Lives Matter movement is automatically branding him as a pig and a killer and somebody evil. I would never use those words to describe my father, or any of the people he's ever worked with. He has the biggest heart of anyone I've ever known, and I don't like having to worry for his safety when he goes to work every day, hoping that someone following the movement views him as the next target to make an example of.
Law enforcement, in my opinion, is one of the most impressive, bold, and respectable professions around. Everyone should be proud to be a member -- but this movement has made them ashamed, and that is wrong.
Are there crooked cops out there? Of course. There are bad eggs in every profession. But it is statistically impossible that every single police officer involved in any Black Lives Matter related events are all bad, wrong, evil people. Of course, that's just what the media tells you because that will get their websites and television shows the most buzz.
Did you know that there's a significant amount of people who show up to Black Lives Matter rallies that couldn't even tell you who Freddie Gray was, or who Detectives Liu and Ramos were -- or what happened to them? Or when it happened to them? This is becoming the ultimate bandwagon movement -- the kind of thing that people are joining simply because they want to join the chorus of angry voices. While there are many protesters who do know the facts of these cases (or at least, the skewed facts that the media tells them), there are almost as many people who do not. People who are only going off of what they hear other protesters say. But in my opinion, this creates a chain reaction. New members to the movement are parroting what older members tell them. Older members are parroting what the media tells them. And if the media isn't relaying all the facts, this creates a bad, bad chain reaction.
This all being said, I do understand the general roots of the Black Lives Matter movement -- the idea that all lives are important, and that blacks deserve just as much protection and respect as whites do. I support that 100%. What I do not support is this name-calling, hypocritical, awful bully of a movement that Black Lives Matter is trying to be. You are not getting your point across. You are going backwards in an attempt to get your point across. My stomach shouldn't turn every time I see a Black Lives Matter banner or shirt. I shouldn't have to immediately associate this social movement with violence, bullying, and hypocrisy gone wild.
In short, do my thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement make me a racist? No. Someone who condones the murder of innocent black people? Never. What I'm simply trying to get across is that there tends to be more to these cases than we know -- certainly more than the media tells us. The Black Lives Matter movement is in need of serious reformation if it ever wants to be taken seriously and seen as something more than just a group of vigilantes slaughtering innocent officers in cold blood in an attempt to "settle the score." Protesters need to open their eyes and look at the whole story -- and stop the violence. They're going about this all wrong, and it needs to change.