Professor Mrs. Dickerman
July 25, 2016
Social Justice Paper
Black Lives Matter
Social justice is a topic that seems to be in our day-to-day news more every single day. According to Google definitions, social justice is “justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.” Off of the top of my head, I can think of many different issues that would fall under social justice, but in particular think of the Black Lives Matter movement.
There are a lot of negative connotations that are associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, but unfortunately, many of those people do not know how this movement even started. The movement was started by three women to create a movement and call anaction for black people to make a difference after the murder of Trayvon Martin and the court decision for his killer, George Zimmerman. The idea behind this movement is an “ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.” (The Creation of a Movement). The debate of this movement, however, has turned into people taking sides between “black people” or “the cops,” though; the cops never had anything to do with this in the beginning. People have a tendency to take an issue and add their own concerns to something that never existed, to begin with, this is one the largest problems with this particular movement.
Black Lives Matter did not really take off until eighteen-year-old Mike Brown was killed by Officer Darren Wilson. The videos of this released all over the Internet and many people were outraged at what they say. This is when the divide of this movement was really started. Social media became a huge part of this movement and people started posting their opinions on siding with Mike Brown or siding with Officer Darren Wilson. However, like a lot of cases that include social media debates, these people were not there and did not necessarily know what happened between the two. Social media has created a huge divide and continues to make the movements fight against each other with little want to come together. Social media has shared so many videos of cop violence online and people use it divide them
Thoughthe movement was started after the death of Trayvon Martin and took off after the death of Mike Brown, there was so much more cop on black people deaths in this last year that really made the movement come to life and start making some changes in the community.
Personally, I think supporting the Black Lives Matter movement is extremely important. Our country made huge strides in racism since the 1960’s and Civil Rights movements and unfortunately, this country and taking many steps in the wrong direction. The more people that fight this movement and push against each other, the more deaths that are going to happen and the more racism and segregation is going to work its way back into our world.
There are many reasons that people should support the movement that people are not necessarily noticing. For example, these people are showing an irresistible call to action. These are hard times for people to stand up and give their voice, but those supporting this matter are not backing down. These people feel very strongly and are backing something that they firmly believe in. Another reason would be leadership by women and girls. Sexism is another huge social injustice, and Black Lives Matter is not only led by powerful black people, it is led by powerful black women. This is a huge step for women of all colors (Anderson). Another reason to support the movement is because they are self-funded. Though, they may have people donating money to them, they do not have a specific financial backing (Anderson).
The news and social media continue to give many reasons why you should not support Black Lives Matter. One of the biggest reasons would be that it creates people to be “anti-cop” when they are being pro-black lives matter. People blame the problem on the protesters of the movement claiming that they are the reason people are turning against the support of the police. Another reason people are angry about the movement is because it makes people divide and turn against each other. This is creating a divide between people that was not necessarily there before. And another large reason people are opposing the movement is because they claim “All Lives Matter,” would potentially have been a better name because this movement is inclusive to only one race (Every argument).
When you look at these reasons against the movement, you can find fault in the majority of them. First, it creates people to be “anti-cop,” though, this may be true for a small group of people, the majority of people are anti-cop because of the negative things the cops are doing. Regardless of your color, if you see or read a story of a cop shooting someone an excessive amount of times, when they were said to be innocent and unarmed, killing teenagers, shooting special needs therapists, etc. people are going to make their own decision on whether or not they are going to continue to support cops or not.
The next common reason for people to stand against the movement would be the divide it causes between peoples. However, people need to realize there is never going to be a movement that everyone loves. If everyone was behind it, there would not be a need for the movement to begin with (Every Argument). The divide is being caused by the media making it a bigger deal than it is, the divide is being caused by the rude, racist comments and photos on social media about the opposing view, the divide is being caused by people choosing to support one side or the other without really knowing what either side stands for.
The last reason that people continue to oppose Black Lives Matter would be them coming back with the idea of “All Lives Matter.” Though his is of course fundamentally true, the problem right now isn’t about “all lives,” it is about black lives. There are times when certain things are more important than others. For example, is you went to a Susan G Komen Race for the Cure, you wouldn’t question them on why they weren’t supporting lung cancer. At this particular rally, breast cancer is what is important, it is the focus of the event and it is the problem that people are trying to fix at that moment in time. Black Lives Matter movements are not saying no one else matters, it is not saying they are more important than anyone else. They are just saying, right now, their lives do matter. This change is important. The current problem in our culture, the social injustice, revolves around the unfairness and mistreatment that is happening to the black community. With that being said, that is why Black Lives Matter is the movement we should be focusing on, the reason some of these counter-arguments are not relevant and the reason many people should consider looking into the movement more and educating them on what this movement really means (Every argument).
Overall, this movement is playing a huge role in the world today. It is not only made strides in the communities where these tragedies happenbut spread all over the United States to help give the black community the confidence they need to speak up and make a change. Thoughthere are many opposing views on this subject, it is important that people take the time to do their research, educate themselves and make sure that no one is making decisions without the basic information they need supporting. At the end of the day, all lives do matter, but we need to focus on those who are losing their lives every day.
Anderson, Keneta. “Top 10 Reasons to Love Black Lives Matter.”Alternet. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 July 2016.
“Every Argument against “Black Lives Matter” Broken Down to Its Molecular Bullshit – NegusWhoRead.” NegusWhoRead. N.p., 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 25 July 2016
Garza, Alicia. “The Creation of a Movement.”Black Lives Matter.Haki Creatives. Design for Social Change., n.d. Web. 22 July 2016.