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Black Lives Matter, Why It's the Most Important Global Movement in History

Updated on July 31, 2020
Santi Salinas profile image

Santiago Salinas is a student at The College of New Jersey pursuing a degree in Public Health, Psychology and Social Justice.

The History of the BLM

The Black Lives Matter Movement has gained high momentum in the year 2020 after the unjust murders of several African American civilians such as Breonna Taylor and George Flyod. The movement, however, did not start in 2020 but was founded on July 13th 2013 after the murderer of black teenager Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, was founded innocent and acquitted of all charges against him. The reason this ruling was crucial in the foundation of this movement is because Zimmerman was a white man who murdered an innocent black teenager because of a false claim of that he was a suspected criminal. This decision also highlighted one harsh reality, that even though Civil Rights legislation had been passed back in the 1960s, Black Americans are still the most marginalized and mistreated group in America.

To address this, three female activists, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, began to express their disgust and anger over Zimmerman's release under the hashtag #blacklivesmatter. From this, a movement had started where Black Americans and non-Black allies would fight to hold police and other authorities accountable for violence against the BIPOC population in America. The aim of this movement would call attention to racially motivated programs and actions against the minority population in the US such as The War on Drugs, Mass Incarceration, Police Brutality, Redlining, Inherently Racist Systems, White washing History, and so much more. From this, The Black Lives Movement was founded.

The three women have founded the Black Lives Matter Movement
The three women have founded the Black Lives Matter Movement | Source

Opposition to the BLM

While the Black Lives Matter Movement has gained many allies, it has also met opposition as well. One of the main opponents of this movement is the All Lives Matter group which aims to discredit the Black Lives Matter Movement by saying it is too radical, racist towards the White population, and claiming that its goal is to put Black Americans above all others. The All Lives Matter Movement, however, is not a movement at all as it is a counter solely aiming to end the Black Lives Matter Movement.

In addition to the All Lives Matter Movement, President Trump and other like minded politicians in DC have voiced their disapproval for the movement. Trump even has gone as far so to say that it is a symbol of hate and that they need to disband and arrest all the supporters immediately to restore "peace." However, his version of peace is not what is best for the US. He would like to arrest any and all protesters and supporters of the movement while he gives the green light for anti-lockdown rioters to show up to government buildings armed and willing to shoot government officials in order to continue their routine as if this virus is not affecting the world.

Finally, one new opponent of the Black Lives Matter Movement is Bevelyn Beatty. Beatty is a new yet strong opponent of the movement because she believes that the movement is militant and is a Democratic tool used to keep Black Americans below them. Her most attention grabbing demonstration is when she painted over the a Black Lives Matter street mural shouting "REFUND OUR POLICE!" Beatty was not shy to call out Black Americans for being "ignorant" and "uneducated" for supporting the movement. Along with shaming Black American supporters, Beatty has made it clear that she is an anti-LGBTQ+ rights, xenophobic, pro-life, sexist, pro-Trump supporter as well as a radicalized Christian spreading hate instead of love in name of God.

Despite all of the hate that the Black Lives Matter Movement is getting, it is still going hard and strong that it has ever gone before. The movement itself will not die ever and even after its demands are met and the goals are reached, the founders of the movement are not backing down from the fight for justice. I am proud to say, that Black Lives Matter is not going anywhere.

BLM in 2020

Black Lives Matter has existed since 2013, but it is getting the most publicity in the year 2020. Now why is that? Here is the reason, it is because of the recent murders that have happened in the past month. The murder that the was the final straw was the murder of George Floyd. Floyd was committing petty theft when he was trying to exchange counterfeit money in a store which resulted in 4 officers detaining him and resulted in his death. What makes this act so vile and cruel was because it happened in broad daylight.

The fact that the officers were able to play judge, jury and execution in public without suffering any immediate repercussions perfectly illustrates the struggles the African American/Black community has been facing since 1619. What made this more enraging is that George Floyd could be heard begging for as he says weakly, "I can't breath." While this statement in the moment is heard as a man begging for his life, it also works as a metaphorical message as well. Black Americans cannot breathe in America. The systemic and interpersonal racism they have faced historically and today leaves them constantly gasping for a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, things have changed very little for BIPOC Americas. Laws have been made yes, but that was the end of the fight for most. Where others saw racism ending in 1964, some still experience it in 2020. BLM sees this and picks up the fight where it left off to ensure that no stone is left unturned.

In addition to picking up where the fight was left off, BLM also modernized the fight significantly. The way the leaders and supporters did this was by including the social justice fight to women, the LGBTQ+ community, and those of non-Christian faith. One significant way they picked up this fight was by recognizing more Black historical figures such as Marsha P. Johnson, a prominent black transwoman figure in the Stonewall uprising in 1969 which resulted in the start of Gay Pride.

Finally, BLM is absorbing the ideas and goals of feminism. The movement does this by fighting just as hard for black women who have been killed by police like they do for black men.They also provide resources for women of color who suffer or have suffered at the hands of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and homelessness. Learning from the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, the BLM has been more inclusive of the fight of injustices in the Black and minority community.

The Black Lives Matter Fist centered in the Pride flag illustrates the new found sense of unity for human rights
The Black Lives Matter Fist centered in the Pride flag illustrates the new found sense of unity for human rights | Source

Why BLM is the Most Important Movement in History

BLM by far is the most important movement in history. The movement was founded to combat racial injustice specifically against the Black community by law enforcement. However, the movement has influenced so much more than just the fight against racial injustice.

BLM brought attention to not just minority rights, but to all human rights. From the movement in the year 2020, people have made it their mission to spread the good that has been done by ALL historical Black figures such as Marsha P. Johnson and Angela Davis. By including these figures, the movement directly promotes the idea of unity regardless of gender, sexual identity/expression, or sexual orientation.

BLM has also inspired many other forms of human rights movements. Two of the most prominent movements are the Feminist and LGBTQ+ rights movements. The Feminist Movement was founded to ensure that ALL women are able to progress in society without the permission of a man and aiming to dismantle the patriarchy. The movement is also protesting rape culture, misogyny, and domestic violence. As for the LGBTQ+ movement, it aims to normalize things that were once considered "sinful." The movement aims to normalize sexuality as something people are born with a certain sexuality, they aim to give the transgender community the same rights as cisgender community, and they aim to give the LGBTQ+ community a safe space to be who they are without persecution from the anti-gay culture and politicians who try to stick to the "normal" form of marriage.

BLM has been an inspiration to all of these movements in the fight for human rights. Without BLM lighting the fire for justice and truth, we would not be able to fight the way we are fighting now. Thank you to the women, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, for starting a revolution.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Santiago Salinas

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