Black Lives Matter Goes From News to a Global Movement
Recent police brutality and mistreatment have commenced a movement worldwide.
December 2, 2020
On June 6, 2020, nearly half a million people across the country joined together to bring awareness to the injustice against black lives. The George Floyd case hit a nerve in our nation and the citizens were not going down without their voices being heard.
With anywhere between 15 to 26 million participating in protests, the movement itself advocates for non-violent civil disobedience against police brutality and racially motivated violence against people of color.
“I absolutely support the protests going around in the country as Black people. We are fighting for our rights, something that we shouldn’t even be fighting for and we’re tired of it. We’re not putting up with it anymore,” Mikaela Smith, Junior, said.
The protests that took place in 140 U.S cities mainly remained peaceful. As time went on though arson, looting, and vandalism became a serious issue. Over one billion dollars worth of property damage was estimated. Many buildings and small businesses were destroyed over the months.
“I don’t agree with the looting of businesses, especially small businesses, but people are upset. And only a small percentage of the protests have turned into riots and looting. I think it’s important not to judge an entire movement based on a small minority,” Madison Petty, junior, said.
Since the movement began this year, defunding the police has become a vastly spread topic over social media. Many people want to see the money funding law enforcement instead put towards black communities or better training that will result in a total reform.
“Defunding the police isn’t about removing the police as a whole, it is about taking some of the funds that are given to the department and putting it back into their training. Doing this will give police officers better ways to deescalate the situations,” Shante Jackson, senior, said.
The media coverage circulating the movement has been found to be quite controversial. Many news outlets strictly focus on the looting and vandalism aspects, and less on the fact that the majority of protests have experienced no violence and have accomplished important goals.
“I would like to see news coverage on what Black Lives Matter has accomplished because a lot of laws and policies have been passed that need to be acknowledged,” Anna Gray, sophomore, said.
The students of the Ola community organized their very own protest in the square. Safety precautions were taken into consideration and it was done peacefully. Hundreds of members in the district gathered and marched with their voices high and their hands held higher.
“The leader of the protest made it very clear if the police would get angry, to just leave if possible. If detained, react normally and just stay with a partner. The main goal is always no violence,” Jackson said.
Racism has always been a serious issue, but in the most recent years, the younger generations have put up an impressive fight to end the mistreatment and inequality minorities face on a daily basis.
“I think racism will always exist because it is taught. The generation above us is still passing down prejudice and hatred, and there is nothing we can do except condemn those that are racist and make it a clear societal standard not to be,” Sarah Plemons, senior, said.
America has put in the effort over the last several months in bringing awareness to the discrimination against black lives. But America has also done the positive protests and protesters a disservice by not showing all the good done for people of color and their communities.