The United States has an obvious race problem—a dilemma so intense people can no longer ignore the deafening roar of racial inequality. The Black Lives Matter movement, born out of the need to solve America’s racial crisis, does not condone violence despite what some may believe.
Some conservative students felt aggrieved in light of BLM’s co-founder Opal Tometi appearance as the keynote speaker for the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion’s social justice series. They planned to protest against what they believe to be a “violent hate group.” The problem is simple: those indignant conservatives don’t know what they’re talking about.
In response to events that occurred last year, many misinformed Americans believe BLM endorses the killing of cops and violence toward law enforcement officers. After Houston resident Shannon Miles allegedly murdered sheriff deputy Darren Goforth as “retaliation” against law enforcement, BLM has been blamed for his actions.
Directly accusing the social justice movement for the isolated instances of individuals acting out against law enforcement is stereotyping at its finest. When one cop kills an innocent man, not all police officers are at fault. However, the group wishing to indict BLM believes all supporters of the movement are at fault when one individual acts.
Absolution designated toward law enforcement officers should be applied evenly and fairly to all groups. An entire movement should not be stereotyped and deemed violent and insufficient due to the actions of the random black people who are not even explicitly tied to it.
BLM spurned from the extrajudicial killings of black people, particularly Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner. However, the crusade is no longer concerned with just police brutality. The agenda and goals of BLM range from the failing public education system to repairing the structural societal problems, including safe and affordable housing.
The movement is not a one-trick pony concerned with a single issue, but a renaissance group tackling the disproportional, and often intersectional problems of the black community. The BLM movement does not deny cops have also taken the lives of people who are not black.
The emphasis on black lives is necessary because police brutality affects black Americans at a disproportionate rate. They fight against the almost sanctioned slaughter of people by a system that inherently attempts to counteract accountability, especially when the lives taken are black.
“Black Lives Matter” is not an anti-white, anti-cop proposition or a proclamation that black lives are more important. It is a declaration that black lives are important, too.
The movement is more than a campaign against police brutality—it is a battle for the equality of all people who live in this great country.