In the weeks following the tragic death of George Floyd, millions of people all over the world have taken to the streets to demand justice, protest the police, and call for reforms. As part of efforts to spread awareness, activists painted a massive “BLACK LIVES MATTER” yellow mural on the road to the White House. The area was officially declared the Black Lives Matter Plaza, complete with a new street sign. But what is BLM, anyway?
The Origins of BLM
Black Lives Matter is a pressure group from the black community. It holds protests against alleged systemic racism and violence toward minorities. BLM organizers say they stand for principles including diversity, empathy, and globalism. Especially since the Floyd murder, BLM is calling to get rid of police forces.
BLM has turned into a global human rights social campaign. It became known all over the world thanks to the Twitter hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. The first protest occurred across the U.S. in 2014 after a black man named Michael Brown died in the custody of the Ferguson, Missouri, police. Since then, BLM protests typically spring up anytime there is a questionable death of a black person, and the police are involved.
The organization has received both praise and criticism over the years.
BLM has been celebrated for holding mostly peaceful protests and bringing attention to an important issue. A lot of individuals with BLM have condemned riots and looting in the U.S.
On the other hand, some members have promoted violence and aggressive tactics.
Critics argue that the movement has refused to talk about some issues. For instance, BLM has been slammed for ignoring violence against black Americans when the culprits are also black (known as black-on-black crime), a big problem in America’s inner cities.
Commentators say other forces have used BLM to push far-left ideologies rather than focusing on equality for black Americans.
It has been said that BLM’s anti-police message added to rising crime rates in the black community because police officers were less active in doing their jobs.
Black Lives Matter will likely be a force for many years to come. Until many of the activists see their demands realized, such as defunding the police, BLM protests will keep occurring anytime there are reports of police wrongdoing. Whether their ideas result in real change for the black community or not, remains to be seen.