September 22, 2020

This is not a casual statement, but a subconscious appeal that became a conscious mantra for social change and justice, particularly about the indiscriminate slaughtering of Black Americans in United States, by police officers while the system turned blind-eye to the atrocities. This is a platform of necessity born out of deafening silence of racial inequality that became fatally disturbing and conspicuously outrageous in a society where government existed. “Black lives matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of black folks’ humanity.”

It was in the wake of 2013, when a young African American lad, 17 years old, Trayvon Martins, was murdered by a local vigilante in Sanford, Florida. Despite the public outcry and demand for justice, the Killer, George Zimmermann was acquitted. This acquittal set waves of anger around the world, suggesting a travesty of justice in the judicial process that imputed no guilt to a killer. Infuriated by this supposed recklessness in justice system, a trio, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors coined the phrase and created black-centered movement that is today called black lives matter.

Today the entire nation of United States, with all men that frown at racial injustice; crowded behind this mantra and adopted it as a slogan against oppression and a demand for a just society free from racism and botched criminal justice system. This slogan has taken root all over the world, enfolding men of goodwill who joined their voices in rejection of evil and impunity of societies that literally eat up the citizens and the populace. Black lives matter movement has become a force whose positive outcome is inestimable. The social change it intended to bring about is welcomed by many, but some people still see the movement differently.

The argument that seemed to challenge the credibility of black lives matter is upheld by some who see the movement as hypocritical. This argument rose from what I saw as a limited, narrow perception of the spirit behind this organ of social change. They contend that black-on-black homicide in almost every city in United States highly outnumbered what is perceived as racial killing of Black Americans by law enforcement agents. The back should quit this cheap publicity of protest each time racially extrajudicial killing takes place. The Black Americans and minorities should go and fix their disorganized and crime-ridden communities before taking to the street to make noise. It is not only black lives matter; all lives matter too.

The truth is that this argument sounded plausible when it is examined peripherally, but it missed the point and the spirit behind the movement from historical perspective and sound reasoning. No one is in doubt or ignorant of the wild-wild west going on in Black American and minority communities in United States. It is indubitable that minorities, especially Black Americans have turned their cities the funeral cites where black victims fall in the hands of their own people. “Research has long documented that most violence occur within racial groups and that black Americans, often victimized by black offenders, experience disproportionately high levels of violent crimes.” The level of gun violent death in minority communities is alarming, and that pales when compared to police brutality and racial killings.

What black lives matter opponents fail to comprehend is that the movement though had their eyes on protest against police brutality and racial killing by law enforcement agents; it is a platform against all forms of discrimination and racial injustice on minorities. The accumulation of years of racial injustice had given minority groups their messy, present world. And all these discrimination are all connected to create vulnerable individuals without supportive means like the white counterpart.

For instance, think about the housing and segregation policy, which although no more in effect, but ended up separating minorities from the white. The term black neighborhood or community invariably implies that there are white neighborhoods and communities today. These black communities are ridden with poverty that a black male before the age of twenty two, is likely to drop out of school, arrested for drug offences or homicide, incarcerated with many felonies, hanging behind his sagged pants, or killed by racist police officers. A black female, on the other hand, runs the risk of getting pregnant before eighteen years of age, and many times without a husband or education to push her way to a successful life.

The fact is that the implication of systemic racism and injustice has tremendous ramifications. If opportunities are denied a group of people, it affects the entire life of the people. The level of poverty and illiteracy amongst Black Americans is evident in the outcome of their socially destabilized community. Black lives matter movement is asking the government to address racial killings and social injustice that left Black Americans impoverished without opportunities to succeed. #ConcernOfTheBookWhichIsToCome#RaceAndRacismInTheAgeOfJudgment

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