Black Lives Matters Movement: the discussion shaping the nation


Although discrimination and oppression of the African American race has been occurring for centuries, because of recent events, there has been a revitalization of the civil rights movement. On Aug. 9, 2014, 18 year old African American Michael Brown was fatally shot by white police officer Darren Wilson. People of color gathered in the streets to protest Brown’s murder, believing this was an unjustified act of manslaughter.

This event soon snowballed into nationwide protests that marked the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement. BLM is an activist group that launches rallies nationwide to end racial bias and end discriminatory acts of violence and racial bias against members of the African American race. The primary focus is on the act of racial profiling and police brutality within the black community.

Many people believed black lives such as Brown’s were taken because of racial stereotyping and prejudiced beliefs. Even after the Civil Rights Movement, many whites were still raised to detest the African-American race. Racism is still abound in America. But, being black does not equate badness. Being black does not make one a hoodlum or a thug. However, being black does make one subject to violence because of the color of their skin.

“There is built-in leeway for police, and the very breadth of this leeway is why criminal charges against police are so rare.”
– Police oversight lawyer Walter Katz

A study conducted by the Washington Post showed that there were 400 cases of police shootings in 2015. Within these, shootings blacks were killed at three times the rate of whites or any other minority group.

The report of ‘Mapping Police Violence’ found that in cases of police shootings against African Americans, 98 percent of officers were not charged with committing a crime. Specifically in cases of police violence charges, the system protects the officer. A study conducted by an analysis with ProPublica, which combed through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplementary Homicide Report found that black men are 21 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than white men.

Not all police officers are racist. However, the fact of the matter is that there are bound to be racist officers who commit these crimes fueled by racism. These officers, the few among the many who take black lives, will most likely not be held accountable for their actions.

The reason that Black Lives Matter has become a prominent social cause is because we live in a nation where officers can racially stereotype and target blacks, and not be found not at fault. The system that prosecutes officers for their crimes is the same system that is designed to protect them. The people who lost their lives because of acts of racism and negligence will never see justice. The United States places the lives of its white citizens at a higher value than that of black citizens. It is time we ensure the civil liberties of all our citizens, not only the white population.