AfricanAmericans have always been the minorities that have suffered immenseinjustices over the years. This minority race had first arrived inthe country as slaves. The abolishment of slavery granted them theirfreedom, but they were still segregated based on their race. TheCivil Rights Movement ensured that they could finally enjoy all therights merited to American citizens. However, even after all thesereforms to their state of life, the community has encounteredincidences of police brutality, especially on the African Americanyouths, underemployment is prevalent among the blacks, and many havesubstandard housing. This was the nightmare that Dr. Martin Kingpredicted in his speech (Taylor, 13). In the summer of 2016, minorgrumbles about brutal policing begun to emerge. The shooting ofMichael Brown on August 9, 2014, was the spark that led to thenationwide demonstrations against the uncalled for actions of the lawenforcement team on black men, especially in Ferguson. The publicoutcry turned into an entire movement known as “Black Lives Matter”(Taylor, 13).
TheBlack Lives Matter movement considers power as equal rights andjustice for the African American community their acts of civildisobedience are aimed at shining a light on the evils that thiscommunity faces on a regular basis.
Thisanalysis tries to find out the key issues that led to the rise of themovement building from peer-reviewed articles as well as primarysources. The objective of this evaluation is to make every New Yorkeraware that even though every American citizen ought to enjoy similarcivil rights, some minority groups are denied those same rightsthrough racial profiling.
ResearchProject Building Just Communities in NYC
Accordingto the Black Lives Matter movement, power is considered as justice.The African American community made a decision to show the federalgovernment that their people were facing numerous situations that canare evidently unjust and unconstitutional. The black youths are theprimary recipients of the untold acts of inequality and unfairnessespecially when it involves the police (Crenshaw et al., 3). Manyblack youths have been gunned down even after they had alreadysurrendered to the officers and signified that they were not carryingany weapons. If such situations were isolated events, the problemwould have never escalated. Sadly, more young people from theaffected community have been killed under the same conditions. Thepeople that have lost their lives in such situations arepredominantly black youths with some petty offenses in their records(Crenshaw et al., 3). The most outspoken activists have declared thatsuch killings are unconstitutional, hence, against the law. The issuebecomes bigger once the demographics are analyzed. It becomes clearthat the majority, if not all, of the people maimed by police fire,are African Americans. The Black Lives Matter undertaking was enactedto try and question the statistics. Too many black youths are killedin questionable circumstances by the organization charged with therole of upholding the law. According to the US Constitution, a policeofficer is only allowed to discharge their firearm if their life isthreatened by a suspect, or if the suspect might endanger the livesof innocent bystanders. Very few white people have ever been shotdown under the same conditions. The argument that the movementportrays is very sound since they feel like it is only AfricanAmericans that are being targeted. They feel that the USadministration has waged war on the black people and they want theinjustice to end (The Movement for Black Lives, 2016). Their actionsare aimed at restoring equality and fairness to every individual thatmight find themselves harassed by the law enforcers. The evidencegiven from the primary source clearly stipulates why the movement isjustified for their actions. The black community has experienced toomany atrocities against their freedom, and the reaction can be seenas an awareness campaign. Every citizen in the US has the right toenjoy all the freedoms that are specified in the constitution. Inthis instance, Black Lives Matter is an uprising that seeks torectify every wrong that has been dealt on African Americans. Theworst wrong that has been done to them is the unlawful murders ofblack women over the last 20 years. According to the Crenshaw et al.,“The resurgent racial justice movement in the United States hasdeveloped a clear frame to understand the police killings of Blackmen and boys, theorizing the ways in which they are systematicallycriminalized and feared across disparate class backgrounds andirrespective of circumstance. Yet, black women who are profiled,beaten, sexually assaulted, and killed by law enforcement officialsare conspicuously absent from this frame even when their experiencesare identical. When their experiences with police violence aredistinct—uniquely informed by race, gender, gender identity, andsexual orientation—Black women remain invisible.” (Crenshaw etal., 3). The statement indicates that the black women are neglectedas victims of the same brutality from the police. They are pushingfor these reforms through the use of active public awareness. Manycivil rights groups have been taking on the streets to condemn thesekillings. Further recognitions have been pushed through the socialmedia especially on Twitter using the trending topic known as“#BlackLivesMatter.”
TheBlack Lives Matter movement calls for even opportunities for allAmericans regardless of race or ethnicity. The African Americancommunity has always been wrongly described as comprised of peoplethat are lazy, violent and prone to crime. The population of peoplethat are annually convicted of various felonies usually has blackfolks as the highest percentage. The figures might indicate that thecommunity has many individuals that choose crime as an easyalternative to making ends meet. Using these facts, the black youthsare always treated as guilty before they can prove that they areinnocent. The first requirement that the movement posted on theirlist of demands is that they want, “An immediate endto the criminalization and dehumanization of Black youthacross all areas of society including, but not limited to ournation’s justice and education systems, social service agencies,and media and pop culture.” (The Movement for Black Lives, 2016).However, the rising rate of black youths that turn to lawbreaking isattributed to the unequal allocation of resources. People that growup in black neighborhoods realize that they have minimal chances ofachieving success in any venture they might select. These issuesbegin at the school level. The African American children do not enjoyan education that other children in the US usually experience. Thepublic schools in the United States are the main source ofinformation for such underprivileged children. The black studentsthat hail from poor neighborhoods make the bulk of this population.Such institutions are always in despicable conditions, and they arealways staffed with unqualified teachers. Such conditions rarely spewout students that can qualify for college or even get well-payingjobs. The African American community rarely has the funds to sponsorall of its students to attend private schools. There are no policiesin place that can ensure gifted students get scholarships or othermechanisms that can ensure that such students can receive the bestformal learning possible. Given these hindrances, it becomes obviouswhy many black youths end up dropping out from their learninginstitutions. The lack of quality education makes them have no otheroption, but to turn to crime as a way of life. Criminalizing everyyoung African American is a serious problem that the movementattempts to eliminate (The Movement for Black Lives, 2016). Thearguments that are put forward by the activists in the movement makesense because if each student from the marginalized regions is givena chance to better themselves, they can achieve it. Sadly, the lackof proper channels which can reach out to exceptional learners in thecommunity makes it hard for them to create a generation that canchange the present notion regarding the black folk (Taylor, 16). Thismovement also tries to restore the balance in the unfair allocationof chances and opportunities. By calling themselves “Black LivesMatter,” they not only mean that their life is important, but theyare also trying to state that the well-being of the African-Americancommunity in its entirety is fundamental (The Movement for BlackLives, 2016). To the uprising, power is equality in all aspects ofthe lives of the American people. Every youth from the blackcommunity should be provided with the same opportunities that themajority groups enjoy.
TheBlack Lives Matter movement also considers power as fair treatmentfor the black woman. The African American female is the mostdisadvantaged person in America. The problems that they face arerarely considered, especially in the statistical figures. Their malecounterparts are usually the ones mentioned (Crenshaw et al., 3).Black women have had many issues in the past that involved theircivil rights. They were the last individuals to be granted the rightto vote even after the women suffrage movement. Considering womenalready have issues with the wage disparity between working males andfemales, a black woman faces more challenges than a white woman. FromTaylor’s article, “In larger cities, Black women are as likely tobe evicted as Black men are to be imprisoned: in Milwaukee, thoughBlack women are 9 percent of the population, they account for30percent of all evictions.” (Taylor, 19). From the time that theyare in school, they are treated differently. When it comes topunishments for misdemeanors, they receive far worse castigationscompared with their white counterparts. Examples include Kemba Smithand Dorothy Gaines that were given maximum sentences even though theywere not directly involved in the drug trade (Crenshaw et al., 16).They are considered as more hostile and unrepentant compared to whitewomen. With such basic notions, the administrations that run learninginstitutions rarely take the time to listen to a case since theyalready have their set opinions and conclusions. The problem becomesworse for those that manage to finish school. While they attempt tolook for jobs, they are always the in the last category that isconsidered. Qualifications rarely matter if the people conducting theinterview already know your gender and race. Even those that getadequate jobs can still attest that there is a disparity in theworkplace. The black woman is the one that ends up with the toughestassignments and usually the last person to receive the benefits thatthe organization that they work for offers. The uprising is alsocalling to action such injustices so that an even solution can befound. Power in this sense is to make sure that every person from anygender or race can be treated the same and also be able to enjoy thefreedoms that are a right for each American citizen. No single personshould be treated as more important than another person without a setform of assessment other than race or gender (Crenshaw et al., 9). In this sense, the article by Lindsey aims at creating more publicawareness of the evils that the black women suffer. The publicity isintended at reducing such social injustices. Power will have beengiven to the African American women once the agenda is fulfilled(Lindsey, 1-6).
TheBlack Lives Matter uprising seeks for reforms in the criminal andjustice department. Based on their statements, the majority of thepeople that are convicted are usually African Americans. Most of thetime these individuals have no opportunities for a fair trial. Theycan rarely afford good lawyers, and so, they have to settle for thecourt appointed advocates. These representatives do shoddy work attrying to plead for their clients who always end up getting maximumsentences (The Movement for Black Lives, 2016). White perpetratorsreceive a better deal since the majority can afford diligent criminallawyers. The situation becomes worse because two people fromdifferent races may be charged with a similar crime, but the AfricanAmerican person may end up with a longer sentence (Crenshaw et al.,16). The uprising also attempts to rectify the situation because,according to the laws and statutes, every individual has the right toa fair trial and proper representation. Without such representation,no case should be seen as just. The movement calls for an overhaul ofthe system and seeks for better methods that would guarantee everyperson a fair trial. The uprising also aims at abolishing fees andother miscellaneous charges that are dispensed by the court. Manypeople from the black community usually find themselves charged withvarious misdemeanors that require some fine to be paid before theycan be exonerated. These people that are required to pay such feesare frequently the African American individuals that have no extraincome to cover such costs. Whenever they fail to pay the requiredamount, they can end be locked up. An example is in Alabama wherefailure to pay court fees results to further fines or imprisonment(Taylor, 90). Those fees are uproarious, especially when they areexempted on the unfortunate members of the society. If suchirrelevant charges are dropped, the movement would have attained somepower since the people that they are fighting for will be in a bettersituation. Another declaration from Black Lives Matter is that thebail should be completely eradicated (Taylor, 90). The statement doesnot seem valid since if there were any bail that every person has topay once they get arrested, suspects would find an easy time escapingthe reach of the law. However, the bail can be waivered forindividuals that cannot afford the amount posted and if they are notat a risk of evading the charges that they need to answer (TheMovement for Black Lives, 2016).
Fromthe analysis of the movement dubbed Black Lives Matter, power hasbeen associated with fairness, equality, and justice. This uprisingis solely structured in a manner that seeks the best interests of theblack people. African Americans have been subjected to a lot ofunfair treatment, especially when it related to their civil rights.The agenda of this group is to ensure that black people are nottreated differently. The instances of police brutality that haveended up in the death of many African American youths was theprecursor to the awakening. As more civil rights activists call forequal treatment from the law enforcers, the uprising also assessesthe factors that may lead to such disparaging opinions that thepopulace has for the black community. Resources need to bediversified so that every citizen is given an equal chance ofstructuring their future lives. African American women should also begiven similar rights as their counterparts. Finally, the criminal andjustice system should not be structured in a manner where only blackoffenders receive the maximum punishment. When all these requirementsare fulfilled, power would finally be given to the community, and,hence, justice will have been achieved. They attempt to achieve allthese objectives through vigorous public awareness. The activistshave openly spoken up for the injustices that the black communityfaces. Other aspects like altering the law are being followed up bythe relevant lobbyists that support the cause. Through the use ofdemonstrations, campaigns, and the legal system, the Black LivesMatters movement has gained enough attention from the populace. It isonly matter of time before their declarations are enacted.
"Endthe War on Black People – The Movement for Black Lives." TheMovement for Black Lives RSS.N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2016. Fromhttps://policy.m4bl.org/end-war-on-black-people/
Crenshaw,Kimberlé, et al. Sayher name: Resisting police brutality against black women.2015. Retrieved on November 2, 2016. Fromhttp://static1.squarespace.com/static/53f20d90e4b0b80451158d8c/t/560c068ee4b0af26f72741df/1443628686535/AAPF_SMN_Brief_Full_singles-min.pdf
Lindsey,Treva B. "A Love Letter to Black Feminism." TheBlack Scholar45.4(2015): 1-6.
Taylor,Keeanga- Yamatha. “BlackLives Matter, A Movement, Not a Moment.”From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation. Chicago: Haymarket, 2016.Print.