Fully addresses the thesis statement including all the main issues, the secondary issues and explores the historical context and meaning over time. Provides evidence the fully supports a clearly delineated case for the topic and anticipates counterexamples, alternate interpretations or views and provides discussion of evidence. Provides analysis of evidence that fully supports a logically coherent and clearly delineated case for the topic and addresses counterexamples, alternate interpretations or views and provides discussion/analysis of all of the evidence and the historical context. MLA formatting issues
Stirring the Cauldron of Black Lives Matter
Every country’s history is full of narratives of people and movements that were detrimental to achieving particular goals. Each country, region, or group may have had different struggles, but the baseline always promotes equity amongst the community members. From the struggle for independence for most nations to the social changes in smaller units, the role of activism is hard to ignore. Yet, some struggles are far from over. Injustices on racial lines still occur. For instance, the rise of the Black Lives Matter(BLM) movement and its uptake by the community is an indicator that the fight for equity is far from over. The movement, made up of various black-led organizations, argues that it addresses race, gender, and class issues under one movement (Szetela, 1359). Police brutality may be the cause of the movement’s inception, but that is merely one form of racial discrimination. Black Lives Matter encompasses a narrative that requires a person to analyze several perspectives towards any social issue.
The Black Struggle
The idea that the American system devalues the Black people has been the backbone for most civil rights movements (Clayton, 449). The times of slavery may be long gone, but some of the issues facing black people during that era continue to date. The system may not have people having whippings in public, but the silent cry continues. Anyone who has watched the movie Twelve Years a Slave will tell you that the silent cries were the worst. They are a representation of repressed feelings and reactions that could eventually lead to worse issues. The fact that grand juries could acquit officers after police brutality injustices became the spark that lit the fire following the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter (Clayton, 454). People rose to show their support in the heat of the moment, but few would want to associate with the police. Even though there are black police, it is as though the police officer from a different race gets a target. History tells that even though abolishing slavery was a fight for the black person, but they did not fight alone. The black had the support of other white people. Fighting for the black lives today means including both the police and the black person. Taking in aspects of each side is key to the successful accomplishment of the movement’s goals.
Most of the time, some agendas fail to succeed due to people’s perceptions of them. In the 1960s, Martin Luther and other black leaders initiated a movement to fight Jim Crow laws (Clayton, 455). The misperception of the BLM movement means that the issues that the activists are fighting for are getting harder to keep up with or endorse. According to Garza, a queer and transgender rights activist, the most common misperception of the movement is that it advocates for gay rights but masquerades as a black civil rights movement (Cobb, 6). During the initial development of the movement, its major highlight was the disregard of the African-American life by the police force. After the George Zimmerman trial, people had different reactions and opinions to the verdict. The reactions of Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tomet, express their dissatisfaction in the system of justice that paints the victim as the offender highlighting the disregard in the lives of black people (Cobb, 3). Credited as the founders of the BLM movement, the three individuals point out a social injustice occurring generation after the other without enough uproar to change the direction of the tide. The establishment of the movement may itself be a start, but it cannot give a timeline to the plan’s fulfillment.
The Dangers of a One-Sided Tale
Whenever there is an issue in any given community, people have varying reactions. The prominent reactions will shape the social atmosphere. More often than not, people want to hear the victim’s story. However, there are times that both parties in an event are victims of different issues. Following the death of George Floyd in 2020, there was a resurgence in attention the Black Lives Matter conversation was receiving from the local citizens and foreigners (Haapala, 5). While the BLM movement activists saw another incident of social injustice occurring, Tucker Carlson had a different opinion. According to Carlson, the BLM movement was a political party that the democrats used to accumulate power and further their agenda (Haapala, 7). Carlson’s reaction attacks the credibility of the movement and the legitimacy of their fight. The opposition of activists is common and, to some extent, fuels the support more. Luther faced accusations of public incitement by local clergy at his time (Clayton, 459). One could argue that since Carlson is white, he has no business commenting on the affairs of the black community, but that would be suppressing his constitutional freedoms. Carlson undermines the BLM issues in the belief that racism is non-existent (Haapala, 14). Both parties are only projecting their sides, leaving the audience to pick a side as though a midpoint is impossible.
Social movements arise because people are no longer satisfied with their communities’ current state of affairs (Clayton, 452). The dissatisfaction of the Black community with the police’s conduct through the repeated undermining of the value of their lives is the root of the BLM movement. According to Szetela, the BLM movement uses the revenge narrative to galvanize its supporters to action (Szetela,1368). To get justice, one has to commit a similar crime is misleading as it leads to more injustices within the society. Fueling a war through the expression of rage against past actions is a powerful tool but could cause losses on both sides. Accusing the police of having a bias towards particular community members means facing the risk of supporter’s mistreatment or abandonment. For instance, in 2014, there was a police backlash towards BLM due to the murder of two police officers by Brinsley, who was allegedly avenging the deaths of two police brutality victims (Clayton, 454). Thinking that one can take affairs into their own hands to correct the social wrongs is a consequence of a narrative that points out one side as the offender. Police forces have had years of militarization ingrained in their training. The reactions of Black people to the police force and the effects of the training cannot be undone overnight.
The Future of Black Activism
In 2013 when the idea of a modern-day social movement to address the black community’s issues came up, few people could conceive the trajectory of events. Eight years later, the movement is still a common issue within and outside the United States and abroad. Running and maintaining a successful social movement is a challenge; one can never know how the events will turn out. Knowing that several factors affect the success of a social movement is key to building its foundations for future growth (Rojas, 1408). The BLM movement has a mature audience due to its way of publicizing its agendas and seeking the necessary partnerships. According to Ransby, rage fuels the BLM movement, and the ability to develop collective rage will prevent the movement from compromising on black issues (Ransby, 33). Knowing the kind of coupling that is right for the movement will propel further into the future.
Since the inception of the movement, there has been a lot of criticism on how its affairs are run. There are lots of commentaries on what the BLM movement should or should not to attain its agenda. Understanding that the BLM movement is a new type of movement is probably the foremost step to plotting a future path. Before the release of George Floyd’s video, most of the allegations of brutality came across as heresy and claims that the opposition could easily dismiss. However, the actions of the four police officers in the video gave a different perspective on the amount of force that law enforcers use. Unfortunately, sometimes the support of the BLM course by other people who identify with other activism organizations blurs the would have been a clear picture. However, since the narratives are not all shared simultaneously and have various levels of reach, the umbrella becomes like a canopy that blocks the roots of the plants. Thus, treating the symptoms rather than the cause.
People tire of the actions that were once tolerable and seek a different way to things. Though the different ways may not be immediately apparent, the people or movements who start and fuel resistance to the status quo inspire social change. Fifty years ago, Martin Luther and his supporters would fight against segregation, but they may not have anticipated the issues that will arise from the free interaction with other races. The version of the fight that the civil rights movement of the 60s represents is long gone, but the same devaluation is existent. The rise of the BLM movement resulted in protests that would lead to support of the course by many countries. The people in these countries may not be facing the same issues, but communal support in addressing the issues they grapple with is essential to maintaining victory. Although the future path is unclear, it has a chance of remaining relevant for decades. Attaining this goal will require the BLM movement keeps spreading and redefining its strategies to approaching the issues as the times change.
Today, if a person is not part of any other minority group, they seem to be part of the oppressive side. Hence, the controversy around the movement presents a social dilemma for any individual living who has any social relationships with the minority group, such as the black person. Black Lives Movement stands out as one of the most sensitive activism efforts due to the numerous perspectives. The offenses that the justice system has been committing highlight several failures in the policies and their implementation. Cases of injustice passing down from one generation to the other should become a thing of the past by conducting a joint venture. Change requires inclusivity of all people to ensure that the problems that people are trying to alter do not recur in a different population.
Clayton, Dewey M. “Black lives matter and the civil rights movement: A comparative analysis of two social movements in the United States.” Journal of Black Studies 49.5 (2018): 448-480.
Cobb, Jelani. “The matter of black lives matter.” The New Yorker 14 (2016).
Haapala, Saana. “De-legitimation of the Black Lives Matter movement: a critical discourse analytic study of Tucker Carlson Tonight.” (2021).
Ransby, Barbara. “The class politics of black lives matter.” Dissent 62.4 (2015): 31-34.
Rojas, Fabio. “Moving beyond the rhetoric: a comment on Szetela’s critique of the Black Lives Matter movement.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 43.8 (2020): 1407-1413.
Szetela, Adam. “Black Lives Matter at five: Limits and possibilities.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 43.8 (2020): 1358-1383.