The Importance of the Black Lives Matter Movement


Jana Faour

Many students from Gables attended protests for the Black Lives Matter Movement including Karla Martinez pictured above.

Jana Faour, Copy Editor

The police, who White and White-passing children were raised to believe are the heroes of the world, are the same group of people that Black children grow up fearing. We shouldn’t be living in a world where citizens need to fear those who are there to “protect” them, and yet that is the reality that many people of color face in America- the reality in which the Black Lives Matter Movement is focused on eliminating.

This movement was originally created on July 23, 2013 in response to 17 year-old Trayvon Martin not receiving any justice for his surprising murder. He was fatally shot in the middle of the road for quite literally just walking in a neighborhood, yet his killer still walks freely. Questioning what the outcome of this case would’ve been if it was a young White boy who was shot sparked anger; chances are he would not have been killed in the first place and he absolutely would have received justice if he was. 

So what does the Black Lives Matter movement represent?

Black people have been oppressed since this country’s creation. Their words, their culture and their cries for help are silenced. The only time attention is brought to their culture is when people are appropriating it. The point of the Black Lives Matter movement is to give Black lives their voices and the space to live without fear, and uplift them to the level of the non-POC or white passing communities. To work towards a future where Black children can go to the park and their parents do not have to fear their kids losing their lives on the way there. To work towards a future where a Black man is seen to be just as qualified as a white man when he is applying for a job. To work towards a future where the Black community is no longer assumed to have ill intentions just because of the color of their skin.

Studies have shown that a Black person is killed by a police officer in America at the rate of more than one every other day.  However, it was not until recently that video evidence spread throughout the media and finally caught the public eye. On May 25, George Floyd was murdered in broad daylight as he was on his way back home from a convenience store. The police were called after a store worker said they believed he had paid with a counterfeit 20 dollar bill. Four cops attacked him as he walked and became consistently more violent, even though he complied with their orders. Officer Derek Chauvin then pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. He died on the street and three other cops stood by and watched. Meanwhile, his six year-old daughter waited at home for his return.

Although the video of George Floyd’s Death was vastly spread across the media, he was not the first to have been killed as a result of the racism rooted in this country. This list of names portrays only some of those who lost their lives to racism in America. After his murder, the Black Lives Matter movement skyrocketed—it is estimated that 20 million people have since protested in support of it in the U.S. This has been proven to be an international issue, though, as 60 other countries have had protests as well.

Disclaimer: The idea that Black Lives Matter does not mean other lives do not. It means other lives do not require this type of validation, as they are not continuously discriminated against for the color of their skin to the level of the Black community. This does not mean that they do not experience oppression in other facets, such as religion or sexual orientation. However, anyone who is White-passing does have privilege. On top of that, Republicans used to rebuttal Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter,” which soon became “Blue Lives Matter.” First of all, “Blue Lives” don’t exist. Someone’s job that lasts 40 hours a week is a choice they are making, a Black person does not choose to be Black, and they are not Black for a specific amount of time. Comparing a job and a race is like comparing Bananas and Apples, it sounds idiotic and makes zero sense.

Not to mention, it is quite ironic how some people took Black Lives Matter to offense because they took it as only Black Lives Matter, yet are okay with the phrase Blue Lives Matter. It seems they only have a problem when we address the fact that Black people are, in fact, significant.

“The younger generation did what everyone else has been scared to do, use their rights and voice to enforce what the government has not been able to do. Justice and equality for all, not just those who they prefer, black or white we are all the same on the inside. Personally, I think the message behind the movement is not just beautiful, it is so powerful,” senior Jasmine Morales said.

So what can we do to help?

We all have a voice, but Black ones are almost always politically silenced. Those of us who have the privilege of being listened to need to step back and give space to Black words. We must work together to make change happen. Petitions for the justice of Black individuals have been a huge force used in this fight. The protests that work towards dismantling the racist structure in our government are still going and growing.

The Black Lives Matter Movement focuses on demolishing this racism and prejudice. The fight will not end until Black lives are given the same respect as others, and when we get to that point, the abolition of these oppressive and destructive systems becomes necessary.

As the CavsConnect Editorial Board, we wanted to use our platform to speak about this extremely pressing issue and encourage our readers to do the same. It is of the utmost importance to amplify Black voices and use your own to speak out if you are not a part of the Black community. Sign petitions, attend protests, and speak out on your own platforms. Stand alongside the Black community in facing the systems of oppression that are rooted in our nation.

“At this point in history, hating someone in regards to their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation is highly outdated. So catch up with reality, check and educate yourself, and realize that there is only one race- the human race. It’s up to us to maintain our existence while praying for prosperity, instead of for our downfall,” junior Lawrence Stampino-Strain said.

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