By Ronnie Watkins
*Physics major and senior*
Black Lives Matter is a chapter based, nationally organized movement. It was founded by three women with an urge to be a voice for people that do not have one. For those of you just now reading about this, it is good that you are learning about injustices in our society and can now spread the word in hopes of reaching a solution.
For those of you who not give this movement validity, I went and found the reason it was started from its official website. “Black Lives Matter was created in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, and dead 17-year old Trayvon was posthumously placed on trial for his own murder.” To further expand, the gated community’s neighborhood watch coordinator shot and killed a 17 year old African American boy and was taken to trial and then acquitted for his actions. Trayvon’s character and reputation, on the other hand, was put on trial after he was already dead. I think it is important that we keep that dichotomy in mind when we view the BLM movement. Of course, this is not the only unjust and unsettling police brutality incident-there have been many other recent, similar situations that have further proved the need for this movement.
No amount of statistics can disprove the preventable police brutality that has been inflicted on African Americans in the many videos that have been posted on various websites on the Internet. If there is at least one person that can be positively affected by this movement, the Black Lives Matter movement should continue.
Taking the side of Police Lives Matter in a crucial time of civil rights injustices is just plain ignorance. You’re choosing the side of people that already have sufficient backing in the courts. You’re siding with the people that are getting paid by the same people that make the laws of this country. Of courses police lives matter. They’ve always mattered in the eyes of society. Black lives, on the other hand, have not. For example, back in the 1960’s masses of black protesters fought for their right to vote and to assemble peacefully. During these protests however, they were sprayed down by fire hoses and treated inhumanely. Their lives did not seem to matter then.
Taking the side of police lives matter right now is like saying you really wished that Ariana Grande could get more airplay. Ari is always on the freaking radio! You don’t need to be a proponent for such things.
Personally, I grew up in a mixed race home and both of my siblings are half black. I’ve never really understood the motive that would cause people to hurt others with words or actions based on someone’s skin color. They are literally your brothers and sisters.
Maybe people will realize something is askew once they notice that the cops who shoot civilians get their job back but, the kids getting shot down do not get their lives back. Many people say, “If only there was a way for African Americans to demonstrate what they believe needs to be changed in a peaceful way without being blamed for it.” But unfortunately, those same people also condemn activists like Colin Kaepernick for taking such peaceful routes.
Let me leave you with a little two world scenario. If you vocally side with the Police Lives Matter movement and try to thwart the good things happening to better the lives in the African American community, you honestly are just being a prick. If you vocally side with the Black Lives Matter movement for reduced sentences placed on black lives, for the divestment in the prison loop and for reinvestment in schools around the black community, then the worst thing you are doing is being nice to your neighbors. You are listening and spotlighting a group of people that has long been ignored. What if they really did have problems with the way some police are treating them? Are you just going to turn a blind eye and pretend it’s not wrong because it isn’t affecting you?
Why not just love everyone you come into contact with?