The Impact of Black Lives Matter in Solving Racism Related Issues in the US
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international social movement based in the United States that
dedicates itself to fighting racism and anti-black violence, especially police brutality. The name
BLM was coined on social media in hashtag #BlackLivesMatter following an acquittal of a
police officer who had shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in 2013. Today the BLM has
become a fully pledged political movement with a worldwide appeal as a symbol of the struggle
for the emancipation of black people (Garza, 2014). Notably, the hashtag became so
phenomenal, and the American Dialect Society chose it as its 2014 word of the year, resulting
from its role in the political discourse. The hashtag has become synonymous with activism,
inspiring people to rally around similar hashtags such as #BlackKidsMatter,
#BlackLawyersMatter, and #BlackWomenMatter. All these movements are built around the
values of the larger #BlackLivesMatter while focusing on supporting specific groups within the
Unfortunately, the BLM's conspicuousness has fueled a feeling of elevation of black lives above
other lives, with white supremacists forming counter groups such as #WhiteLivesMatter and
#AllLivesMatter. But the rival groups have faced criticism for staging a counter-protest to black
people's protest to ensure basic human rights and dignity for all black people. In other words,
saying black lives matter does not mean other lives don't matter. It simply means black people
are at a higher risk of encountering police brutality; therefore, they should be assured of their
rights against brutality (Gallagher et al., 2018). Saying lives matter as a counter-protest to black
lives matter is like having a house on fire, but instead of putting off the fire, you starting saying
all house matter. Well, it is true all houses matter, but at the moment only one house is on fire.
It is correct to say that the black lives matter movement is human rights-oriented rather than a
civil rights movement. In essence, American society has enough laws to protect every human,
but the problem is the laws are getting applied in a partisan matter. For instance, as I noted
earlier, white police get away with murdering black people even when there is overwhelming
evidence. Therefore, the BLM's primary focus is to ensure society's reordering so that every
human being and, in specific reference, the black people get treated with respect (Shor, 2015).
However, while at it, the BLM has had a significant impact on the American political and legal
landscape. Notably, the BLM encompasses a collective grouping of black liberation
organizations, including Black Youth Project 100, the Dream Defenders, and Assata’s
Daughters, the St. Louis Action Council, Millennial Activists United, and Organization for Black
Struggle. All these distinct groups have gotten into various struggles that led to unfavorable
politicians and prosecutors' ousting.
In Chicago, Assata's Daughters' combined efforts and the Black Youth Project 100 influenced
the ousting of high profile prosecutor. Notably, while serving as the Cook County prosecutor,
Anita Alvarez had failed to prosecute police officers who had murdered sixty-eight persons.
Similarly, in Florida, a group known as the Dream Defenders played a vital role in ending Angel
Corey's streak as state Attorney. Corey is infamously known for refusing to prosecute George
Zimmerman, who had killed an unarmed black teenager known as Trayvon Martin. Ironically,
Corey vehemently pursued Marissa Alexander, a black woman who had fired a warning shot into
the air as a defense against her abusive ex-husband.
Also, the BLM activists' concerted efforts in Missouri led to the resignation of the President of
the University of Missouri for failing to deal with racism on campus. Additionally, BLM
democrats convinced the Democratic Party to restructure its national platform to include criminal
justice reforms. Further, the BLM led to the election of Chokwe Lumumba, a black leftist
organizer, as mayor in a predominantly Republican neighborhood of Jackson, Mississippi. The
BLM also influenced the release of four United States Department of Justice reports detailing
deep-seated corruption involving failure to prosecute whites who committed crimes against black
people. The affected counties included Baltimore, Ferguson, Chicago, and Cleveland (Taylor,
2016). The reports' release was a huge win for BLM in its quest to ensure justice and equality
before the law for black people.
One of the BLM lead activists, Patrisse Cullor, launched the Dignity and Power Movement
(DPM) within the BLM. The DPM focuses on supporting incarcerated people of color and
helping save others from incarceration. Notably, the DPM argues that the police have been
politicized to the extent that policing is no longer about keeping security but profit. Therefore,
the DPM is calling for the police's eventual banning since statistics show that the police do more
harm than good to society (Khan-Cullors, 2018). Also, the DPM holds that the prison system has
been crafted so that the spaces must be filled so that the people who make supplies to the prison
can reap great profits. Therefore, to keep the population at maximum in the prisons, the police
end up creating crimes even where they are non-existent. The police end up targeting people of
color for the pettiest of reason to meet their criminals' demands.
The DPM holds that the starting point should be defunding the police and redirecting the hefty
budgets given to the police towards creating safe neighborhoods for everyone. Notably, one of
the reasons why some people may get tempted to engage in criminal activities is due to
dwindling life prospects and lack of education. Thus, the big budgets given to the police should
get paid focused, enabling black people to start businesses and acquire education to equip them
with life skills. The DPM also holds that the redirected police budgets can get invested in mental
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health programs and conflict resolution undertakings. It is said that a lot of people in our prison
system are mentally ill, yet instead of treating them, we place them in incarceration for
misdemeanors. Maybe, if we can learn to confront the actual cause of the problem before it
reaches a crisis level, we shall have eliminated the possible crime.
In conclusion, the BLM has had a significant impact on solving race-related problems in the
United States. The discussion about police violence has greatly improved, with people who were
not aware of police brutality and laxity against people of color finally acknowledging the
problem. Therefore, it is right to say that BLM has transformed how Americans think, talk, and
organize for freedom. The battle is far from over, but great strides have gotten made to ensure
black people's liberation in America.
Gallagher, R. J., Reagan, A. J., Danforth, C. M., & Dodds, P. S. (2018). Divergent discourse
between protests and counter-protests:# BlackLivesMatter and# AllLivesMatter. PloS
one, 13(4), e0195644.
Garza, A. (2014). A herstory of the# BlackLivesMatter movement. Are all the women still white?
Rethinking race, expanding feminisms, 23-28.
Khan-Cullors, Patrisse. When they call you a terrorist: A black lives matter memoir. St. Martin's
Shor, F. (2015). " Black Lives Matter": Constructing a New Civil Rights and Black Freedom
Movement. New Politics, 15(3), 28.
Taylor, K. Y. (2016). From# BlackLivesMatter to black liberation. Haymarket Books.