Black Lives Matter: Growing Movement or Growing Distraction to Social Justice?

Protesters rally at Washington Park, Sunday, July 10, 2016, in Cincinnati. Hundreds of people have gathered for a Black Lives Matter rally in Cincinnati following the fatal shootings of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota in the past week. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Protesters rally at Washington Park, Sunday, July 10, 2016, in Cincinnati. Hundreds of people have gathered for a Black Lives Matter rally in Cincinnati following the fatal shootings of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota in the past week. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

August 7, 2016 — The year 2016 saw many different demographics come to blows on opinions and morals when it comes to various events throughout the year, whether it was the ongoing election process going on or good and bad events happening to various individuals throughout the nation.

People in the United States encountered tragedy all over the country as events in Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Texas, and other states brought debate amongst various groups. It all started with the tragic shooting in Orlando resulting in 49 individuals losing their lives. As the world slowly worked towards healing and moving forward from that tragedy, the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille caused an uproar all over the community as people stood up and voiced their opinions of the treatment of individuals by police and the legal government system.

However, the growing frustrations within the community seem to bring people at odds with each other as emotional walls developed and communication between parties come across negatively. A perfect example of this was Toronto Pride, in which the local BLM chapter there interrupted the festivities, urging the organization to not include police floats and booths in the future and protesting the festival as a result.

Because of these events, a divide slowly developed between the Black community and the LGBT community. Many sources have even stated that this occurrence caused an exacerbation of the differences between the two demographics with many Black individuals even within the LGBT community have felt oppressed within the community. Above all else, this situation stimulated a further divide between the police and BLM and, even worse, police officers that identify as LGBT.

What has become quite evident within this growing movement, however, is that those supporting Black Lives Matter are straying away from the main mission of the movement, which states through its website that the movement “affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, Black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. It centers those that have been marginalized within Black liberation movements. It is a tactic to (re)build the Black liberation movement.”

Instead, it has resulted in acts of violent rage and revenge from radical individuals, acting on their personal emotions rather than building a forum for two opposing groups to come together and develop an understanding of each other’s sides to build solutions towards the ongoing problems within the community.

Black Lives Matter Movement has worked hard towards turning that around, meeting with a coalition of over 60 organizations with the same focus and mission for social justice and building an agenda to reform a list of demands from the organizations in order to build a unified front and plan to develop social justice and equality within various communities. The movement and affiliated organizations have been targeted towards being very critical and dangerous towards law enforcement, but this is the first time that the blueprints of a call to action plan has been developed by the growing movement.

Will this be the beginning of the true rebuilding of the movement or will it result in the demise of BLM and further discrimination for various demographics all over the nation?

For further details and research of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the latest news, take a look at their website at www.blacklivesmatter.com.

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