BlackLivesMatter is an international activist movement established in 2013 as a Twitter hashtag that campaigns against violence toward black Americans.
It was created as a direct response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, 32, a white neighborhood watchman who was charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin who was only 17 at the time of his death. However, in the past three years since the murder of Martin, there have been numerous racially charged murders that have added a passionate spark to this movement.
In light of these murders the Black Lives Matter movement has gathered momentum. Because of the technological advances of the 21st century most of these acts are captured on video, which has finally brought racism to the homes of those who have chosen to turn a blind eye to it.
However, Black Lives Matter has grown from a plight for courtroom justice to a political battle cry which has been the hot subject surrounding presidential hopeful campaigns as well as political debates.
Most recently Hillary Clinton bore witness to the movement up close when she gave a speech at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. She was interrupted by BLM protesters who insisted that she only briefly covers the subject to exploit the black population for the vote. “Unfortunately, rhetoric DOES NOT save us, nor does it give confidence to black voters that we can trust Hillary to prioritize the necessity of ensuring our safety,” according to one of the protestors.
Although the black community would appear to be mostly united on this particular front, the white community does not appear to be.
The hashtag ‘All Lives Matter’ was created as a direct response to the black lives matter campaign.
David Bedrick, an author for The Huffington Post says it’s being called “more empowering as well as diversity affirming”.
Its popular opinion of black Americans that the ‘All Lives Matter’ movement disregards the importance of the BLM movement and instead attempts to hide the willful ignorance of America’s racist history.
White American resident of the first ward Jacob Jaehne, 18 says, “I see the “All Lives Matter” campaign and although I agree with the statement that all lives matter, I think people get caught up. Honestly, I think it’s downright ironic. BLM is a symbol that people do not recognize all lives matter. In my opinion, people misunderstand the context. Of course all lives matter, and it is because of that that we need to address why black people feel they do not matter as well as methods for which we can change that.”
However, there are some white Americans who are more reserved when they are approached regarding the subject BLM. Jess Marciello, 17 also a resident of the first ward stated “As far as I know I agree with their views but I’m not very educated on their objectives” almost as if she’s completely bias.
Her view is not uncommon. BLM is recognized as a radical protest on social media platforms such as Twitter. The use of the hashtag (Black Lives Matter) is usually followed by attacks from multiple, aggressive, close minded individuals who refuse to see the larger picture of the movement. Most of which are white males. Their arguments stand on the fact that black-on-black crime remains an issue within the black community and that black Americans should deal with that before they attack white Americans for not valuing their life.
All white Americans do not share those beliefs. When asked about the BLM movement Jaehne said, “everyone deserves a voice, no matter what they identify. I agree with the cause and feel that the best and perhaps only way to indicate that something is wrong is to raise awareness. BLM in my opinion sends an appropriate message that the issue of race is still that – an issue, and needs to be addressed and further dealt with.”
Which perfectly captures the message that BLM is attempting to reveal in the protests speeches and hashtags.