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Black Lives Matter is a national organization working for the validity of black life. The movement was created in 2012 after George Zimmerman was cleared of the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The movement was quickly theorized as being anti-police and opposed to all lives matter. People have totally taken this statement out of context. For those who are using “All Lives Matter”, you are stating we should not highlight the fact that black lives matter because of all lives matter. Yes, all lives do matter, but the value of black lives is under attack in America.
It is logically proven that the criminal justice system, in fact, America overall values white lives more than African-American lives. If you use the statement “All Lives Matter,” most likely, your residential area is predominantly white residences.
If you have ever witness injustices against people in the African-American community, you would completely understand why “All Lives Matter” is insulting. You have not experienced the sociocultural divide.
You do not recognize the inequality of how your racial group is treated compared to African Americans and others. Black Lives Matter is not testifying that other lives do not matter, rather it is indicating that there is an issue that is taking place in the black community that is not happening in other communities. The issues that lie in African-American communities are black-on-black crime, racism, lack of community policing, lack of education, lack of fathers, and little income. The list could go on and on, however, even if it did not, it should be very clear that black people have been underprivileged in America for centuries.
There is a misconception that black folks do not care about black-on-black crime. We do care. Others ask, well why isn’t the Black Lives Matter movement protesting against it?
Well they do, the leaders of Black Lives Matter are peaceful, anti-violence activists. They are opposed to all violence and crime. In cases where another African-American has murdered an African-American, there is justice; however, when a police officer guns down an African American there is rarely any justices, in most cases, charges are not filed. So this is why the Black Lives Matter movement is protesting. It is time for a change and the time is now. To reduce the level of crime in African-American communities, we could have more police officers patrolling. However sometimes increasing the presence of police officers make African Americans feel less safe because they worry for their lives and freedom. This has to do with the way police officers interact with citizens, especially black folks. Speaking for myself, I do not feel comfortable in the presence of a police officer, not because I am guilty of anything or hatred, however, because of bad experiences and unfamiliarity. Once when my younger brother was three, he would not speak or even shake the hand of a police officer. At first, I did not understand why. Even when I reassured him that it was okay, he still did not interact with the police officer. I am not sure what caused him to react that way, but it was not something my parents had taught him. Black people feel that the only time police officers come around is when chaos is occurring; however, that should not be the case.
Police officers must regain the trust of the black communities that they police. Police officers should take the time to build a relationship with the members of the community rather than being a complete stranger. Police should become more familiar with their communities, so they know how to react to certain situations and what kind of forces they should use. Black people are not more violent or prone to crime than others, however, they are more likely to be targeted by the police. I have experienced this for myself, just because of what color my skin is made me look suspicious. Police officers tend to judge, misconceive, and expect the worst of black folks. Many cops are scared of African Americans, which sometimes causes them to use excessive or unnecessary force. That is what causes the hatred of police. I am sure we all understand that police officers are ordinary people who want to do their jobs and return home safely. They do not have the right to criminalize black people or view black people as dangerous, in which they are taught to be more aggressive. We deserve protection as well. The Black Lives Matter movement intentions are not to make it less safe for police officers. However, they want to make police less of a threat to African-American communities. The Black Lives Matter movement is opposed to police brutality, not police officers. Which this is something most of the people who use “All Lives Matter,” don’t understand.
African-American communities tend to lack fathers. There is a high percentage of African-American children who are raised in a single mother household. Most African American fathers live separately from their children; however, they are still involved in their children’s lives just as much. More than half of African-American fathers who are not in the same household with their children see them probably once a month. It is important to have fathers in African-American children lives, but it is most important that they are involved in the male lives. I come from a single mother household, and it is tough. Even though it was hard for me not having my father around like he should’ve been, it was worse for my older brother. My brother took it the hardest, he continued to act out in school repeatedly, failed classes, and become more involved with the wrong crowd. My mother was there and yes she disciplined him, although it never seemed to work. One day I asked my brother why are you doing this, and he responded stating that he was angry, angry with our father for not being there, for not showing him how to become a young man or even just the simple things such as riding a bike.
He helped me understand why he was acting out so much. He was longing for attention; however, he was doing it all in the wrong way. Most African Americans do not come from a happy home. So if they have never seen Civil, how can you expect them to know what or how to be it? Instead of trying to criminalize them, why don’t we help them? We should create more big buddy programs for the male children who do not have male figures in their life, as well as the ones who do. These role models can help lead these young men into the right direction. Have more people who look like them, someone who can relate to them. Someone who can understand the issues that the youth is facing in today’s society. We all have to take a part in this to make a change; this is not a one-man show. In other words, America needs to listen and understand the reasoning behind all of this. Black Lives Matter is trying to say that all lives matter equally. However, you all are missing the bigger picture. For those who continue to use “All Lives Matter,” you are taking the focus away from the movement that is motivating America towards the bigger picture, and that is equality of all lives.
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