Profile on Black Lives Matter
My cousin King Solomon was at it again. Stirring up a lot of dust on social media about protests against Police actions, after all he has over five thousand followers and gets lots of responses. One of the controversial subjects that cause a lot of dust kicking is centered on the Black Lives Matter Movement (the movement). From the comments I saw, it seems a lot of people are ignorant of the movement except for seeing them protesting and the propaganda that is spread from pissed off Police Officials and people apologizing for the Police. Well, I’ve decided to look into the Black lives matter movement and see what they stand for, and spread the love.
The Black Lives Matter movement (the movement) was created by three women Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors. The ideology of the movement was born out of the George Zimmerman / Travon Martin incident in 2012. The Black Lives Matter organization believes that black people residing in the U.S are actively being de-humanized and that there is a virulent anti-black culture that permeates the American society, and in other black centered movements. According to the organization the movement is a call to action that seeks to actively resist being de-humanized, and to respond to the virulent anti- black culture. The organization also claims that the movement goes beyond the extrajudicial killings of black people by Police and vigilantes; and that it goes beyond nationalism because nationalism tend to be narrow minded and often ignores women, queers, transgendered and the disabled, putting them in the background or not including them in the nationalistic agenda. The movement acknowledges the black queer, transgendered, disabled, the undocumented, the convicted and women. The central focus is on those that were marginalized in the black Liberation movements; at the same token using the central focus as a tactic to rebuild the Black Liberation movement.
Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.
The underlining principles of the movement are as follows:
1) Diversity: The movement is committed to acknowledging, respecting and celebrating differences and commonalities.
2) Globalism: The movement see themselves as being part of the global Black family and that they are aware of the different ways how the global Black family is impacted or privileged as Black folk who exist in different parts of the world.
3) Black Women: The movement is committed to building a Black women affirming space free from sexism, misogyny, and male‐centeredness.
4) Restorative Justice: The movement is committed to collectively, lovingly and courageously to performing vigorous work for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension all people forging a path to intentionally build and nurture and beloved community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative and not depleting.
5) Collective Value: The movement is guided by the fact all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbelief, immigration status or location.
6) Empathy: The movement is committed to practicing empathy and to engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.
7) Black Villages: The movement is committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, and especially “our” children to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable.
8) Loving Engagement: The movement is committed to embodying and practicing justice, liberation, and peace in their engagements with everyone.
9) Black Families: The movement is committed to making family-friendly spaces that will enable parents to fully participate with their children. The movement is also committed to dismantling the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” requiring them to mother in private even as they participate in justice work.
10) Queer Affirming: The movement is committed to fostering a queer‐affirming network with the intention of freeing the queer from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking or, rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual unless he or she disclose otherwise.
11) Trans-gender Affirming: The movement is committed to embracing and making space for trans brothers and sisters to participate and lead. The movement is also committed to being self-reflexive and doing the work required to dismantle cis-gender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.
12) Intergenerational: The movement is committed to fostering an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. The movement believes that all people, regardless of age, shows up with capacity to lead and learn.
13) Unapologetic Black: Members of the movement take the position of being unapologetically Black; affirming that the organization does not need to qualify their position to love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a necessary prerequisite for wanting the same for others.
There are some misconceptions about the Black Live Matter movement. Opponents to the movement suggested that the movement does not care about black on black crime. Others accused the movement of being anti-white, and that the movement hates Police Officers. The misconceptions were addressed by the movement.
The movement’s position on black on black crime is that the movement acknowledges the problem. However the movement wants their opponents to realize that those who insist on focusing on the subject of black on black crime when the black community or other movements similar to Black Lives Matter protest the murder of a black citizen by Police authorities or vigilantes is using the subject as a diversionary tactic. This suggests that blacks do not have the right to be outraged when events that takes the live of a black citizen by Police or vigilantes. In addition opponents fail to acknowledge that most crimes are intra-racial. For example ninety three percent of black murder victims are murdered by other blacks. Eighty four percent of white murder victims are murdered by other whites.
The movement’s response to accusations of being anti-white is that they are not anti-white, nor does the statement Black Lives Matter is a proposition of being anti-white. The movement claims that within the statement there is an unspoken implication “too.” This means the movement is really called “Black Lives Matter, Too…” This suggests that the movement is one that will include whites not exclude them. The movement take the position that those whites who insists on mis-characterizing the movement’s affirmations concerning the value of black lives as being anti-white is suggesting that black lives do not matter in order for white lives to matter. That suggestion is one of the foundations of white supremacy.
The movement’s stance that it hates Police Officers is false. The movement is not an anti-Police movement. The movement also recognizes that most Police Officers are everyday people who just want to do their jobs and safely go home to their families at the end of their shift. Yet, the movement has implicated Police as being part of the system that criminalize black people and promotes the view that black people are dangerous. Standard Police training teaches the Officers to be more aggressive, and less accommodating to black citizens and empathize that black citizens do not need protection and service just like every other community. The movement hopes that their activities will result in Police become less of a threat to the community rather then making the community unsafe for Police.
The movement rejects the idea of the use of military grade weapon by Police. The movement rejects the idea of asking the reason why citizens have been stopped or arrested as being disrespectful and resisting and a criminal offense. The movement rejects the idea that black people should be civil and act nice in the face of being hassled or arrested on trumped up charges. The movement rejects the idea that the Police should be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to policing communities.
So there you have it,a bit more information then what you hear from official’s complaints about this movement or what you hear from opponents. Just one more note. You may have noticed that there is also inclusion of queers (the movement’s words), this is because two of the founders are members of the GBLTQ community. Also realize that the even though the movement has supporters in the black community, the movement does not represent or speak for the black community as a whole; that their opinions, philosophy and activities are theirs and their supporters alone.