Black Lives Matter. A movement that has been at the forefront of newspapers, magazines, tv, and news for the past year and a half. What is it? And what did it do for us?
On 13th March 2020, Breonna Taylor, a black woman was killed by the police in the confines of her home. Her crime? Virtually nothing. She lived with her boyfriend and was asleep when the police broke in and shot her because the house was suspected to be a drug-dealing hub.
Only a few weeks after this, a black man named George Floyd was murdered. This instance was recorded on the phone of a passer-by and was floated on the internet. The video captured was disheartening and brutal; George Floyd begged the police officer, Derek Chauvin, to remove his knee from his neck because he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin did not heed the pleas of the man and ended up killing him.
There was a mass outcry for justice after this happened. The police were ostracised (and rightly so) for this heinous act. A lot of such incidents were brought to light during this wave of anger that spread throughout the United States. This fueled the movement and led to it being known worldwide.
People from different countries started to read up upon the racism prevalent worldwide. Everyone started to educate themselves to understand the grievances of their black peers better. People from all the countries stood up in support of the movement. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram was all flooded with news about BLM. People were spreading awareness through whatever little they could do.
Peaceful protests were held during the covid-19 pandemic for BLM. Following proper social distancing norms and wearing masks, they were a success at first. Later on, as the movement gathered more attention, riots were found to have taken place all across the country. They contributed to the destruction of property and vandalism, diverging from the problem at hand which is racism.
There is information that the protestors who took part in such violent ways were not in support of the movement and just wanted for it to gain a bad reputation, thus being ridiculed and dying down. But that is the opposite of what happened. BLM gained more media coverage due to this and more people started to keep up with the movement.
After almost a year and a half, we can say that it has led to something. A lot of white people realised and acknowledged the systemic racism present that is rigged against the black folks, Asian folks and other ethnicities. BLM is an ongoing movement; the world hasn’t become a utopia but it is working towards it. All the work, the acknowledgement, the protests have made a difference.