The Noble Works of the Black Lives Matter Movement
The Black Lives Matter movement has been described as many things: a terrorist organization, a movement for peace, a symbol of anti-whiteness, or a chance for racial justice and recognition. A lot of these ideas are marred in their incorrect stigmatization of the BLM movement. No matter the personal beliefs, though, one thing is true about the movement— it has impacted the world in many different ways. The Black Lives Matter movement, especially that of the summer of 2020, has completely reformed the American way of life. BLM has educated those across America on true stories from slavery and the Jim Crow era that was either never taught in schools or were maliciously altered to fit the “white-hero” narrative. BLM helped draft bills and laws against hair discrimination in the workplace and in schools. There is more talk about microaggressions on campuses through seminars, workshops, “safe-space” meetings, and on-campus organizations. Hate crimes being committed are being viewed in a more serious light in the media, with more subjective tones. More legal action is being sought out for past hate crimes and future prevention of such. And now, BLM has just been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.
Norwegian politician and the former secretary-general of the Norwegian branch of Amnesty International, Petter Eide, provides his reasoning for nominating the movement for the Nobel Prize: “Black Lives Matter has become a very important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice. “They have had a tremendous achievement in raising global awareness and consciousness about racial injustice.” Ironically, racists and white supremacists who claimed Eide nominated a “dangerous and violent hate-group” began threatening Eide in his decision to recognize BLM for what it was and what it always has been. “They were very nasty, and some of them were also threats. They were hateful." Eide said. Eide, however, heavily researched and observed the BLM movement in its years and years of work, with enough information to realize that the movement searched for one goal: racial justice. It was only rarely violent, with 90% of BLM demonstrations being peaceful studies show.
“I’m quite convinced that Black Lives Matter is a peaceful organization." “I believe that Black Lives Matter today represents the strongest global force or global movement to fight racial injustice," Eide confirms as he defends his choice. And that is exactly how the official Black Lives Matter Global Network feels. Being nominated was a significant feat and success for the decades spent peacefully fighting against racial injustice and discrimination. And finally, after years of upholding the Martin Luther King Jr.-esque way of non-violently fighting injustice, rather than the Malcolm X way of retaliating which is more than deserved, change is happening.
Black people have been doing their part in fighting for change since the beginning of oppression, however, these few recent years, non-POC, a.k.a. allies, have also shown effort in their support by listening and learning, rather than denying and aggressively attacking when movement as such is formed. This new “un-f*ck-withable” generation listed as Gen Z, is who I credit to overcoming the once firmly-situated racial mentalities and white supremacy barriers within their families. Allies, some against their family’s beliefs, marched with POC during these protests. They talked about the injustices their peers, classmates, coworkers, and friends face in the past and every day.
An “ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that 63% of Americans supported the BLM movement, and 69% agreed that Black people and other minorities are denied equal treatment in the criminal justice system.”
It seems Black people and POC have come a long way in their journey for justice. But Black people continue to die at the hands of the police and racists. Just last week on February 17th, 2021, three Black teenagers were gunned down by a racist 32-year-old man. The fact that a grown, white man was able to commit a hate crime against three recent high school graduates because of his internalized hate for these boys, these strangers, is why BLM continues to fight. Anti-blackness is diminishing, and it has shown a significant downfall since the summer of 2020. BLM has mentally, emotionally, and physically impacted the world, and many more, including Petter Eide, seems to agree. In better terms by Black Lives Matter’s Twitter page: “People are waking up to our global call: for racial justice and an end to economic injustice, environmental racism, and white supremacy. We're only getting started ✊🏾”
Reporter: Rachelle Barrette
THE VOICE, Gravity Magazine, 2021