There has been a lot of talk about the Black Lives Matter movement since extra light has been shed on the unjust killings of black men by white policemen in America. The movement started with campaigning against violence towards black people after the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter became popular on social media when George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin, a black teen, in 2013.
There are some extremely positive things about the movement, the extra awareness regarding recent injustices that has come through social media is one of them. Some people who didn’t think systemic racial oppression existed have now seen the results of such a system. We have seen how policemen abuse their power and how the American justice system protects them from effective prosecution.
Social media has been an important outlet for the BLM movement, with people able to see the tragedies, feel upset, like the video and give their opinion. People watch videos of policemen shooting black people, beating black women and throwing around black children and it stirs up emotions inside they didn’t even know they had. Because the imagery is so potent, more people pay attention and it has a lasting effect.
Black Lives Matter now has t-shirts and other items for sale on various websites. I’m not sure if the same people who make the murder memorabilia are the same people who started the movement but the fact that it exists and people buy it, shows the direction a positive concept can go in after the world is exposed to it. People don’t read as much these days and have become accustom to short sharp headlines. News feeds and online posts have given people more news in shorter doses with much less specified content. The danger of this is a lack of understanding of a subjects content but an increased dose of hysteria and emotional connection with the projected headline stories. Black Lives matter is about so much more than policemen killing black men yet we so easily get lost in the catchy titles and emotional content.
The truth is on the whole Black lives don’t matter to most people. Black American Lives seem to be significantly more important than any other type of black, and the police a more worthy adversary than any other murderer. The fear mongering has been going on for too long now and reality needs to dished out in heavier doses for real change to take shape otherwise all we do is explore a narrative and voice our opinions.
One reason why black lives don’t matter is because even though we have countless incidences of overwhelming evidence against policemen who have murdered black people, in 2015 of the 102 cases of unarmed black men being killed by police only 2 of these resulted in convictions. Only one of these officers received jail time which was for a year.
Another reason why black lives don’t matter is because over 300,000 Africans died of Malaria in 2015 and we are still nowhere near closer to finding a way to prevent the spread. African children are the most vulnerable.
Another reason why black lives don’t matter is because each year over 5million people in Africa die of hunger. African children are the most vulnerable.
Another reason why black lives don’t matter is because Heart disease was the cause of death for approximately 28% of the black American population in 2015, making it the most likely cause of death for African Americans.
The list goes on, and the numbers might vary from site to site but when you do enough research you can start to put together a picture of the real dangers to black lives. It’s not to say the police killings should go unnoticed, or un-protested, but choosing where to focus your efforts will control the pace of change. The facts show, for black Americans, Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and strokes are the leading causes of deaths. Black people are still more likely to be murdered by another black person or white person than a policeman in 2015/16.
Black children in America are ‘proportionally’ the worst educated, poorest, lowest skilled and most likely to end up in prisons. This is not even an American issue, this is happening in every Country around the world. Of all the issues contributing to the physical and mental erosion of the black community Police killings are a minor contributor, but I’m not surprised that this generation has taken to this topic so vehemently because technology has allowed us to share masses of emotive imagery at a ridiculously high speed and our programmed brains just lap it up. As hundreds of black people unjustly die due to police thousands will die at the hands of our fellow man and hundreds of thousands will die each year due to ill health. I am weary of police, and always have been, but my real fear is of one of the many diseases that are waiting to inevitably take my life.